Traditionally in Indian culture mothers and grandmothers are the central figures in the household. They raise and nurture their children and in turn when they grow old the children must look after them. It is still very common in the UK for three generations of the extended family to be living in one household, a tradition that has been maintained for decades. When the time comes it is the duty of the son or daughter to look after their mother until she passes away.
More recently, a growing trend in the UK has been the rise of care homes for Indian elderly people. The household and extended family unit has been replaced by these homes as a growing elderly population emerges and busy lifestyles take over traditional values.
This project explores the role of the elderly matriarchal figures within Indian culture and the shift of traditional values in a growing British Indian society.
My engagement with an Indian elderly care home in Leicester spanned over a period of two years. I would travel to Leicester from London and often spend a number of days at the home speaking to and interacting with the residents, all of whom wanted some company. During this period my own nan passed away and the project became ever more pertinent.
Respect to the women featured in the project have now passed away.