Photo Novellas

The Barefoot College, Tilonia

Photographic documentation and narrative of everyday life & training at the Barefoot College, Tilonia, India.

The Photo Novella is a story book that is to be carried back to the village by the Solar Mamas. As a way to share her experiences of a far away place, of six months getting trained up as a solar engineer.

Solar Mama is a name given to the women who arrive at the Barefoot College in Rajasthan, India, to be trained as Solar Engineers. Drawn from the remotest parts of the panel, places with currently no electricity (and very poor prospects of electrification in the future), the selection criteria privilege women with poor mobility. Women who will not leave the villages searching for work, as they are providers for the younger ones. Women who cannot leave the villages as they are the carers for others. The Solar Mama is often also a grandmother. Non literate, poor and marginalised they make up the unique workforce of entrepreneurial women solar engineers.

  • Featured Images
  • Credits: Monique Raciti, Iain Soumitri
  • Year: 2017
  • Agency-industry: Barefoot College
  • Acknowledgement: Bunker Roy, Bhagwati Nandan Ji