Till two months ago, city-based photographer Anusha Yadav had never heard of countries such as Cape Verde or White Russia.
But this May, over a month-long Austrian summer in Salzburg, she not only met people from there, but also ‘travelled’ around the world through the eyes of her portrait subjects, 62 of them from different nationalities.
The 35-year-old was one of the two international photographers invited by Szene Salzburg, the city’s cultural centre, to carry out a special project — capturing on camera faces from the diverse nationalities residing in the city.
“Salzburg is no bigger than Bandra and Khar put together, but it has at least 192 countries represented in a population of just 140 thousand,” said Yadav, a graphic designer who turned to her passion, portrait and urban photography, five years ago.
Between her and New York-based photographer Anja Hitzenberger, 124 nationalities were captured for an exhibition that will held on July 8 in Salzburg and a coffee table book.
“People have moved there as refugees, for work, and because Salzburg is an easy gateway to Europe. But it's amazing how many people move countries and cultures for the sake of love,” said Yadav, who came across numerous cross-cultural relationships that drew people together in a foreign land.
Shooting at least three people a day, Yadav chose to have her subjects pose at leisure, over a cup of tea, conversations and plenty of cultural exchange.
“I now have friends from all over the world, from a young man in Canada to the Czech horse-rider who doubles as a bartender by night,” said Yadav.
Inspired by the Salzburg project, Yadav has now launched a similar one in Mumbai, aiming to capture her hometown's diversities. “If you dig deep enough, you will definitely find every nationality on the planet living in Mumbai,” she said.