Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat – Mumbai, India

In the fall of 2008, I made a trip to India to visit former students and get my creative juices flowing.  After 20 hours of travel, crossing multiple time zones and very little sleep, I touched down to the mayhem of Mumbai at one in the morning and let Paul Liebhardt talk me into foregoing much needed sleep in order to photograph at the Dhobi Ghat before sunrise the following day.  So exhausted that I was not sure which way was up or down, we managed to spend three hours at the Ghat before succumbing to exhaustion.  Here is a little rich media piece I produced from those few short hours.  I look forward to returning to the subject in the future for more in-depth coverage.  Be sure to click on full screen for the full experience.

Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat, Mumbai, India from Jonathan Kingston on Vimeo.

In the heart of Mumbai lies an integral feature of the city. The Mahalaxmi Dhobi ghat where 10,000 workers wash over 1,000,000 pieces of clothing a day, by hand, each individual standing in the soapy water near their washing stone for up to 16 hours. The dhobi ghat is one of the largest examples of this profession in the world and it is finding itself at the center of a a John Henry-esque story of man versus machine is unfolding in this rapidly growing city of over 18 million people.

3 thoughts on “Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat – Mumbai, India”

  1. Its a rich tribute and a fine gesture. delighted to watch more of it in your next series.

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