Communication

langur3x2

 

Orchha, India:

As I sit with the langurs living wild around a small Indian town, I become aware of our subtle communication. Every turn of my head, every gesture with my hands and even every glance with my eyes is observed by them. At first, I feel exposed, as if they can read more about me than I am accustomed to sharing. As I relax, I try to observe their movements and gestures to understand if they are comfortable with me. In doing so, I have committed to a dialogue with them that I’m not proficient at, but which nevertheless seems to pique their curiosity. Perhaps it is my lack of proficiency in this language of gesture and eye movements that they find so intriguing. One by one they come closer to where I am sitting. The individuals closest to me never make eye contact; they look at something near me instead as they ponder this unusual and awkward beast in the periphery of their vision. I’m guessing direct eye contact would be a sign of aggression, so I too, avoid looking at them. Mercifully, I can look at them directly through my camera without tipping them off to my gaze. The comfort of my camera grants me time to admire the silky black hairs on their brow, the creases in their dark skin, and the languid movements of their arms as they reach for interesting stones or bits of food.

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