Mariana Zilbershteyn's entry in Australasia’s Top Emerging Photographers 2021 (presented by Fujifilm), Holi. Nandgaon, India, is a featured portfolio, and appears in the Documentary category.
Holi is a Hindu festival that is celebrated each year at the beginning of Spring and signifies love and the victory of good over evil. Lathmar Holi takes place before the actual Holi in the neighbouring towns of Barsana and Nandgaon in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Nandgaon, so called because it is considered the birthplace of the Indian God Krishna, is situated roughly 170 kilometres from New Delhi.
Legend has it that Lord Krishna would travel to his beloved Rhada's town, Barsana, to visit her, but also to tease her and her friends. Radha, and her friends responded to this teasing by driving him out of Barsana together. Lathmar Holi, then, in a recreation of this event and legend: the men from Nandgaon come and tease the women of Barsana, who in return chase and beat the men with long sticks, called lathis. The next day, to defend the honour of their village, the men of Barsana head to Nandgaon to play Holi and once again face a similar fate where this time it is the women of Nandgaon who "beat" the men from Barsana with sticks. The men of Barsana carry the the flag of the Larily Lal Temple to Nandgaon where the devotees look to capture the flag, and this culminates in an ultimate battle.
Australasia's Top Emerging Photographers is the region's main platform for discovering and showcasing photographers at the outset of their careers and aspiring photographers. The competition is open to emerging, student, and amateur photographers. The prize pool currently stands at over $30,000.
Entries are now open, with with special early-bird pricing until 6 December, 11:59pm (AEDT).
Final entries close 21 February at 11:59pm (AEDT).