A Photography Project
Hermann Rodrigues’ photography project called Broon Scots aims to express the culture and vibrance of the South Asian community in Scotland with the purpose of bringing different communities together and dispel racial stereotypes. Various prominent themes of Scottish Asian life practised are explored in this project.
Documenter and travel photographer Hermann Rodrigues has recorded community history, new immigrants, different religions, professions, historical buildings, festivities - and the Sikh Scottish tartan.
He has even brought out some surprising facts from cultural progressions over the years here in Scotland. Did you know for instance that the Leith area of Edinburgh has its own tartan? Or that Madras College in St Andrews is named after the educational system of an Indian region? Did you also know that there is a town named Patna in South Ayrshire named after the Indian capital of Bihar State?
Rodrigues is a photographer with a deep passion for the camera and the `Asian community' in Scotland. His eye for observation gives him ` a unique voice' in the opinion of his subjects.
One of his photos has Sikh children sitting in their traditional attire happily displaying their love for Scottish staple food. One shows the community from Kerala in South India praying on Good Friday on Arthur’s Seat. Others showcase a multitude of places, people, clothes, food and events as it becomes clear that Rodrigues does not limit himself to one dimension of life concerning `Asians' in Scotland's capital, Edinburgh.
In this work he adds some of Scotland’s towering personalities from all walks of life. He has picked up eminent Scottish Asians or Broon Scots as he fondly calls them from fields as diverse as politics, law, arts and even football.
Rodrigues lives with a desire to be a vocalist for what he sees as a `diverse community'. Rodrigues claims there is a parallel between `Scottish and Indian cultures' because they are both `deeply rich.' Consequently, he believes there is a distinct possibility of fusing them. His curator says, "Hermann recognises no barriers", and this is an encouraging thought for any art be it music or literature. If art is meant to be universal, then a photographer abiding by such a principle is surely going to have the fortune of their pictures having the most appeal and impact.
Hermann sees his work as having two interlocking purposes: The first is to express the `colour and vibrancy of the Asian community' and secondly, to bring different communities together. When asked whether his driving force for documenting peoples' lives through photography originated thanks to his passion for pictures or as an agenda to educate and inform, he remarks, "I have always had a passion for the South Asian community and cameras."
History of Hermann Rodrigues
Rodrigues, passion is recording migration history. "History can be captured in photography," he says, adding, "I am a social anthropologist with a Nikon." He estimates he has taken something like 50,000 shots and with a number like this; his dedication to such a specialised subject could be reaching encyclopaedic proportions.
Hermann's dream, apart from seizing moments, would be to have a million pounds, travel around the world and photograph the South Asian Diaspora. He may well be a little far off from reaching that dream but at least his work is travelling around the world with him and his camera, always ready to do its duty at a moment's notice.
This project is his lifetime’s labour of love and he is proud to showcase it on this website.