The Himalayan Documentary Foundation was launched in spring 2007 by photographer Martin Salter, Ladakhi film maker Skarma Rinchen and Tashi Falgon. After working together on the documentary feature film “ Walking in Circles “ in the remote Himalayan valley of Zanskar, they became increasingly aware that the fragile culture of the region was undergoing rapid change and were determined to establish a series of projects focused on documenting traditional life and responses to the changing environment.
Project director Martin Salter is aware of the differing motives many travellers have when they visit to the Himalaya. “ Some just want an adventure – trekking, white water rafting, the mandatory bungee jump and that’s fine but there are many people looking for a more engaged experience and are keen to look at alternative ways of living . Often western travellers are in search of a simpler life and the mountain communities have always been very appealing in this respect. However when they arrive they are often taken aback by the complexities and contradictions of life in these regions and often struggle to find real connections with the people they meet. Every region of the planet has become very self aware and sometimes this can lead to disillusionment and disappointment on both sides, but if you scratch the surface you often find what you were looking for. A key purpose of the Himalayan Documentary Foundation was to offer a meeting point, a place where people from different cultural backgrounds with their differing pressures and responsibilities can discuss the contemporary issues facing the Himalaya by working together on specific projects. We wanted to tap into people’s enthusiasm to learn and engage and create a dialogue as well as utilising this energy in creating a lasting documentary archive.”
Martin Salter: 01306 500 164