The Travelers

by Rachel Movitz



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The photographs created in The Travelers are an intimate look at Western spiritual tourism in India. During my travels in India I documented the lives and activities of foreign tourists studying yoga in ashrams, spiritual retreats, and holy places. I found myself drawn to the transformations wrought by the cultural environment of India on Western travelers and observed that many, like myself, were not only interested in seeing the sights, but obtaining a deeper understanding of the self through meditation and yoga.

I became interested in spiritual travel during my first visit to India. I began to question why so many Westerners were interested in yoga, meditation, and eastern religions. This curiosity prompted me to turn my camera toward fellow travelers that I met along the way. The subsequent images create a portrait of foreign travelers in India.

Editor’s Note – Madhu Reddy

At the beginning I was mistaken in four ways. I sought to remember God, to know Him, and to seek Him. When I had come to the end, I saw that He had remembered me before I remembered Him, that His knowledge of me had preceded my knowledge of Him, His love toward me had existed before my love to Him, and He had sought me before I sought Him.*

Bayazid Bistami


India has for years been a destination for those “seeking” and the era of the 60’s flower children continues even today. This traveler has a purpose; he comes with a goal to find himself and the country. India, as a backdrop the quest of this traveler is finding a deeper connection to the self.

Rachel turns the camera to fellow explorers to capture quieter moments in their life, their immediate surroundings and intimate possessions. Portraits, which show, tie together the experience of the seeker in a collective.

About Rachel Movitz
RACHEL MOVITZ is a free-lance photographic artist based in Oxford, England. After traveling, photographing, and living abroad for many years, she moved to New York City to study photography at The School of Visual Arts, where she received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Photography and Related Media. She subsequently spent several years living in India. The Travelers project was created with the help of a Fulbright Travel Grant to India. Her work has been exhibited internationally. To acquire prints, license travel essays or individual images for your publication, or to discuss assignments/commissions contact Rachel at


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