Exactly thirty years ago, I set out on my first journey to India. I was at a sort of significant personal intersection and the life ahead of me was hidden in the mist of overwhelming and worrying uncertainty. New decisions were more than imperative. Life has spared me miraculously and everything turned out so smoothly that I did not even have to deal with the future lying ahead of me.
On this first journey to India in 1988, I took many photographs as an amateur photographer back then, and when I showed them to a Swiss magazine owner and editor in-chief upon my return, he literally fell in love with them. However, my trip was not an ordinary journey in this wonderful country. We spent a month on a river with my friend Bojan Brecelj, but this was not just any river – I spent my first trip to India on the holy Ganges River.
Today, looking back through the prism of time, I can honestly say India has radically changed and improved my life. Thanks to the very snapshots taken on this journey I suddenly became a real photographer, a professional sought for his work by a number of agencies in Paris and around the world. India therefore enabled me to live such an intriguing and full life I would never have imagined having. Thank you, India!
Production: Fotoklub Maribor
Arne Hodalič is a photojournalist and has worked as the photo editor of Slovene edition of National Geographic Magazine since 2006. In 2008, he received an honorary PhD at the Academy of Arts and Design at University of Ljubljana and became a lecturer in photography and photojournalism at the Faculty of Social Sciences (FDV), University of Ljubljana, and at the Higher School of Applied Sciences (VIST) in Ljubljana.
He was a member and organizer of several expeditions; he crossed Papua New Guinea in a dug-out canoe on the Sepik river (1500 kms), he crossed the Sudan desert from Khartoum to Egypt on the Nile river in a small boat, he was also the photographer for a French and Slovene caving expedition in Hunan (China) and Tawi Atayr (Oman), as well as the photographer for a mountaineering expedition at Nanga Parbat (8125 m) in Pakistan and the photographer and a crew member for the L’Esprit de Bougainville expedition (sailing for two and a half years on a Chinese sailing junk in South East Asia).
His photos and photo stories have appeared in National Geographic Magazine (USA) and all the other editions of National Geographic Magazine across the globe, Terra Mater, Life (USA), Time, Figaro Magazine, GEO, Paris Match, Marie Claire, VSD, Die Zeit, Cosmopolitan, Stern, Liberation, Grands Reportages, Gala, Airone, Espresso, L’Illustré, Oggi, Sette-Corriere della Sera, Gioa, Nature and many others.