So Mother Teresa has become a saint. She sure was no saint in life. She spent years tricking the most vulnerable, desperate people into Christianity, made millions of dollars of donations disappear, vocally hated democracy, and hung out with or pledged sympathy to a long list of dictators and crooks around the world including Bebe Dòk (Jean-Claude Duvalier) in Haiti, Enver Hoxha in Albania, Robert Maxwell, the neo-fascist Italian Social Movement and the Argentine Military Junta. In southern India she languishes in hundreds of vitrines on street corners, looking like an atrophied sex worker. She probably ate the sick looking baby she is holding in her arms here seconds after I turned my head.
INDIA // JULY 2016
God loves the poor.
This Desia Kondh woman is sitting on the floor of a catholic church made of mud in the back of beyond of Odisha, clapping along to the psalms, waiting for Jesus to free her from large scale mining businesses taking her land, proselytizing missionaries taking her beliefs, the Hindu majority dictating their fashion and a hostile government taking her identity. The Desia Kondh women believe that face tattoos serve as identity markers in the afterlife. This woman’s younger sisters have been talked out of the tradition by god men and the authorities. They’ve been told that they won’t need their markers once they have reached the footstool of the Almighty, that a headscarf will make them respectable, and that they won’t get a job in the market economy with chess boards on their cheeks.
INDIA // AUGUST 2016