Punjab, India

Artist: Henri Cartier-Bresson (French, Chanteloup-en-Brie 1908–2004 Montjustin)

Date: 1947

Medium: Gelatin silver print

Dimensions: 22.7 x 34.5 cm (8 15/16 x 13 9/16 in.)

Classification: Photographs

Credit Line: Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, 1987

Accession Number: 1987.1100.168

Rights and Reproduction: © Henri Cartier-Bresson / Magnum Photos


This photograph depicts a group of refugees at the Kurukshetra camp performing simple exercises to drive away lethargy and despair. Framed against a blank wall, as if in an ancient frieze, the wildly dancing figures appear eternally suspended between desperation and ecstasy.