New Delhi's Last Magicians Colony

The Kathputli Colony is a community of performers: formerly itinerant magicians, puppeteers, acrobats, and others that settled into an area in West Delhi about 50 years ago. Most are poor.
But amidst the squalor is a remarkable tale of slum dwellers who have lived lives of the lowest degradation and of the highest luxury. Perplexing as it may sound, the Indian government bandies the community's greatest puppeteers and magicians around the world anytime they needs to showcase the cultural excellence of India.

As the filmmakers tell us, "you'll sit in someone's ramshackle home and watch as they flip through photo albums where they are pictured alongside [former Prime Minister] Rajeev Gandhi or Laura Bush."

But now the land has been sold to a developer who plans to bulldoze the slums and set up a shopping mall. The plight of the Kathputli Colony is shown in a video called Tomorrow We Disappear, which you can see, along with more pictures, at Atlas Obscura. Link -Thanks, Seth!

(Image credit: Joshua Cogan)

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