Indiana University Research & Creative Activity


Volume 30 Number 1
Fall 2007

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Out of India book cover
Images of a Journey, by Steve Raymer

Out of India

It took four years, 15 countries, three generations of digital cameras, 220 final images, and 25,000 words.

The result is Images of a Journey: India in Diaspora, the newest photo essay by longtime photojournalist Steve Raymer, who is also an associate professor of journalism at Indiana University Bloomington.

There are some 20 to 25 million people of Indian origin living outside the Indian continent in 100 or more countries. In this new work, Raymer documents the lives of these immigrants beginning with the British Empire’s need for cheap labor in the 19th century and ending in Bangalore, where "reverse migration" is bringing Indians back to work in the high-tech center of 21st-century India. Along the way, Raymer captures today’s Indian diaspora in restaurants and computer labs, college campuses and shopping malls, settlements and slums, temples and townships--even in Antarctica, where India maintains a permanent research station.

The story of the Indian diaspora is an ongoing one, says Raymer in his introduction to the book. Some Indians will stay in their country, some will go, some will come home again. "And nearly all of the Indians of the diaspora," he writes, "will change the culture of their adopted lands just as those lands will, in the end, surely change them."

Raymer’s travel for Images of a Journey was supported in part by the IU Office of the Vice Provost for Research. The book was published by Indiana University Press this fall. For more information, visit