For centuries, tribes of magicians and performers wandered all over India, living the fabled life and exchanging stories for food. Then, fifty years ago, they found a piece of abandoned land in West Delhi and decided to settle there. Over the years, other performers heard about the settlement and decided to move in, making Katputli Colony (Puppet Colony) an eclectic slum packed with acrobats, street magicians, fortune tellers and puppeteers. It's a gritty, but no less magical version of a thousand storybooks, where teenage contortionists live next door to a man selling enchanted rings.
The community, and all its wonder, is set to disappear in the next few months. The government has sold the land to a developer, which in the all-new consumerist India means only one thing - it will turn into a glitzy shopping mall. And while this seems like the perfect point in the story for a group of activists to step in and halt the bulldozers, the country's income inequality and corruption mean that it will be almost impossible. The only thing that can be done is to document its existence, so it can fade away a little slower.
Take a last walk through the eclectic streets of the Katputli Colony with the documentary Tomorrow We Disappear.
Image: Joshua Coghan