Olivia Arthur on mistakes in photography:
For me, part of the power of still photography is the ambiguousness of pictures, the ability to give a hint about a scene or event without being too absolute. Photographers are always looking for ways to capture the atmosphere of an event without being too literal about it. In this situation, I was photographing in a small village in India which had had seen some caste violence. One of the women had been badly hurt, and she and her husband were going through a ritual exorcism to pray for her recovery and ward off any demons. They gave offerings to a god in a tree, and the woman went into a state of trance. Halfway through, I realised that my camera wasn’t winding properly, and when I processed the film I found that there were a lot of double and multiple exposures. In a strange way, despite being mistakes, those pictures actually do manage to capture the atmosphere of the place and scene better than the regular exposures, and it reminds me that the ambiguousness of photography is often stronger with a slight lack of clarity.