Of River and Lost Lands
 

Of River and Lost Lands
2011 – 2016
Video projection on frosted glass with sound
8:49 minutes
Original score by Sarker Protick

‘Of river and Lost lands’ is a series of photographs, presented at times as a audio-visual installation,  that depicts a gray, melancholic landscape by the river Padma in Bangladesh.

The river is the central character in the story. At first, the place seems abandoned. Drowned and broken houses, floating trees are all that remains. These are traces of life that was once here. As the series continues, the land and the people come into view and find their place in the story. Together they portray a complex relationship between nature and human beings that is at once intimate and ruthless, defined by dependency and destruction. The river gives so much to its people and at times it takes away everything.

The days are overcast and filled with haze, creating timelessness in the atmosphere of these villages. Over the years the river has changed its course. When the monsoon arrives and the river runs fast. The lands get washed away and disappears. Riverbank erosion generally creates much more suffering than other natural hazards like flooding. While flooding routinely destroys crops and damages property, erosion results in loss of farm and homestead land.

Many of the places in these photographs do not exist any more. As a result, these photographs survive as visual documents of these vanished lands.

Of River And Lost Lands
Of River And Lost Lands
Of River And Lost Lands
Of River And Lost Lands
Of River And Lost Lands

 

Of River And Lost Lands

Of River And Lost Lands
Of River And Lost Lands

Of River And Lost Lands

Of River And Lost Lands
Of River And Lost Lands

Of River And Lost Lands
Of River And Lost Lands
Of River And Lost Lands
Of River And Lost Lands
Of River And Lost Lands
Of River And Lost Lands
Of River And Lost Lands
Of River And Lost Lands
Of River And Lost Lands

Of River And Lost Lands

This story has two primary characters, a river that represents nature and a community representing the humankind. Here, all these different people have a same voice, the same state. The narrative evolves between men and river and their relationship. It’s intimate and it’s ruthless. We find dependency and destruction at the same time. It’s a contradictory affair. The river gives so much to its people and at times it takes away everything. Riverbank erosion generally creates much more suffering than other natural hazards like flooding; as while flooding routinely destroys crops and damages property, erosion results in loss of farm and homestead land. In the winter of 2011, I travelled to the villages near Ishurdi district. Padma, the largest waterway of Bangladesh flows right beside. At first the place seems abandoned. Drowned and broken houses, floating trees are all that remains. These are traces of life that was once here. Slowly I discover life in the villages. People who are still living here, many as refugee in others land. They have lost their house, farmlands almost everything. Some has left the places as they ran out of all the options.While a global warming, climate change is still being questioned, here, like many other places is facing consequences. Over the years the river changed it’s course. While doing it, it has taken so many. When the monsoon arrives and the river runs fast. The lands get washed away and disappear. Places I have photographed do not exist any more. River erosion continues with dire consequences for this land and community.