OF RIVER AND LOST LANDS[2011 – 2021]
‘Of river and Lost lands’ is a series of photographs, that depicts a grey, melancholic landscape of river Padma (Ganges) in Bangladesh.
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.
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. While flooding routinely destroys crops and damages property, River erosion results in loss of home and land.
This extensive series is marked by an overcast atmosphere, and by isolated figures either coming to terms with what has passed or awaiting the next deluge. In Protick’s steady and intent observation, these places feel sacred and calm, the horizon disappears as the skies blend with the water thus creating a theatrical background for the characters. Of River and Lost Lands keenly mixes a grandeur of place with a consistent hints of intimacy. Most places seen in these photographs do not exist any more. As a result, the photographs survive as visual documents of these vanished lands.