Of River and Lost Lands
2011 – 2018
‘Of river and Lost lands’ is a series of photographs, presented at times as a audio-visual installation, 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.
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.
Most places seen in these photographs does not exist any more. As a result, these photographs survive as visual documents of these vanished lands.