Emerging Photographer Fund – 2014 Finalist
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EPF 2014 – finalist
Disappearing Lands: the “Human Face” of Climate Change in the Sundarbans, India.
‘Disappearing Lands’ sets out to capture the ‘human face’ of climate change. The delicate balance that has for many centuries existed in the Sundarbans between land, air, and sea, is today under threat, and in certain areas, the effects have been disastrous.
‘Disappearing Lands’ is an attempt to explain how the Sundarbans is changing through the voices and images of the people who live there. It is also a call for urgent action to all, to address the very issue of survival of the landscape we call the Sundarbans, the animals and people who live within it, and the preservation of the worlds largest mangrove forest.
Within the space of the last 25 years, 6000 families have been rendered homeless with 4 Sundarban islands sinking into the sea.
As ominous predictions by climate change experts begin to unfold, the seas around the islands in the Bay of Bengal that support the world’s largest mangrove ecosystem are rising faster than anywhere else on Earth, placing the lives and livelihoods of those who live in the Sundarbans at risk.
Every year during the monsoon season, the waters of the rivers Ganges and Brahmaputra, which empty into the heavily populated and low lying delta region constituting the Bay of Bengal, inundate and erode the riverbanks and islands which millions of subsistent farmers call home.
Professors at Kolkata’s Jadavpur University estimate that as much as 15% of the UNESCO-protected Indian Sundarbans region will be submerged in the next six years. Sites of cultural heritage and farmlands relied on by peasant farmers, has been irrevocably lost in both India and Bangladesh.
Indeed, the riverbank erosion has caused more human and economic disasters in these areas than most wars. Sadly, only limited efforts have been made by the Bangladeshi and Indian governments for effective erosion control measures. There is limited political will to either help the displaced, or to prevent future climate-related disasters.
I am a freelance documentary photographer currently based in India. I’m covering breaking news and stories in South East Asia, the emphasis of my work is largely focussed on current social and environmental concerns that affect different communities, most of them unadvertised by the big media. In addition to this, I have my long term project entitled “Believers” which looks at traditions, cultures and religions from a more anthropological perspective in many different regions globally.
My main goal is to aid and increase awareness of issues affecting people and their environments in the world we live in. I hope that with my photographs to contribute in some small way towards creating a critical reflexion of this world and also to try to understand us better as humans beings.
My work has been published in many international magazines around the world including Time, Sunday Times, Le Monde, Spiegel, Forbes, El Pais among others.