Author Archive for Mallory Bracken

Partha Sengupta – The Bloodiest Border

Partha Sengupta

The Bloodiest Border

I’m a descendent of a refugee family from East Bengal (now Bangladesh) part of Bengal province during British rule, was a vast land of various creeds, cultures and a common language Bangla.

During Partition of India in 1947, an international border drawn Bengal area into East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and West Bengal (in India). The border changed the social fabric of the vast land with a new nationality with a strong sectarian belief. Since then the border denotes heavily guarded by paramilitary forces; human rights abuse and suspicions.

 

 

In the Indian side, BSF (Border Security Force of India) managed the international border. Their attitude towards the border people is with deep suspicion with extra judicial killings, custodial death and torture. Prevalence of cross border smuggling and infiltration in this region is how the security forces justified their atrocities. In 2011 Human Rights Watch termed BSF “Trigger Happy” for their notoriety.

Similarity of look and language of the border people has led to confusion of identity with regards to their nationality. Security forces ignored the history of this region, justified their atrocities is the only option to deal with the border people whose national identity is debatable.

 

 

My project is the exploration of borders and its impact on the lives of the border people, where one’s own national identity is debatable. It raises the critical questions about the idea of border is enforced, the complexities of history, lives, culture and nationalists imaginary.

First time in November 2014, I traveled to Bangladesh, as an Indian underwent immigration procedures being a foreigner. Once Bangladesh was the natural place of my parents and family home was there. The partition had changed the equations of my parents who are now foreigners cease the generational old identity. The British Colonial Rule brought a sense of communal identity and animosity with the changes in Hindu-Muslims relations.

 

 

 

Short Bio

Partha Sengupta (b. 1975) is a Kolkata based Indian documentary photographer. He is a late entrant into photography after leaving his banking career in 2012. Partha studied documentary photography mentorship at Counter Foto, Bangladesh. In 2012, he joined in a local newspaper in Kolkata and worked for three years. Since 2015, he started to work independently. His images were exhibited in the Asian Cultural Heritage in Montreal, Canada in 2012. In 2014, he was selected among fourteen young photographers by German Science & Arts for a photography project in India. His work along with other photographers published in the book ‘The India Vision Quest’ by DWIH in 2015. His works had been exhibited in Kolkata, Dhaka, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Montreal, Cologne and forthcoming at Goa in 2018. In 2018, Partha received s grant from Serendipity Arts Foundation on the photography project “Bhumiputra”. He did his post-graduation in Management and Finance. He is versed with several Indian languages.

 

Related Links

parthasengupta.wordpress.com

 

—–

 

The Emerging Photographer Fund is supported by generous donors to the Magnum Foundation

Magnum Foundation

Kaja Rata – Kajnikaj

Kaja Rata

Kajnikaj

[ EPF 2017 – SHORT LIST ]

Sometimes it seems to me that everything is going to collapse. The houses, grey from soot, and the broken pavements will fall on the mine corridors below. I live in a small town in Silesia, and at some point there might have been something interesting going on here, but it was so long ago, that it is long since buried in memory. It is neither pretty nor ugly. There is no heritage of previous generations, not even any hint of flair in the current ones. If not for the dead mine shafts protruding from below, my town might be located anywhere. Or perhaps here and there.

 

“Here and there” is “gdzieniegdzie” in Polish. But it also has its equivalent in the Silesian dialect – “kajnikaj.” If we use the latter, my place will become less “here and there.” This is an obvious form of taming the reality, allowing us to build upon it and create a mythology of sorts.

When I look at the sky over the decaying town, and when I build rickety contraptions I am trying to find means to escape from the place I was born and raised, even though I know that it is a futile attempt.

 

 

Short Bio

Kaja Rata was born in 1987 in Myslowice, Poland. She is a Polish photographer based in Silesia district. She graduated with a BA in Photography from University of Arts in Poznan, Poland. Before this time, she was studying Polish literature at Silesian University. In 2016, she finished Sputnik Mentorship Programme in Warsaw, where she started her actual project “Kajnikaj.” In her work, she is trying to balance between reality and documental fiction.

 

Related Links

 

cargocollective.com

—–

 

The Emerging Photographer Fund is supported by generous donors to the Magnum Foundation

Magnum Foundation