At 18 km from the border with Bangladesh, India has built the great Farakka dam that diverts most of the waters of the Ganges to Calcutta. As a result of this work, during the dry season the river flow in Bangladesh fell by 70%. The Ganges in recent years has begun to change the course of the river in the vicinity of the dam. Here you can see a strip of land in the middle of the river came out just two years ago India 2013.
[ EPF 2014 SHORTLIST ]
“The Ganges is a prime example of the unresolved contradiction between man and the environment. The Ganges is a river intimately connected with every aspect of Indian life. It is a source of water, energy and livelihood for millions of people who live along the banks of this river, thanks to the fertile lands flushing, provides food to more than one-third of the Indian population. Its ecosystem also includes one of the most numerous and varied animal and plant species. Despite what today is one of the most polluted rivers in the world because of toxic waste every day flock to the factories in its waters, damaging human health and the environment that surrounds him convulsing.”
Fisherman seating after a long day of work at Mullick Bazaar Flower Market along the ganges near Howrah Bridge, Kolkata.
The Tehri dam, one of the most impressive dam in all of Asia, India 2008.
street boy fishes for coins using a string and a magnet along the Yamuna river in Delhi, the main affluent of the Ganges Feb 2014
Preparation of the tent city for the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, India 2008
Chemical spills from one of the tanneries of Kanpur, pour into the Ganges, India 2012.
Woman collects mustard leaves in a field accross a Oil refinery along the Ganges, feb 2014.
Hindu devotees’ Along the banks of the river Ganges, get ready to soak in the water of the sacred river, India 2008.
one of the tributaries of the Ganges near Haridwar completion dry during the hot season, India 2009
Young men enjoy the evening on picnic Island in Patna, Feb 2014
What will happen tomorrow? Is the Ganges destined to die under the blows of humanity or can we believe that anything will change?
The last Chapters of the project will be:
1) Bangladesh: life along the Ganges as the construction of new dams along the river continues to upset the balance of the lives of people who live along the waters.
2) The Ganges Delta and Sundarbans: documenting the consequences of the rising of sea level and the simultaneous drying of the waters of the river itself.
3) Solutions: the World Bank has just set up a fund to be used for the “cleaning” of the river Ganges. I will show what has been done and what is being done to save the river and the solutions to the problem of pollution of this sacred river.
Hindu devotees bathe in the Ganges during the Kumbh Mela, India 2010.
Hindu devotees bathe in the Ganges during the Kumbh Mela Kumbha Mela is celebrated every three years and rotates among four Indian cities, it takes place at the confluence of the three sacred rivers (Ganges, Yamuna and the invisible Sarasnati). Hundreds of thousands of Hindu devotees took a ritual bath in India’s holy Ganges river, they believe it washes away sins.
Iceberg of foam form Chimical Waste dumped by factories along the Yamuna river, Feb 2014
an outdoor makshift laundry for hotels along the Yamuna river, feb 2014
an eldery Woman crosses a small channel of the ganges on a submerging bridge made of waste, Feb 2014
toxic fumes from a tannery pollut the early morning air along the Ganges. Feb 2014
Devout Hindus’ performs the sacred ablutions in the waters of Varanasi, India 2008.
every year, during the dry season, the Ganges waters on the Bangladesh Border drys up due to the farakka Dam beeing closed on the Indian border, March 2014
woman poses for a picture at the point of entrance to the Sunderbans in bangladesh, April 2014
Signs of constant pollution of the waters of the Ganges, Varanasi, 2009.
Chemical and waste spills from one of the tanneries of Kolkata, pour into the Ganges, India 2013.
Brick factories along the Ganges in Bangladesh, April 2014
the submersion of the god Shiva into the polluted waters of the Yamuna river in Delhi, Feb 2014
Giulio Di Sturco (b.1979 Italy) studied at the European Institute of Design and Visual Arts in Rome. In 2007 he moved to India where his spent the next five years refining his visual vocabulary, working in close collaboration with Greenpeace, MSF, WHO and Action Aid throughout much of Asia and Africa. In 2009 Giulio joined the VII Mentor Program. His awards include a World Press Photo first prize, as well as first prizes in the Sony Photography Awards, and the British Journal of Photography International Photography Awards among others. Giulio is currently represented by Getty Reportage and is a regular contributor to The New York Times, Vanity Fair, The Sunday Times Magazine, Geo and Financial Times among other publications. He based in Bangkok and continues to work throughout Europe, Africa and Asia. Much of his personal work focuses on human adversity in climates of environmental and technological evolution.
Giulio Di Sturco