God’s Gift (2023)
The photographs in this collection deal with a certain sense of autonomy expressed through gestures and guided by rituals of the people living in villages spread across North Goa.
The earliest industry in this region (Bardez and Bicholim) is mining of iron ore, upon which the settlements and villages survive, till date. While there is dependency to its riches by the people and industries and an increasing international demands for produce, there is also exploitation of the environment by these industries. This push and pull, serves as the backdrop and is the reality of this hinterland.
Outward migration of young locals towards urban centres such as Mumbai and Dubai from this region are rampant due to limited resources at home and lucrative opportunities elsewhere; the industries that the previous generations have relied upon for their livelihood, whether mining or fisheries, do not seem lucrative enough to the younger generation. At the same time, industrial talukas such as Bardez and Bicholim, are negotiating rapid urbanisation and the degradation of its natural environment
Amidst these issues of migration, environment and ‘progress’, the photographs foreground a mediation on the everyday. Delving deeper into the machinery of livelihood through perceptive and observant, keen eyes, the peripatetic process of working reflects on the human condition that is manifested, overlooked and forgotten in the throes of urbanisation.
The work in its broadest sense is a documentation with artistic aims; a visual study of a cross-section of population, lived experiences and suburbia shaping itself.