Photo: © Shruti Mukherjee
1. What’s your favorite drink?
2. Who are you?
3. Let's travel back in time... How did you get started with photography?
4. Tell about your project/photo essay?
Human conflicts like war, migration and displacement bring out extremes in human behaviour. Paradoxically, they have also helped in the establishment of new societies and rebuilding and rearranging existing ones. These conflicted and often untold human emotions and expression associated with displacement is intriguing when juxtaposed on time and geography.
This photo-essay titled, The Story of ‘Others’, explores and interprets the myriad emotions and expressions associated with India’s relationship with its immediate neighbours, Pakistan and Bangladesh. We share close yet strained political, cultural and religious affiliations. A long history of conflict, displacement and cross border migration, makes the region inharmonious, to say the least. Growing up in India, I have heard and read about stories related to the partition of India both on its western and eastern borders. I heard them from people I know, from strangers, from people in power and from various media channels.
Those have had an impression on me as with others. Stories of conflict and persecution, displacement, lost identities, material loss, large scale migration, and a constantly tense relation hanging by the thread. Stories that are detached from my sensibilities of seeing and feeling everyone as equals. Almost everyone in India knows and talk about the horrors of those years. But often opinions are formed based on a commonly agreeable narrative and gets built up to such an extent that the other side of the story remains only as of the “Others”. These conflicting emotions and viewpoints influenced by history, society and politics urged me on with documenting these stories.