It was very easy for me to get their access, but also extremely difficult to build a narrative. I was thinking how could I tell a story with images of a river Indrawati, a northeastern river of Nepal & an ethnic group of fishermen ‘Majhi’.
There are over 27-crusher industries on the bank of Indrawati, which export river-based items such as crushed stones and sand with heavy mining equipment. For this, the inhabitancy of fishes & other types of marine lives are at the edge vanishing. ‘Majhis’, people who once lived on catching & selling fishes, are changing their century old traditional occupation & become daily labour in the crusher Industries.
I went there without knowing where to stay & eat. The people were very kind to me. They gave shelter & food, even though in some villages people were extremely poor. I can remember Sujan Majhi, a 22 years old daily labour in the crasher industry & father of 2 kids, telling me at a starry night, when you go back you can tell the story, that you have stayed in Sujan Majhi’s house, from where you can see the Langtang Himal through window. Or in late night in Sipaborgaw I woke up with a sound of chorus. Young ladies & boys were singing & dancing with ancient sprit. I wonder how these people are celebrating their life without having fear of uncertainty. I tried to photograph this uncertainty of their life. To photograph the restlessness of their life, which dissolves with their blood, like nicotine. & Yes! Love of their life.
Photographs & Text: Arfun Ahmed | Website: http://arfunahmed.com
Indrawati River Story, by Arfun Ahmed is part of our Showcase Series on Bangladesh Photography curated by Munem Wasif, Chobimela International Festival of Photography.
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