Based in Kolkata, India, Ritaban is mapping the trajectory of memory - loss and triumph that form a life narrative as one does not usually perceive. He works on different themes: environmental refugees, ethnographic conflicts, engineered qualitative contrast between traditional and alternative farming et al.; Ritaban is intrigued by human nature, its adaptivity and everchanging nature.
Tide Country, or, Lonely Side of Force
This work presents a portrait of five islands in India and Bangladesh, crossing the Ganges and the Meghna. The rising sea-level and disappearing islands have created a shared sense of disassociation, dislocation and alienation. Untethered from homeland by constantly mutating topographies at unpredictable intervals, the ecological refugees battle challenges to qualities of a soil profile, access to fresh water and basic standards of living. Limited access to resources that are rudimentary for disaster preparedness and adaptation and the questionable legal-political status of the female ecological refugee further exacerbates vulnerability. What will happen to the metropolis of Dhaka and the city of Kolkata when the final threshold yields? Amidst grasping fingers and distant pity, the land and its people are collapsing into each other, like the suicidal stars in time and space.
Encroaching tides have clawed out vast swathes of land.
Ghoramara Island, India.
Women stand on a makeshift embankment to observe the rising waters. Sagar Island, India.
Rising salinity in the water has made agriculture less profitable
Climate change turned normal life into survival. The residents are struggling to survive among violent realities.
Mousuni Island, India.
People cut trees in anticipation that the river will take them in the days to come.
Children are significantly exposed to hostile environments, which has lasting effects on their psychology.
Mousuni Island, India.
An unsustainable environment caused people to leave. People tend to give up homes for employment prospects elsewhere.
Hatiya Island, Bangladesh.
Villagers are waiting for a boat to travel to the mainland Dhaka.
People are transporting a turbine to fit into a small fishing boat anchored ashore.
Kutubdia Island, Bangladesh.
Repairing the collapsed parts of the embankment at low tide in a sustained collaborative effort. Ghoramara Island, India.
Children play by a broken embankment which also serves as a road at dusk.
A woman is on the lookout for driftwood by her house during high tide.
Sagar Island, India.
A school that recently had been destroyed by the sea storm lies collapsed.
Former fertile land has been left marshy due to a rise in sea level.