How To

Survive your displacement through photography

Love in the time of civilisation
Under the sea
Digital divide
Surveillance selves
Memories around the corner
Concrete imitation
Proletarian pleasure
Urban escape

What happens when you leave the place you fell in love with? What happens when you are forced to migrate or displaced and find your restless soul haunting you again and again? What happens when you are disrupted, uprooted and forced to live in a place you find little affinity with?

Yes, this warrants a range of mental disruptions and sometimes we do survive them gracefully. What if that happens through photography? Yes, lets toss it "Surviving displacement through photography"


Usually in a developing country like India, there is a tendency to migrate towards the cities. People love to be posted in cities, the bigger the better! However, there are others who do not. Suman belonged to the second category.

He enjoyed the proximity of river, forest and villagers since 2010 when he was appointed as a college teacher at one of the port centered villages on West Bengal. It is a river port and awarded as the greenest port of the world and hence, Suman enjoyed the river, forest like ambiance and rural inclined quality of life. Because of his academic thirst he has spent a lot of time in doing fieldwork at remote corners! You know he has developed a rural soul, rapidly!

But six years of love making with the rural corners, forest and the river came to a sudden end as he was asked to serve one of the newest colleges at a newly build heteropic depthless SEZ centered city.

Needless to mention, it was disruption - a major disruption to a rural soul that now has to adjust with a heterotopic space.


Suman originally belongs to Kolkata, the city which carries many of his memories - his college and university life but this new place - Rajarhat -Newtown is no different from other such cities like Noida and do not carry anything of Kolkata. However, Kaleidoscope started finding newer things:

Imitations (Concrete imitation)

Pleasure of corners (Proletarian pleasure)



Escape routes

Perhaps there are many more themes like survillanced selves, images, costly and cozy shopping-mall corners came and dominated Suman's increasingly complex world of living and dying. The question however remains does he survive the disruption?

May be does! Now lets have some technicalities:

how to find survival themes?

First of all these are survival themes because it keeps the head busy, it keeps you going with the context in which you are bound to live. You cannot just keep seeking for the forest in boulevard, rivers in bitumens and stories in chopped down tree brnaches.

City in itself is doing so many things, its like a microchip which includes everything within a small periphery. Hence you might be bewildered with the diversities.

You can

1. look for moments - a person or an activity in a context, otherwise architectures are all same.

2. Play with light and shed - don't mind mid summer sun in a city - it gives you best contrast

3. Seek themes - Don't look for aesthetic appeal only, look for abstract ideas: be it self - other - society - material - politics - capitalism - poverty - gender and so on.

4. sky and colours - sometimes cities play with the sky, sun and stars - switch your rural nature loving mode on seek an under the sea experience under a clouded sky!


you never know what awaits at the corner! Cities can surprise you, can make you face your self - cry-laugh-live - all of a sudden. Suman faced them numerous times. Of late his discovery of a graffiti to one of the old city walls pushes him - it tells him straight - we do live for love - "LABOUR OF LOVE" - Suman knows Love survives at the time of civilisation! yes it does.

So does he survive his displacement, so does he hugs every souls that are departed and uprooted from their significant others, rivers, birds, trees or even cities! Lets take refuge in camera - Yes, camera teaches you live and love!

Disclaimer: All the photos are taken in a mobile camera Samsung grand prime.

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—The JPG team

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