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International Visual Sociology Association:33rd Annual conference

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference


This story emerges out of more than five years of research on road construction in the upper Himalayas by Dr. Anu Sabhlok (along with her students from IISER, Mohali) who has been following the journeys of seasonal migrant labourers employed by India's Border Roads Organisation in an attempt to understand the human dimensions of infrastructure development. In the year 2014, I joined the team as a photographer and research assistant for 6 months.

The photo essay that I presented, "chronicles the lives of the migrant labourers who travel from remote districts from the state of Jharkhand in India to the upper himalayas,every year. It visually narrates the journeys of the 90,000 or so Casual paid labourers. Their life stories; seasonal journeys; meanings given to their temporary homes in the border areas; the dangers and perils they face; the attempts to create a sense of community in an alien landscape; lifestyles and cultural idioms carried over (and back) from their villages; the lives of the children who travel each year with their parents, the meals cooked......all of this and more forms the content of this travelogue. This alternative travelogue is seen as a medium to claim space for the road builders within the nation's history in which so far they have been invisible. Despite being instrumental for development and defense of the nation-state and the region, the migrant labour is conspicuous by its absence in any local, regional or national history" (Sabhlok, 2016).
Here is a direct link to the photo essay: http://kausikisarma.com/The-road-chronicles.html

Event (Conference)

TitleInternational Visual Sociology Association:33rd Annual conference
LocationLillehammer University College