Photojournalism - NOMINEE: Néha Hirve
Full Shade/Half Sun
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Tamil Nadu, India
This land was an impenetrable forest, once upon a time. Then the French and the British came and ravaged it over and over again to build their cities. Summer dried the soil and the water ran off. Nothing would grow anymore. Then, people came from all over the world, people for whom ordinary life wasn't enough anymore, and they planted trees to shelter them from the burning sun, and built their lives together and found meaning in the world once again.
Now, the jungle is a womb. The air in the tropics is like warm honey, viscous, sticky, filling the ears until the sounds of the outside world are far away. Time is sidereal here. In the still light of the afternoons, the hours pass like days, and the future is always now.
But every year, the summer comes, and with it, the memory of the desert.”
Full Shade/Half Sun is a photography project about the experimental community of people in the tropical dry forest of Tamil Nadu in India. Although their core purpose is reforesting the desertified land, they are also an experiment in collective, back-to-nature living.
Blending the genres of documentary and fine art imagery, the project attempts to bring up philosophical and existential questions about the ways in which we find meaning in our relationship to the land.
MA student of photojournalism at Mittuniversitetet in Sweden.