Daesung Lee – On the Shore of a Vanishing Island
Ghoramara island is located on a delta region in West Bengal. Due to the dramatic increase in sea level, resulting from the effects climate change.
Since the 1960’s, the shores of this island are being perpetually washed away. And since the 1980’s, more than 50% of the territory has vanished due to erosion by the sea. As a result, two-thirds of the population have moved away from the island. Many of the people still living on the island are farmers and fishermen who depend on the island’s resources for their livelihoods.
According to a civil servant I met, in 20-25 years the Indian government could abolish the island and has already formulated a plan to evacuate villagers to another island named Sagar. However, this evacuation plan does not ensure any financial support or compensation for those having to relocate their lives.
I could see the traces of a heritage vanishing by the rising tides. Exposed roots of plants destroyed by the erosion serve to illustrate the absence of foundation in the lives of these people. The sea is swallowing up their past while their future remains unknown. The continually receding shore and vanishing vegetation leave behind a coast of sediment holding an ironic beauty of its own amid the increasingly barren shores. You could call it a tragic beauty caused by human hands. I situated villagers on the shore and took portraits of them in juxtaposition with the beauty of the vanishing island to make it look unrealistic. but it is a real situation of the people where they live. There will come a day when these people will have no choice but to move out of their homeland. One day this island on which they were born will only exist in their memories as an unreal.
Daesung Lee is a Korean photographer based in Paris,France.
He graduated in B.A from Chung-Ang University in Korea 2003.
His career has begun in commercial photography industry but he turned himself to a documentary photographer since 2007.
His project has followed in the theme of ‘Globalisation and it’s impact in contemporary world’ to
raise awareness for changes.
Since 2010, his work has changed conceptually due to show his own understanding of the world, not just as a reportage.
His works have been awarded in Sony world photography awards 2013 and 2015, Environmental photographer of the year 2014, Lens culture visual story telling awards and portrait awards.
His works have been introduced on several international media CNN, Le Monde, The New Yorker, The washington post, Huffington Post, Courrier International and participated in Milan photo festival in Italy ,Flash Forward Festival in Bostonm U.S, Organ Vida Photofestival in Croatia and Pluie d’images in France, Athens Photofestival in Greece.