PHOTOGRAPHY

AWARDS 2020

DEBASISH GHOSH

India

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Abandoned Town

2019

 

ABOUT THE ARTWORK: Dhanushkodi is an abandoned town at the south-eastern tip of Pamban Island of the state of Tamil Nadu, India. It lies just 24 kilometers west of Talaimannar, Sri Lanka. It had houses, a school, a church, clinics, a temple, a post office and a railway station. In 1964, a cyclone, often regarded as one of the strongest storms to ever strike India, destroyed the town. It made landfall on December 23rd with wind speeds estimated at 240 km/h and a storm surge 25 feet high. This flooded the entire town and killed an estimated 800 people. An additional 200 people were killed when the Pamban – Dhanushkodi passenger train overturned into the sea during the surge. After this incident, the Madras government declared Dhanushkodi unfit for human habitation. Nearly 53 years later, this ghost town has slowly come under the radar of tourists who come to see the ruins of the buildings that once made up this small, bustling town. Many structures that remain are falling apart and are getting buried under sand at a rather rapid pace. The half-buried houses and the isolation lent a haunted feel to this ghost town. Since this town is at zero meters elevation, it also has a chance of disappearing due to rising sea levels. These photographs shows what remains of this once thriving community which has now been left to the forces of nature.

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Debasish Ghosh is a documentary photographer currently based in Bangalore, India. He has been working since 2007 on various essential projects covering Tradition, cultures, Spot News and Street photography for more than a decade. He was awarded internationally for many of his projects, including the IPA- International Photography Awards -2016 - First Place in People Culture Category, Px3- Paris 2017 - Silver prize in Book / Documentary Category. IPA- International Photography Awards -2019 - Second Place in Editorial/Press/Photo/Essay/Feature Story

His much-noted work on Bellandur lake pollution at Bangalore received international exposure on the worldwide press and this was published worldwide. It was featured notably by BBC, the Guardian, City Lab, business insider and many others. Some of his works were published by Lens Magazine, National Geographic books and National Geographic Travel Magazine (India). Some of his works were exhibited by Midwest Center for Photography, Glasgow Gallery of Photography and Black Box Gallery juried international photo show.