Soumya Sankar Bose

Where the Birds Never Sing

Where the Birds Never Sing is a visual documentation of the memories, reminiscences and repercussions of the Marichjhapi Massacre on its survivors. For this project, Bose has merged portraits shot by him with existing material from some of the around 1,000 Bangladeshi refugees who were forcibly evicted from Marichjhapi Island in Sundarbans, West Bengal, India, in 1979. The intricate weaving of facts and fiction, past and present, enlightens several perspectives of the same narrative, forming a cryptic framework to be decoded by the viewers.

The Marichjhapi island, where the massacre took place, 40 years later.

Collecting honey from forest was the only profession for Marichjhapi people. This mark was left by a tiger that attacked Monoj babu while he was collecting honey from the Sundarban forest.

During the police firing at Marichjhapi, Kalipada Babu swam through the river Kumirmari and settled at Ballabpur, a village near Ichamoti River in India.

Reenactment of the houses that were burnt by the police in Sundarbans, West Bengal, India, according to the memory of one of the survivors.

See the project on Witness

See more work by 2019 Joop Swart Masterclass participants here