COCOON

Slide Three

COCOON
IN CONVERSATION WITH
SWAPAN NAYAK

Swapan Nayak is an India-based creative practitioner, with a deeply philosophical approach to the process of image-making. An alternative approach to photography along with 19th-century printmaking techniques using rock minerals has become his main area of interest lately. Swapan Nayak’s images are an attempt to capture a transitory otherworldliness and an expression of the joys of spiritual submission.

He was awarded the National Media Fellowship (2002-2003) by the National Foundation for India, the Nirmaan Photography fellowship award in 2006, and the National Senior Fellowship in photography for the period of 2009-2011 by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India.

His work has been published in Time, News Week, Asia Week, Southern exposure among others. He also worked on the photographic versions of the book The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh and The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai. Nayak has held three solo exhibitions 'Nowhere People', 'Refugees in their own land', ' Bring and Nothingness', and was also part of the exhibition 'Click! Contemporary photography from India' organized by Vadehra Art Gallery in 2008.

Slide Three

COCOON
IN CONVERSATION WITH
SWAPAN NAYAK

Swapan Nayak is an India-based creative practitioner, with a deeply philosophical approach to the process of image-making. An alternative approach to photography along with 19th-century printmaking techniques using rock minerals has become his main area of interest lately. Swapan Nayak’s images are an attempt to capture a transitory otherworldliness and an expression of the joys of spiritual submission.

He was awarded the National Media Fellowship (2002-2003) by the National Foundation for India, the Nirmaan Photography fellowship award in 2006, and the National Senior Fellowship in photography for the period of 2009-2011 by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India.

His work has been published in Time, News Week, Asia Week, Southern exposure among others. He also worked on the photographic versions of the book The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh and The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai. Nayak has held three solo exhibitions 'Nowhere People', 'Refugees in their own land', ' Bring and Nothingness', and was also part of the exhibition 'Click! Contemporary photography from India' organized by Vadehra Art Gallery in 2008.

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Cocoon In
Conversation with
Swapan Nayak

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Slide

Cocoon In
Conversation with
Swapan Nayak

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Issue December 2021 - January 2022

cocoon editorial

Nagaland’s Mon district was flooded with the blood of 13 civilians as Indian security forces opened fire at them, “mistaking them for insurgents “- 4th December 2021.
Since my childhood, I noticed that all the countries of this dear blue planet are in possession of weapons and fear, and we, civilians, are in possession of only one thing- uncertainty. The country possesses pride and wealth, we possess an almost collapsed spine and a restless life to make our days end meet.
Sometimes we take birth as farmers and then our land is flooded, sometimes we are born as school teachers and the pension doesn’t come through after retirement, the same ‘we’ sign an 8 hours service contract to a corporate office yet we are forced to spend 12 hours and return home like a robot.
We are born and a constant running for survival starts till the day we die while the power-hungry nation sits comfortably, watching and howling in laughter as we struggle. We die and the nation is directly or indirectly is responsible for it, we die and we become just a nameless corpse with a number to them.

“Politicians hide away
They only started the war
Why should they go out to fight?
They leave that role to the poor, yeah”

– ‘War Pigs’, Black Sabbath.

Even after this, there are some people who set sail to find the meaning of this life, sometimes like Miyazaki they mutter-I’m not going to make movies that tell children, “You should despair and run away”, or sometimes they just want to jog their life in reverse after turning forty just like Sukumar Ray, or those same people, to stand with their claim, can march towards nation’s capital and continue to protest for a year, empowering everyone on how to fight the power.

This issue contains Siva’s photo story on the missing people of Kashmir. Siva, using family photo album, has tried to speak about those who went missing when they tried to speak against the power. I once asked Ahanger what ‘justice’ would mean for her and the families of the victims. “Give our children back to us, can India do this?” she asked (excerpt from Siva’s photo story).

Sandip Dhara’s ‘Gonokoborer Deshe’ is a collection of fictional letters that is deeply rooted in harsh reality. There he repeatedly tried to highlight how innocent people who had taken up arms are crushed when two megalomaniac nations collide.

“পাশের কোল্ড চেম্বারটায় যে শুয়ে আছে ওর নাম জাফর – নুসেইরাত রিফিউজি ক্যাম্পে যখন থাকতে শুরু করে তখন ওর বয়স আট। মাংস কি ক্রমে ঠান্ডা হয়ে আসছে আমাদের? চোখের সামনে মাকে ধর্ষিত হতে দেখে ক্যাম্প ছেড়ে জাফর যখন পালিয়ে যায় তখন ওর বয়স পনের কি ষোলো। লা হাবানা – তুমি বলেছিলে পৃথিবীর সমস্ত কফিশপের একটাই নাম।”

(excerpt from ‘Gonokoborer Deshe’).  Our December-January issue is going to start off with ‘Gonokoborer Deshe’. We are extremely fortunate to have these incredibly powerful letters in our hands.

Along with these, we have Ohida Khandakar’s series of paintings titled ‘Dine Dupure’ and a review of the movie ‘Matir Mayna’ written by Aranya Sarkar.

June 2017- A young boy named Junaid Khan was stabbed to death in a local train at Delhi in broad daylight only because he was wearing a head cap. This incident shook the whole of India along with Ohida. After feeling traumatized for some time Ohida finally came out and painted a series of paintings and gave them the title ‘Dine Dupure’.

While researching about this Bengal (West Bengal), Aranya came across another Bengal’s (Bangladesh) history in ‘Matir Mayna’ which was directed by Tarek Masud. After watching ‘Matir Mayna’ Aranya has beautifully described the socio-political scenarios of Bangladesh during its freedom fight. Tales of the micro-community living inside a larger community were repeatedly told in his review.

Team Cocoon feels the resurgence of this newfound courage after publishing the works of such people in this December-January issue. We truly believe the time has come to fix our collapsed spine.

As the editor, I intentionally would not conclude this editorial rather write the lines from Kabir Suman’s song which I was remembered while writing-

দেখ ফুলমনি ভোরের কাগজে তোমার ছবিটা ছাপা

শান্ত নরম মুখের গভীরে বিদ্রোহ আছে চাপা

ভেতরে আগুন বাইরে আগুন গুজরাট হয়ে জ্বলে

বুকের আগুন বাঁচিয়ে রাখাকে সন্ত্রাসবাদ বলে।

শোন ফুলমনি তোমায় ছবিতে দেখে নীরবে কাঁদি

আমার কান্না আগুন জ্বালালে আমি সন্ত্রাসবাদী’

 

–   Abir Ganguly, Editor

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