I OFTEN THINK OF THOSE I LEFT BEHIND
by Shivani Dass, photographer
Hardback
Rs. 2499

The photographs of the Chin people in this book fill the eye with these dilemmas. As ethnic minorities from Myanmar living in exile in the Indian capital, most of the men, women and children you see in these images have refugee status accorded to them by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and live in unspeakable hardship. But even without any knowledge of their precise circumstances, you can see them suffering from various maladies of the body and mind, perhaps from memories of the home they have been forced to leave behind. Captured in natural light, these images seem to exude a yellow gloom, conveying the jaundiced mood of the setting. There are pockets of darkness in these photographs, as though a metaphor for their lives. The handful of families represented in this project embody the traumas and tragedies that define the lives of a majority of the Chin community in India.