Selvaprakash Lakshmanan: Life in Troubled Waters

 
I saw this house sink into the sea at Ennore, Tamil Nadu. Soil erosion is caused by rapid construction in these areas and many homes face the danger of being swallowed by the sea. Photograph/Selvaprakash Lakshmanan

I saw this house sink into the sea at Ennore, Tamil Nadu. Soil erosion is caused by rapid construction in these areas and many homes face the danger of being swallowed by the sea. Photograph/Selvaprakash Lakshmanan

Selvaprakash Lakshmanan documents the complexity of India’s coasts, while travelling from Chennai to Gokarna.

When we see India’s coastline in photographs, the imagery is dominated by serene beaches and sunsets. However, the real story of the country’s shoreline and the fishing communities is quite the opposite. The issues are layered and complex, often directly and indirectly affecting one another.

Everything is co-related and I want to portray that in my series. Two intermingling narratives make for a stronger impact. Photograph/Selvaprakash Lashmanan

Everything is co-related and I want to portray that in my series. Two intermingling narratives make for a stronger impact. Photograph/Selvaprakash Lashmanan

The fisherfolk have to deal with the steady deterioration of their habitat as erosion, indiscriminate construction and urban waste overwhelm the coasts. The fragile ecology of the region, in turn, is adversely affected.

Since 2008, I have been documenting the entire length of India’s coastline. People need to see the real state of our coasts and the people who inhabit them.

When Tackling A Layered Social Topic

  • Adopt the Lifestyle: To truly understand the problem, you must experience it from the eyes of the affected.
  • Don’t Give Yourself a Deadline: With such wide-ranging topics, events occur gradually and you need to devote time covering them.

About Selvaprakash Lakshmanan
He is a photographer and visual journalist based in Bengaluru. His work has been featured in ‘Time Out’, ‘Asia Geo’ and ‘The New York Times’ amongst other publications. He received a fellowship from the National Foundation of India for his series ‘Life in Troubled Waters’.

— As told to Natasha Desai
To view more of Selvaprakash’s work, visit www.facebook.com/lifeintroubledwaters

Tags: documentary photography, Fishermen, india, India's Coasts, photoessay, photography, Selvaprakash Lakshmanan