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Aishwarya Arumbakkam

Untitled, Ka Dingiei 2016, Jaflong, Bangladesh Digital

Ka Dingiei
India   www.aishwarya-arumbakkam.com

Ka Dingiei is an ongoing, fictional, photo-story that explores man’s relationship with nature in the face of rapid, un-sustainable environmental destruction. It’s a retelling of the origin myth of the Khasi community, adapted to a modern day context.

The Khasi community of Lama Punji in Jaflong, Sylhet has a long tradition of harmonious existence with nature that’s reflected strongly in their daily life, occupations, myths and rituals. This relationship is a defining part of their identity.

Over the last few years, the area surrounding Lama Punji has been subject to large-scale destruction because of stone and sand mining. Entire mountains have been broken down, rivers diverted and forests wiped out. Markers of the community’s both physical and mythical landscapes have disappeared. Surrounded by mines, the village of Lama Punji is not entirely impervious to these changes, but it has still managed to hold out as an isolated pocket of harmonious living.

Set in three parts, Ka Dingiei is the story of a young boy- Arlangki’s quest to find the mythical Ka Dingiei- an ancient creature rumored to have the power to restore balance in nature. To save his village, and life as they know it, Arlangki sets out on an adventure of discovery- where he learns more about his people, his land and himself.