Jharia, a development block in Jharkhand’s Dhanbad district is famous for its rich coal reserves. Once a thick forested area, Jharia has not been able to withstand the greed of the government and miners.
“A fire underground has been burning,” said Ronny Sen in an article in catchnews.com, “but its presence is now overground, inside homes, temples and schools, in churches and mosques. Places that were once thriving with life are now consumed by flames.”
In the winter of 2013, Sen spent three months in the coalfields of Jharia. He worked on this project, using only his mobile phone. During this time, Sen extensively documented how this particular district has been drained of all its resources and wealth by an insatiable appetite for coal.
In this work, Sen captures a town which helps the country to meet its power needs. But Jharia itself is left unattended, just like the people living here as well. “Survival in an apocalyptic landscape,” as Sen is quoted in the article.
Listen to Ronny Sen’s podcast on Jharia here: https://soundcloud.com/catch-news/ronny-sen-on-the-coal-mines-of-jharia
Born in 1986, Ronny Sen is an independent photographer based in Kolkata. He published his first artist book Khmer Din in 2012. He has had numerous exhibitions in India and abroad. He has received the Sony World Photography Awards, as well as awards from National Geographic Magazine and The Lonely Planet Magazine, amongst others.
The End is part of the projections line-up for this edition of the Delhi Photo Festival starting October 30 at the IGNCA, Delhi.