Protick Sarker | Exodus

Country of origin: Bangladesh
Project location: Bangladesh
Program: Magnum Foundation Fund
Year: 2018

This project is a continuation of a long-term exploration photographing abandoned feudal estates and decaying buildings previously owned by Hindu jamindars, or landlords. The changing relationship between the land, its rulers and subjects as reflected in these regions is also a story of Bengal’s history. While contextualized by the events of the region, the work reflects broader philosophical ideas about the scale, directionality, and universality of time.

Making the work was a combination of the long exposures and a methodical revisiting and photographing at very specific times of the day and in the year. This introduces another kind of time experience different from historical time, one that belongs instead to the cycles of the natural world, and includes the diurnal movement of day to night, and the rotation of seasons as they relate to agriculture. Such notions of cyclical time are shared and mythologised by many cultures, and suggests both the inexorable loss of time passing but also the possibilities presented by a kind of time that begins to end and ends to begin.