[ CULTURAL PRACTICES ] A set of photographs that increases the understanding and appreciation of a cultural practice. It can be about festivals, religion, traditions, or contemporary cultural trends. Each submission consists of 5 to 20 images. Each participant is allowed to enter up to 2 submissions. The images must be taken in 2019 or 2020.
The song comes alive as night draws in. Hear it curl beneath the blanket, slip between the fold of cradling arms, in rooms across the world. To an audience of children, a hidden chorus of caregivers fills the night with song. They’re singing lullabies. We’ve been singing them for millennia. Etched with reed on a clay tablet is a Babylonian lullaby that’s more than 5000 years old. By the glow of a phone, or to the thrum of the city, lullabies still charm babies to sleep today. We inherit them, and we pass them on. We carry them across borders and we make new ones along the way. They contain the traces of those who came before us, and they will carry traces of us long after we’re gone. Within lullabies we’ve inscribed our greatest fears, and in the same breath, our prayers, our hopes, and our reassurances. ‘Living Lullabies’ illuminates critical issues facing women and children through the multidisciplinary storytelling of families’ night-time rituals. It explores how caregivers prepare children for sleep in environments fraught with risk, and the unique role of the lullaby as a vector for sense- and place- making. For families in different countries around the world – mothers protecting their children from toxic air in Mongolia, families in Turkey escaping conflict from Syria, teen mothers relying on their communities in Liberia, families grappling with the climate crisis in the Philippines, and essential workers isolating from their children in the USA amidst the COVID-19 pandemic – bedtime rituals are a way of making safety in rapidly changing environments. This project aims to demonstrate how issues at the top of global agendas – conflict, migration, public health, and climate change – affect and are reflected in the stories of bedtime for children around the world.
Beginning of the seventeenth-century the British East India Company arrived in India later they begin to rule India. So there was a shift of administrative and political policy to govern the country under the company rule. It was then the emergence of the Zamindari system eliminating the erstwhile Jaigirdari system in Bengal. Those who were loyal and submitted enormous wealth to the Company were awarded the Zamindari system. Many lost in the process while there was a proliferation of nouveau rich Zamindars. It was the system in the history of Bengal of the emergence of Zamindars or Wealthy Landlords. The British East India Company needed representatives to rule India. The Zamindars class helped the British merchant later on the colonial rule, to facilitate with service for power and wealth there was a substantial rise of the Zamindars as the British power increased. So their coalition with the British monarchy exploited society to increase their wealth. Later in the ninetieth century, many Zamindars had changed their association with the British when the nationalist fervor plagued in Bengal. Overnight the status of these aristocrat families changed on 15th August 1947, the day of India’s independence. The privileged class of society completely reduced to an ordinary citizen of India. Like fellow countrymen, they tooled a normal life and took various employment services for survival. My project is about the social and political condition of the descendants of the Zamindars in the decolonization period in independent India. These families are an important part of the history of Calcutta and Bengal. I’m archiving the history of the Zamindars, their culture, aristocracy, tradition in the decolonization period through their present descendants.
I first had the idea to dedicate this cycle of works to dacha life [country living] almost by accident, when I was already in the process of shooting. I had a literal stroke of inspiration. I had never had a dacha before, nor been exposed to any of the stereotypical things one finds in a Russian country house: woodturning stoves, antique trunks with old clothes in them, a family garden or fresh strawberries from the patch with cream. In this cycle I have tried to achieve several things: explore the paradox of sifting through an old album of my own [cultural] memory, but simultaneously coming to terms with the fact hat I have no such memories. While I had certain associations, and my idea of country life was not a metaphorical tabula rasa, coming face to face with the realities of country life made my own preconceptions seem as though they were inversions, or reflections, as they might appear on an undeveloped negative. With all my subjects, in Perm, Voronezh and in Leningrad Oblast I tried to come closer to understanding and capturing all the small joys of Russian dacha culture which I had never experienced before. This cycle of works is an attempt to get intimately close to the metaphorical Other, to explore the limits of platonic friendship, to explore the connections between the Corporeal and the Natural, and ultimately to capture the essence of my generation. In the euphoria of dacha life, I was able to understand myself in a new way, to be at peace and in harmony with myself. The feelings of loneliness and unease which plague both me personally and my generation generally were eased, at least for a time. My project is an attempt to capture the paradox of nostalgia for something which I have never felt or had, until now.
The Old Believers begin their record from the introduction of Christianity into Russia. The patriarch Nikon’s reform led to the church Schism: in 1656 the Russian Orthodox Church Council declared all those who crossed themselves with two fingers heretics. The Schism is one of the biggest tragedies in Russian history. There is some evidence that about one third of the population was killed as a result. The aftermaths of this mishap can still be seen. One cannot say that the Old Believers today have gotten over this historical background, sloughed off the old offences that had built up over the centuries; neither has the public attitude towards them changed much. Throughout their history the Old Believers have fought for the right to believe the way they considered the only possible, that it the way their fathers believed. Conservatism and closed nature of the Oldbelievers’ community that allowed them to preserve theirbelief, traditions and culture over three hundred years, thus protecting themselves from the intrusion of the often dangerous and destructive outside world. The Russian Orthodox Church rehabilitated the Old Believers in 1971, but religiosity was not encouraged by the state until Perestroika. Therefore, today’s Old Believers are either people who have adopted the tradition from their grandparents, or who have passed the path of a Soviet citizen and only returned to religion in the 1990s, or those who managed to go to the taiga, to remote villages-so far that the authorities did not reach them. Some were engaged in work that did not require the image of an atheist Soviet citizen-so believers could do what they saw fit with almost impunity. Now the Old Believers face a new challenge-openness.