Monthly Archives: May 2014

The Asia Foundation 60th anniversary

In Jaliakhali village a women stands outside her home which was

 

I have had the pleasure of working on assignment for The Asia Foundation since 2009.  I am pleased to share that they are also now celebrating their 60th anniversary, as part of this they have created an interactive timeline which I think is pretty damn cool!

As part of the anniversary timeline project their team has created three separate multimedia pieces in which I discuss my work for The Asia Foundation.

Here is the first piece  from Timor-Leste, a country very dear to me and somewhere I have returned many times since I was 18 years old.

A piece from Bangladesh talking about my work there.

Finally my piece talking about migrant labor in Nepal.

Durga Puja: A city celebrates

It has finally happened. Thanks Durga and the other thousands gods in the Hindu pantheon! The edit of my series Durga Puja: A city celebrates is finally live here on my website.

 

The small workshops in Kumortuli work through the night during festival season to finish producing the idols for Durga Puja as well as other Hindu festivals. Photo: Conor Ashleigh © 2014. All rights reserved.

The small workshops in Kumortuli work through the night during festival season to finish producing the idols for Durga Puja as well as other Hindu festivals. Photo: Conor Ashleigh © 2014. All rights reserved.

While the Durga puja it is celebrated in a number of eastern states across India, the celebrations found in Calcutta are unrivaled in size and budgets. My Bengali friends have shared many stories of the annual Durga Puja celebration. Finally, 2013 was the year I was there too.

 

 

Labourers sleep in between jobs in an empty workshop in Kumortuli. Kumortuli is the artisan area of Calcutta where the Durga statues are made for the 10 day long hindu festival. Most labourers are Muslim farmers from rural West Bengal who come to the capital for the festival season. Photo: Conor Ashleigh © 2014 All rights reserved.

Labourers sleep in between jobs in an empty workshop in Kumortuli. Kumortuli is the artisan area of Calcutta where the Durga statues are made for the 10 day long hindu festival. Most labourers are Muslim farmers from rural West Bengal who come to the capital for the festival season. Photo: Conor Ashleigh © 2014 All rights reserved.

Ever since I first spent three months in Calcutta at the age of 18, I have held a deep affection for the city. Throughout my number of visits to Calcutta, I have been blessed to walk the streets most days with my friend and fellow ‘chobi wallah’, Siddhartha Hajra. I would strongly urge people to check out Sid’s work here. When I was 18 and just starting to dabble with photography, Sid was the first person I met who showed a serious interest in the craft. I still vividly remember Sid and I talking about photography as we walked along the banks of the Hooghly River.

Labourers add the last minute touches to the Kanan park pandal a day before the famous pandal hopping begins. Photo: Conor Ashleigh © 2014. All rights reserved.

Labourers add the last minute touches to the Kanan park pandal a day before the famous pandal hopping begins. Photo: Conor Ashleigh © 2014. All rights reserved.

I am currently working through final edits of my Durga Puja short film which will accompany this photo essay, so stay tuned for an update. You may even be able to hear a bit of the sound I captured below.

 

Here I am recording audio of drummers on the banks of the Hooghly river. Photo: Sidhharta Hajra © 2014. All rights reserved.

Here I am recording audio of drummers on the banks of the Hooghly river. Photo: Sidhharta Hajra © 2014. All rights reserved.