Climate change and industrialisation might be a subject for research or debate for many, but rarely do these researchers and decision-makers consider its impact on the lives of ordinary fishermen who pay its price everyday. For the fisher folk of southern India, life has only been getting tougher. Rapid industrialisation near the shoreline in Tamil Nadu has triggered massive pollution, which in turn has twisted implications for fishermen. Power plants, salt-based factories, fertiliser plants, and copper smelters by the sea dump untreated effluents and domestic sewage into the waters. This depletes mangrove forests and directly hits marine productivity. The ongoing construction along the shoreline has also changed the wave patterns, causing rapid erosion. In the last 30 years, 200 to 1,500 metres of the shoreline has been lost. For instance, at Iraimandurai village, the sea has claimed two rows of houses lining the beach, and is at the third’s threshold. It has even claimed a huge chunk of a local school. This series of photographs is an attempt to communicate the tough and very real consequences of industialisation near the coastline and the climate change impact on the lives of the fishermen of southern India.
Selvaprakash L (born in 1978, Tirunelveli, India) earned his Masters in Communication from Manonmaniam Sundaranar University. He started his career in photography as a staff photographer for Dinamalar, a Tamil newspaper. Later, he worked with newspapers: Dinakaran and DNA.
Selvaprakash’s work focuses on a wide range of social, political and environmental issues, and has been exhibited at several national and international photography festivals and forums.
He is now Chief Photographer with Time Out, Bangalore, and his photographs have been published in Asian Geo, New Internationalist, Paris Match, and several leading Indian newspapers and magazines.