Amphibious lives: River islands, vulnerability, and everyday life in the Brahmaputra Valley
Project start: 2022
This study aims at documenting the socio-ecological transformations of the island geographies in the Brahmaputra valley and the everyday life and struggles of the local communities. The central focus of this project is Majuli and its surrounding riverine islands in Assam. Over the years, the twin processes of flooding and riverbank erosion have rendered these geographies highly vulnerable, causing displacement, outmigration and livelihood crisis. Climate change exacerbates the risks faced by these fragile landscapes and their population.
This project – a documentary – is an attempt to capture, on the one hand, the fragility and vulnerability of these riverine environments and, on the other, the stories of everyday life and ingenuity of the rural population on these islands. Furthermore, it will document sustainable rural practices, which are particularly significant in the context of climate change and the destabilisation of the local ecological base.
The twin objectives of this documentary are as follows:
(a) to contribute to our scholarly understanding of the political ecological processes that have made and remade the island geographies in the Brahmaputra valley, and
(b) to inform public policies on water governance, disaster management, and rural livelihoods in Majuli and similar places elsewhere.