1/

Dignity Project – Amnesty International

2008 - India
Personal project taken into the group assignment from Amnesty International France to Oeil Public agency, for their project 'Dignity'
Odisha State (formerly known as Orissa) is a mineral basket for the country's new economy, situated at the center of the tribal belt. Local government has opened doors wide to industrial investments. But the mining activity is brutal, greedy, and pay virtually no attention to the human cost it has in its wake. Low caste and indigenous people pay the heaviest price.
« The Approach Paper for the 11th Plan could not have put this better or more explicitly: "Our practices regarding rehabilitation of those displaced from their land because of development projects are seriously deficient and are responsible for a growing perception of exclusion and marginalisation. The costs of displacement borne by our tribal population have been unduly high, and compensation has been tardy and inadequate, leading to serious unrest in many tribal regions. /.../
Personal projects
/.../ This discontent is likely to grow exponentially if the benefits from enforced land acquisition are seen accruing to private interests, or even to the state, at the cost of those displaced. To prevent even greater conflict (…) it is necessary to frame a transparent set of policy rules that address compensation, and make the affected persons beneficiaries of the projects, and to give these rules a legal format". » (Opinion - Prem Shankar Jha, Outlook magazine).

To read pictures’ captions click on the images hereunder.

Visual Portfolio, Posts & Image Gallery for WordPress
Juang tribe. Keonjhar district is a highly forested area, and huge minerals deposits lie underground. Mostly inhabited by indigenous – Adivasi – communities, these fragile populations are under constant threat of industrial projects that would displace them and then destroy their lives. Orissa, april 2008.
Indigenous – Adivasi – village of Kucheipadar, centre of the opposition against the bauxite mining site run by UAIL (Utkal Aluminium International Ltd) for the tribal populations displaced by the bauxite exploitation. This mining project on tribal lands has generated the famous conflict of Kashipur. Between moments of calm and return of the police violence, the project is still going on. But there are still villages of opponents who don’t give out their lands and resist to the pressure. Rayagada district, Orissa.
Indigenous – Adivasi – village of Kucheipadar, centre of the opposition against the bauxite mining site run by UAIL (Utkal Aluminium International Ltd) for the tribal populations displaced by the bauxite exploitation. This mining project on tribal lands has generated the famous conflict of Kashipur. Between moments of calm and return of the police violence, the project is still going on. But there are still villages of opponents who don’t give out their lands and resist to the pressure. Rayagada district, Orissa.
Woman back from the water pump. Paudibhuyan tribe. Keonjhar district is a highly forested area, and huge minerals deposits lie underground. Mostly inhabited by indigenous – Adivasi – communities, these fragile populations are under constant threat of industrial projects that would displace them and then destroy their lives. Orissa, april 2008.
Villagers information meeting. Tata Steel plans to build a new steel plant in Kalinga Nagar, an industrial hub, which implies farmers villages displacement. On january 2d, 2006, police forces killed 14 villagers, all of them indigenous – Adivasi – during a demonstration to shout out against bad financial compensations, and because they don’t want to abandon their farming land. Since then opposition has been going on. Orissa, april 2008.
Memorial of the 14 farmers killed in 2006. Tata Steel plans to build a new steel plant in Kalinga Nagar, an industrial hub, which implies farmers villages displacement. On january 2d, 2006, police forces killed 14 villagers, all of them indigenous – Adivasi – during a demonstration to shout out against bad financial compensations, and because they don’t want to abandon their farming land. Since then opposition has been going on. Orissa, april 2008.
Jogendra Jamuda, activist fighting against Tata Steel industrial project, was gunshot. This would have been done by Tata hired hands, according to Rabindra Jarika, leader of the villagers opposition movement. Tata Steel plans to build a new steel plant in Kalinga Nagar, an industrial hub, which implies farmers villages displacement. On january 2d, 2006, police forces killed 14 villagers, all of them indigenous – Adivasi – during a demonstration to shout out against bad financial compensations, and because they don’t want to abandon their farming land. Since then opposition has been going on. Orissa, april 2008.
Dhinkia, the opponents to Posco industrial project headquarters. Villagers from Dhinkia and several others don’t want to abandon their land at any cost. Because agriculture in this region is doing pretty well, especially thanks to betel leaf cultivation. Posco, a south korean world leader in the steel industry wants to mine huge iron deposits in the northern district of Keonjhar. For that purpose they plan to build a steel plant and a port on the coast, which implies farmers villages displacement. Orissa, april 2008.
Protest day of villagers opposing to Posco industrial project. Authorities fearing violence outbreaks put the area under tight watch and restricted access. Posco, a south korean world leader in the steel industry wants to mine huge iron deposits in the northern district of Keonjhar. For that purpose they plan to build a steel plant and a port on the coast, which implies farmers villages displacement. Orissa, april 2008.
Protest day of villagers opposing to Posco industrial project. Authorities fearing violence outbreaks put the area under tight watch and restricted access. Posco, a south korean world leader in the steel industry wants to mine huge iron deposits in the northern district of Keonjhar. For that purpose they plan to build a steel plant and a port on the coast, which implies farmers villages displacement. Orissa, april 2008.
Protest day of villagers opposing to Posco industrial project. Authorities fearing violence outbreaks put the area under tight watch and restricted access. Posco, a south korean world leader in the steel industry wants to mine huge iron deposits in the northern district of Keonjhar. For that purpose they plan to build a steel plant and a port on the coast, which implies farmers villages displacement. Orissa, april 2008.
Illegal construction to bring the bauxite from the mountain top, built by Vedanta. In Kalahandi district, british company Vedanta plans to extract bauxite from the Nyamgiri mountain, which is a biodiversity haven and where a rare tribe lives : the Dongria Kondh. They entirely depend on forest produces and worship the mountain. They are about 8000 members only. Vedanta started construction works without official agreement, and every action from the company here has been characterized by scorn, corruption, bullying and biased communication. Orissa, april 2008.
Nyamigiri mountain forest. In Kalahandi district, british company Vedanta plans to extract bauxite from the Nyamgiri mountain, which is a biodiversity haven and where a rare tribe lives : the Dongria Kondh. They entirely depend on forest produces and worship the mountain. They are about 8000 members only. Vedanta started construction works without official agreement, and every action from the company here has been characterized by scorn, corruption, bullying and biased communication. Orissa, april 2008.
In a Dongria Kondh tribe forest village. In Kalahandi district, british company Vedanta plans to extract bauxite from the Nyamgiri mountain, which is a biodiversity haven and where a rare tribe lives : the Dongria Kondh. They entirely depend on forest produces and worship the mountain. They are about 8000 members only. Vedanta started construction works without official agreement, and every action from the company here has been characterized by scorn, corruption, bullying and biased communication. Orissa, april 2008.
Trucks loaded with bauxite from outside mines from Kalahandi line up in front of Vedanta plant. In Kalahandi district, british company Vedanta plans to extract bauxite from the Nyamgiri mountain, which is a biodiversity haven and where a rare tribe lives : the Dongria Kondh. They entirely depend on forest produces and worship the mountain. They are about 8000 members only. Vedanta started construction works without official agreement, and every action from the company here has been characterized by scorn, corruption, bullying and biased communication. Orissa, april 2008.
This woman lives in a village supposed to be displaced by Vedanta industrial project. She tells that one day all men were taken away by some company’s hired hands, to give them time to build, illegaly, a surrounding wall for the future plant. She also had to go through violence from the local police. In Kalahandi district, british company Vedanta plans to extract bauxite from the Nyamgiri mountain, which is a biodiversity haven and where a rare tribe lives : the Dongria Kondh. They entirely depend on forest produces and worship the mountain. They are about 8000 members only. Vedanta started construction works without official agreement, and every action from the company here has been characterized by scorn, corruption, bullying and biased communication. Orissa, april 2008.
Resettlement site for villagers displaced by Vedanta industrial project. Most of villagers don’t want to live in such place, and if they do it is often by force. In Kalahandi district, british company Vedanta plans to extract bauxite from the Nyamgiri mountain, which is a biodiversity haven and where a rare tribe lives : the Dongria Kondh. They entirely depend on forest produces and worship the mountain. They are about 8000 members only. Vedanta started construction works without official agreement, and every action from the company here has been characterized by scorn, corruption, bullying and biased communication. Orissa, april 2008.
Polluted stream in a poor neighbourhood of Joda town. Joda mines are at the heart of iron ore extraction in Orissa, and among the largest iron deposits in Asia. More than 50 companies are operating in the area, and local mafia have also been lining their pockets for some time. The great majority of the mine workers are the lower castes and the tribals – the Adivasis. They form a bulk of poor people exploited to the extreme. For them education is almost inexistent, employment highly insecure and sanitary conditions deplorable. The pollution is everywhere : in the air, in the rivers and the soil. Joda region, Orissa, June 2008.
Joda mines are at the heart of iron ore extraction in Orissa, and among the largest iron deposits in Asia. More than 50 companies are operating in the area, and local mafia have also been lining their pockets for some time. The great majority of the mine workers are the lower castes and the tribals – the Adivasis. They form a bulk of poor people exploited to the extreme. For them education is almost inexistent, employment highly insecure and sanitary conditions deplorable. The pollution is everywhere : in the air, in the rivers and the soil. Joda region, Orissa, June 2008.
Joda mines are at the heart of iron ore extraction in Orissa, and among the largest iron deposits in Asia. More than 50 companies are operating in the area, and local mafia have also been lining their pockets for some time. The great majority of the mine workers are the lower castes and the tribals – the Adivasis. They form a bulk of poor people exploited to the extreme. For them education is almost inexistent, employment highly insecure and sanitary conditions deplorable. The pollution is everywhere : in the air, in the rivers and the soil. Joda region, Orissa, June 2008.
Joda mines are at the heart of iron ore extraction in Orissa, and among the largest iron deposits in Asia. More than 50 companies are operating in the area, and local mafia have also been lining their pockets for some time. The great majority of the mine workers are the lower castes and the tribals – the Adivasis. They form a bulk of poor people exploited to the extreme. For them education is almost inexistent, employment highly insecure and sanitary conditions deplorable. The pollution is everywhere : in the air, in the rivers and the soil. Joda region, Orissa, June 2008.
Workers household. Joda mines are at the heart of iron ore extraction in Orissa, and among the largest iron deposits in Asia. More than 50 companies are operating in the area, and local mafia have also been lining their pockets for some time. The great majority of the mine workers are the lower castes and the tribals – the Adivasis. They form a bulk of poor people exploited to the extreme. For them education is almost inexistent, employment highly insecure and sanitary conditions deplorable. The pollution is everywhere : in the air, in the rivers and the soil. Joda region, Orissa, June 2008.
Joda mines are at the heart of iron ore extraction in Orissa, and among the largest iron deposits in Asia. More than 50 companies are operating in the area, and local mafia have also been lining their pockets for some time. The great majority of the mine workers are the lower castes and the tribals – the Adivasis. They form a bulk of poor people exploited to the extreme. For them education is almost inexistent, employment highly insecure and sanitary conditions deplorable. The pollution is everywhere : in the air, in the rivers and the soil. Joda region, Orissa, June 2008.
Joda mines are at the heart of iron ore extraction in Orissa, and among the largest iron deposits in Asia. More than 50 companies are operating in the area, and local mafia have also been lining their pockets for some time. The great majority of the mine workers are the lower castes and the tribals – the Adivasis. They form a bulk of poor people exploited to the extreme. For them education is almost inexistent, employment highly insecure and sanitary conditions deplorable. The pollution is everywhere : in the air, in the rivers and the soil. Joda region, Orissa, June 2008.
Trilachan Mohanta, 30, has had TB for a year and a half. Luckily, he is followed by a doctor thanks to a fund created by residents of the neighborhood. He was born here, Juruli small town, never got a job, and is an OBC (Other Backward Classes), a low caste most despised and neglected in India. Joda mines are at the heart of iron ore extraction in Orissa, and among the largest iron deposits in Asia. More than 50 companies are operating in the area, and local mafia have also been lining their pockets for some time. The great majority of the mine workers are the lower castes and the tribals – the Adivasis. They form a bulk of poor people exploited to the extreme. For them education is almost inexistent, employment highly insecure and sanitary conditions deplorable. The pollution is everywhere : in the air, in the rivers and the soil. Joda region, Orissa, april 2008.
Child’s toy. Joda mines are at the heart of iron ore extraction in Orissa, and among the largest iron deposits in Asia. More than 50 companies are operating in the area, and local mafia have also been lining their pockets for some time. The great majority of the mine workers are the lower castes and the tribals – the Adivasis. They form a bulk of poor people exploited to the extreme. For them education is almost inexistent, employment highly insecure and sanitary conditions deplorable. The pollution is everywhere : in the air, in the rivers and the soil. Joda region, Orissa, June 2008.

Exhibitions / Publications
  • DIGNITY exhibition – Hotel de Ville, Paris, France, 2010 / Ensemble Conventuel des Jacobins, Toulouse, France, 2011 / Snite Museum of Arts de l’Université de Notre Dame en Indiana, Etats-Unis, 2012 / Hotel de Ville, Strasbourg, France, 2014.
  • Dignity Book by Editions Textuel, 2010.
  • Use of one image in Survival International Calendar 2015.
  • Published portfolio in La Vie Magazine, 2010.

Press coverage

France 24 – Dignité, le dernier regard de l’Œil Public. Un beau sujet pour la dernière exposition de l’Œil public, un collectif de photojournalistes engagés qui a dû déposer le bilan en janvier dernier après 15 années d’activité.
France Info – Interview de Johann Rousselot et Michael Zumstein par Claire Baudéan.
Le Figaro – Interview audio des cinq photographes de l’exposition
Photo.fr – Amnesty International et l’Oeil Public veulent la Dignité
Le Monde de la Photo – Interview de Johann Rousselot
La Vie – Des photos pour la dignité de l’homme
La Chaine Tele – Video
Elle – Expo : « Dignité droits humains et pauvreté »

RFI – Culture Vive du 26 mai 2010, par Pascal Paradou

Leave a comment

Scroll Up