A snake charmer who is performing their thousands year old traditional art. Every day they go to different places, perform to the people and get money. Copy Right: Saikat Ranjan Bhadra
Statement: From the story “A Tale of unhindered people” Snake, whenever we think about this animal a shadow of fear sparkles through our vane. But there is still a community of gypsies who are living a life surrounded by snakes in many parts of Bangladesh; we know them as snake charmers. A free life under the free sky is their custom from an un-noted time. The custom of their livelihood are followed by the same way their ancestors lived generations ago.
More than three year ago out of curiosity I started visiting places where a community of gipsy people lives. Their way of life encouraged me to start a photo project which enabled me to get a better understanding on their daily life. I met group of gipsy’s who were always on the move. I also moved along with them as an observer. My persistent contacts with the gipsy people made me a familiar outsider and I got close to these people whose way of life is increasingly becoming more and more fragile in this ever more becoming globalized world.
The lives we live nowadays are surrounded by many walls. But these snake charmers who happen to be gypsies live a free life under an open sky. On the other hand they lead a life bounded by rituals and taboos. Every group has a leader and all the decisions come from him. They don’t stay at a place more than two to three months. In the group the men earn a living by selling snake charming, spices and giving spiritual advices. On the other hand the women sell bracelets, ornaments and sometimes work as witch doctors.
The twenty first century has given us many things to live for but has brutally taken away the sustainable way of our life as we used to live a simple life in harmony with nature. The gypsies are struggling to save their customs handed down through thousands of years by their distant ancestors. They are still an example of this dying legacy.
Having a lack of interest in academia saikat travelled around the country and abroad, developing a passion for photography. Soon, he started to take courses in it, and chose it as his profession, recently completing Graduation of photography from Pathshala, The South Asian Institute of Photography.
His work on gypsies titled “A Tale of Unhindered People” was part of the international photography festival Chobi Mela V. This story was also exhibited at The Museum of Photography Metenkov House (Russia, Yekaterinburg). And he was also a finalist of “Europe and Asia – Dialogue of cultures”, and international photography contest organized by Museum of Photography in Russia.
He wanted a great traveler from the age of childhood. He also wants be a good man. He realized and realizes social variation and conflict from the different point of view. Firstly he is trying to understand himself then he will try to produce and contribute to the society by his photographic elements.