Thousands of farmers in India, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, are protesting against Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Central government's recently enacted three farm laws. In Delhi's biting cold, the farmers are staying put at the borders of the national capital from over four weeks now and demanding a repeal of the contentious laws. Projected as major reforms in the agricultural sector by the Centre, the agitating farmers have expressed apprehension over the laws. Several rounds of talks between the government and the protesting farmers were held but the deadlock persists.
Meanwhile, a striking photograph of a farmer from Tamil Nadu's Tiruvannamalai is going viral on social media. However, the picture hasn't been taken amid the ongoing agitation. The photograph was clicked by a self-taught photographer from Kerala's Kondotty, Biju Ibrahim, in 2016. In the stunning picture, Ibrahim has captured a scrawny and penurious farmer toiling hard in a rice field. Wearing a loincloth, the farmer is seen standing alongside his two bullocks.
Biju Ibrahim's amazing photography, capturing the essence of rustic geographies, isn't only limited to this one picture. His Instagram (@bijuibrahim) is populated with breathtaking clicks from all over south India.
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In 2017, Biju Ibrahim's photographic oeuvre was one among 21 artists' work encompassing south Asian geographies selected for the Young Subcontinent Project at the Serendipity Arts Festival curated by Riyas Komu. Ibrahim's photographs were displayed at the Transcendence Kochi exhibition. The photographs were a visual anthropological documentation of 42 diverse communities living in the historic town of Mattancherry in Kochi, Kerala. The exhibition was hailed as a poignant, powerful reminder in an increasingly xenophobic world.
Ibrahim was also involved in the fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale -- largest art exhibition in the country and the biggest contemporary art festival in Asia -- as the campaign photographer of it’s my biennale series in 2018.
(With inputs from Niranjalli Varma)