A little girl sleeps on her sister’s lap in a village in Jharia, Jharkhand. Their parents are coal pickers.
An underground fire has been burning in Jharia for the last hundred years or so. The heat makes it almost unbearable to live in the region. Efforts to stop the fire have been in vain. That fire has now spread overground. The CPM recently told the 14th Finance Commission that the fire in the Jharia coalfields of Dhanbad should be considered a ‘national disaster’.
Arpita Singh’s work, irrespective of its theme and ambition, is touched by a deeply personal, almost mystical, truth. Broken phrases and stray words are strewn all over her images, to set up the context to which these may be anchored