The thing about history is, that it only accounts for those that have been documented and for the most part those that the ones in power deem necessary for documentation. The other thing about it is that more often than not, entire communities, their cultures and their way of life get forgotten; vanished from existence except for the memories of a few that live to tell the tale.
But with the democratization that the internet brings, it is now possible for history to be written, for those from lesser-known groups to have a say in how they are represented and for their histories both personal and collective to be at the forefront of our collective consciousness.
At the helm of this movement is The Confluence Collective, which is a group of photographers and researchers who are working with their respective interests to create a common platform to bring together visual and oral stories of the Darjeeling-Sikkim Himalayas regions.
In their own words, their endeavour is, “To strengthen this platform by bringing together art practices and research from and of the region. We believe that in doing so we can offer an alternative space to understand the hills and its history beyond the homogenized, colonial discourses that continue to dominate the understanding of the place.”
Through close engagements with the local community, they hope to build a strong creative and collaborative platform fostering a culture of knowledge production and sharing from the margins. The group of researchers and photographers all are from the regions of Kalimpong, Gangtok and Darjeeling.
Find them here.
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