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Traces of 'Survivance' : Exploring Post-colonialism and  Native Presence in Contemporary India

‘Survivance’ is a term coined by Anishinaabe scholar Gerald Vizenor to describe the resistance and resilience of native communities in the face of colonialism and its legacy. In the context of modern Varanasi, a city in northern India with a rich and complex history of cultural exchange and political domination, ‘survivance’ takes on particular significance for the indigenous communities who have long called this region home. Survivance is not just about survival, but about the ability to thrive and maintain cultural and spiritual practices through generations in the face of historical oppression.

'Traces of Survivance' is a captivating photographic series that delves into the narratives of 'survivance' among the indigenous people of Varanasi, navigating the complex interplay between colonialism and the contemporary Varanasi. It is an exploration of the branches of ‘survivance’ in relation to the experiences of indigenous communities in Varanasi, examining the ways in which they have managed to maintain their cultural heritage and identities in the face of centuries of colonization, displacement, and marginalization. By juxtaposing the colonial era with the present, the series invites viewers to reflect on the intergenerational resilience demonstrated by the locals in the face of historical injustices and the ongoing challenges of the modern world. It prompts contemplation on the complexities of identity, the impacts of cultural assimilation, and the power of heritage in fostering a sense of belonging and continuity.

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