With interest in and around the themes of communities, environment, and interdependencies, Aashish tries to look for related stories in vernacular parallels of geography. Peripatetic lifestyle and the transhumance among the Jadh Bhotia tribe have been a banal part of their existence for centuries. His motive lay in unravelling the choice of a nomadic life over the luxuries and modernities of urban society. The radical importance of this documentary project is highlighted by the current generation of the community collectively forgoing this practice and gradually shifting to cities.
The bi-annual migration of a Jadh Bhotia tribe majorly comprises two primary events. One, they travel from the lower Himalayan regions to the Upper ranges. Two, they abandon the occupied land for 6 months to reoccupy it in the next winter season.
This abandonment shows its sign on the land until the community again arrives later in the year. This aspect of abandonment and the travels of the community is the central theme of this work. Through his photographs, Aashish looked at the unfound presence of these migratory groups in various geographies of their travel.
Aashish explored the core concepts of movement, abandonment, re-establishment, construction, and disintegration that are central to the migrating Jadh Bhotia community through photographs of the land in redundant states of presence and absence of the periodically habituating community members and environmental portraits of the community members as central subject to this land.
This project attempts to portray the lives of the Jadh Bhotia community as witnessed by him over a year of brief involvement, to bring out the intricacies involved with their periodically compulsory migration as a pivotal aspect and its reasons and results on their lives.
Jadh Bhotia, Migration, Migratory shepherds, Transhumance, Uttarakhand tribes