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In The Shadows: Unknown Craftsmen of Bengal


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

:Payal Mohanka (née Singh) started her career as a journalist with The Illustrated Weekly of India and spent over a decade with the magazine covering a wide range of subjects. In 1995 she was awarded the prestigious Press Fellowship to Wolfson College, Cambridge. She then moved to broadcast journalism, reporting for India Business Report on BBC World Service Television and CNBC India for over seven years. In 2002 she made a documentary on Chandernagor, a former French colony, titled Little France on the Hooghly and in 2003 a documentary on Mother Teresa, From Saint to Sainthood, which was selected for the Philadelphia Documentary Film Festival and screened at the Nehru Centre in London.THE PHOTOGRAPHER Leena Kejriwal is a Kolkata-based creative photographer who believes in being able to capture the beauty of life just as it is, in its simplicity...

ABOUT THE BOOK
:In certain villages of West Bengal, the rural economy is driven by rather unusual professions. One cluster of craftsmen churns out wigs, another lights … polo balls … boats … shuttlecocks … jeans … In the Shadows: Unknown Craftsmen of Bengal chronicles the story of six such rural areas. It takes a close look at the lives, craft and future of the people who live here. Following the original process which has been passed down generations, these craftsmen keep alive old family traditions. Their efforts give them a basic livelihood, and in some cases a little more. These crafts or products have given these otherwise obscure villages an identity, a quiet sense of pride even if the material gains are meagre. In the Shadows: Unknown Craftsmen of Bengal celebrates the indomitable spirit of enterprise of our rural craftsmen. It also gently reminds us that each time a polo ball-maker or boat-maker passes away, the craft moves a step closer to extinction.

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