Bangladesh : L’archipel intermittent

Photography : Laurent WEYL    

Village of Abdullapur. Isolated from the island, this tree is said to harbor demons, called djinn.
Village of Abdullapur. During the rainy season, the landless are forced to fish to survive. Those who cannot buy or rent a canoe spend their days water-bound.
The village of Dilhil Akra. Fishermen near the remnants of a large forest of hijols, trees native to the haors.
Village of Chodout. During the rainy season, 175 people crowd into thirty houses in this impoverished island essentially populated by Hindus.
Village of Abdullapur. This islet is the home of only one family and is linked to the main island by a long bamboo footbridge.
Shavaspur island. The fifty inhabitants of Shavaspur have heavily indebted themselves to purchase the soil necessary to construct their islet.
Village d’Abdullapur.Les vagues soulevées par le vent peuvent être destructrices. Rares sont les propriétaires qui ont les moyens de s’offrir un renfort de béton.
Village of Abdullapur. During the rainy season, the canoes make their way to the market, transporting the merchants and their clients who wish to avoid crossing the island by their narrow winding paths.
Village of Abdullapur. During the rainy season, the landless are forced to fish to survive. Some of them organize into cooperatives so they can rent a boat.
Village of Dilhil Akra. Before the Partition of India, this Hindu temple was home to around fifty priests and received many pilgrims. Twenty-three-year-old Ananta Baishnab, is one of the last seven priests remaining on the site.
Village of Abdullapur. During the rainy season, unemployed men meet up with the elderly men in the tea shacks in the market.
Village of Abdullapur. The passages are so narrow and free and space is a luxury so island-bound villagers sometimes treat themselves to a boat ride to stretch their legs on the mainland, at the edge of the haors, or on a larger island.
Village of Abdullapur. Masuda Begum is not from the region of the haors. She admits that it took years to get used to the region, its inhabitants and its distinctive seasons.
Village of Abdullapur. The son of someone close to the mayor rests after his circumcision. Herbs have been placed near his head to chase away evil spirits sent by enemies of the family.
Village of Abdullapur. The poorest content themselves with gleaning a few grains in the freshly harvested fields or collecting cow dung when they pass through. Mixed with straw, they make valuable fuel for cooking.
Village of Abdullapur. The cultivators are slowly replacing the bullock carts but tractors are still a rarity.
Village of Dilhil Akra. Less than fifty years ago, a thick forest of hijols stood in the place of the rice paddies. Once a common native tree of the haors, now cut down for fuel, these trees are fast disappearing
Near the village of Dilhil Akra. For one month, the rice harvest attracts reapers, gleaners and merchants from all over the region.
Village of Abdullapur. Unlike the harvesters, the people who work the rice after the reaping are for the most part natives of the village.
Village of Abdullapur. Rice that is destined for the personal consumption of the landowners, as opposed to that which is to be sold, is precooked to better preserve it. The process creates a pleasant smell reminiscent of caramel.
Village of Abdullapur. Some plucky children have set up a swing of freshly cut straw on the tree of the djinns, reputed to harbor demons.