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Dazzled by an apocalyptic beauty Centralia exposes hidden crimes of war as an indigenous people fight for their survival.
216 backers pledged £14,634 to help bring this project to life.

About

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About the project

Centralia is an Indian docu-fiction that journeys deep into the forests of central India where a little known and under reported conflict between an indigenous tribal people and the Indian state slowly simmers.

I have been working on Centralia for the past nine years. Journeying ever deeper into a labyrinthine conflict over land, resources and identity. This area is home to vast mineral deposits - iron ore, bauxite, coal - but it is also home to India’s indigenous tribal population. Caught between the Indian state and the Maoist guerrillas, they are fighting for their very survival as their land and environment is eroded through the brutal extraction of these minerals. 

Through this work I am looking to expose the violence that accompanies the bipolar development narratives present within contemporary India: between those who endorse the project of corporate industrialisation and those who oppose it. 

I have seen first hand the devastating affects of this terrible violence on native communities and how, as is the case throughout the world, violence has become the de-facto language of politics. 

Through this work I am looking to find a new way to communicate the reality of modern warfare where the frontline is blurred and the conflict's many actors all occupy opaque roles. 

In war, truth is the first casualty. Centralia explores the unsteady relationship between reality and fiction and how our perceptions of reality and truth are manipulated.  

Print A
Print A

Through my work I have become known for advocating for the rights of women. 

I am drawn to ordinary women who find themselves in extraordinary situations. The women of rural India are largely perceived to be voiceless and home bound, but women form a substantial part of the Maoist guerillas. In a country where the role of a woman is confined mostly to the hearth, these female guerrillas are changing the face of modern India and quietly challenging the prevailing orthodoxies of their societies. 

Print B
Print B

The book draws on contemporary documentary practice to reflect the bewildering atmosphere of a nation by using pictures of foreboding landscapes and rituals alongside images of locals uncovering crime scenes.  

Through this work I am looking to push the boundaries of my own documentary practice - to construct a narrative that borrows from the tropes of science fiction to create a hallucinatory reflection that ponders the process of corporate  mining and the violence that accompanies such extraction. 

Print C
Print C

About the book

Collaboration is key for me in producing the best work. Centralia has been designed by award winning designer Teun van der Heijden and will be published by esteemed photo book publisher Dewi Lewis. Our aim has been to create a book with many layers that stands up to repeated viewing. Constructed using the best papers and other materials, Centralia will be a beautiful and collectable object.  

The texts within the book have also been produced in collaboration with local grassroots journalists. And, an additional end text is being produced by Ivan Sigal, artist and Executive Director of Global Voices, a non-profit online global citizens’ media initiative.  

Centralia is due to go to print in August, and will be shipped by mid October 2019.  

Print D
Print D

Awards and Press

Poulomi Basu's Centralia - An Essay by Emilia Terracciano
Poulomi Basu's Centralia - An Essay by Emilia Terracciano
The first victim of war is truth in Poulomi Basu’s Centralia
The first victim of war is truth in Poulomi Basu’s Centralia
Centralia won the PH Museum Main Grant in 2018
Centralia won the PH Museum Main Grant in 2018
The bureaucratization of violence in India
The bureaucratization of violence in India
Centralia was shorlisted for the MACK First Book Award
Centralia was shorlisted for the MACK First Book Award
Centralia was shortlisted for the 2018 IPA Award
Centralia was shortlisted for the 2018 IPA Award
Amnesty International (Netherlands) featured Centralia in their Wordt Vervolgd magazine recently.
Amnesty International (Netherlands) featured Centralia in their Wordt Vervolgd magazine recently.

With your kind and generous support I can make this project a reality. 

Please take a look at the exclusive offers I have made available for you if you choose to support this project. From a special discounted rate for the book through to a personal 6 months mentorship programme. 

Thank you! 

Risks and challenges

The project is complete. All images have been taken, scanned and prepared. I want to make this book the best it can possibly be and every effort is being taken to ensure we produce a quality book.

The design is ready to go and the book is due to be printed in August. All this has been achieved with the wonderful support of award winning designer Teun van der Heijden and esteemed publisher Dewi Lewis. Given this depth of experience we will do everything possible to ensure we adhere to the schedule indicated in our campaign. I will share regular updates so you can see how the production is moving forward.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £30 or more About US$ 38

    Centralia book, signed

    1 x signed copy of 'Centralia' book at an exclusive Kickstarter rate.
    UK shipping included (or collect in person in London). All overseas books - p&p extra - Europe £15, rest of the world £20.

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    Pledge £55 or more About US$ 69

    2 x Centralia book, signed

    Two signed copies of the book at a special Kickstarter rate. Limited to 50 backers. UK shipping included (or collect in person in London). All overseas rewards - p&p extra, Europe £15, rest of the world £20.

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    Pledge £90 or more About US$ 113

    Centralia book + 6"x 8" print (A)

    -One signed copy of the book
    -One 6"x 8" limited edition archival print. Edition of 25 each, signed and numbered.
    - Print A

    Only available during the Kickstarter campaign.

    Includes UK shipping (or collect in person in London). Overseas rewards: p&p extra (Europe £15, rest of the world £20), added at checkout.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £90 or more About US$ 113

    Centralia book + 6"x 8" print (B)

    -One signed copy of the book
    -One 6"x8" limited edition archival print. Edition of 25 each, signed and numbered.
    - Print B

    Only available during the Kickstarter campaign.

    Includes UK shipping (or collect in person in London). Overseas rewards: p&p extra (Europe £15, rest of the world £20), added at checkout.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £90 or more About US$ 113

    Centralia book + 6"x 8" print (C)

    - One signed copy of the book
    - One 6"x8" limited edition archival print. Edition of 25 each, signed and numbered.
    - Print C

    Only available during the Kickstarter campaign.

    Includes UK shipping (or collect in person in London). Overseas rewards: p&p extra (Europe £15, rest of the world £20), added at checkout.

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    Limited 9 backers
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    Pledge £250 or more About US$ 313

    Limited edition book + 8"x 10" print

    Handmade, clothbound box with one signed copy of the book and one limited edition 8"x10" archival print of (Choose A, B or C). Edition of 50, signed and numbered on verso.

    Only 25 copies available during the Kickstarter campaign.

    UK shipping included (or collect in person in London). Overseas rewards: p&p extra (Europe £15, rest of the world £20), added at checkout.

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    Pledge £450 or more About US$ 563

    Limited Edition book and Handmade Print

    - One signed copy of the book, limited edition in handmade box
    - One 12 x 16" limited edition hand made print from negative. (Choose A or D). Edition of 25 each, signed and numbered.

    Only available during the Kickstarter campaign.

    Includes UK shipping (or collect in person in London). Overseas rewards: p&p extra, added at checkout.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £650 or more About US$ 813

    Centralia book + one-to-one workshop

    -One signed copy of the book (collect in person during the workshop)
    -2-day long, one-to-one workshop with Poulomi Basu in London (exact location TBD).
    - 2 x skype mentor sessions ahead of the workshop.

    Starting with a portfolio review, this 2-day workshop covers the importance of visual storytelling, editing and presentation of your current work, and how to develop long terms cross media projects, be it a photo book or virtual reality.

    Only 5 workshops available. Exact location and dates to be agreed with each backer.

    Price only includes book and tuition fee and does not include travel, accommodation or food.

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    Pledge £3,000 or more About US$ 3,750

    Centralia book-6 month online mentorship

    - One signed copy of the book (includes shipping anywhere in the world)
    - A unique opportunity of a 6-month, one-to-one online mentorship with Poulomi Basu, with bi-monthly Skype calls and ongoing reviews.
    - If based in UK/India - meeting in person will also be possible.

    Intended for intermediate to advanced students, this mentorship will enable you to delve deepen your personal practice and develop them into powerful photo and cross media projects, be it a photo book, video or virtual reality.

    Only 3 mentorships available.

    Exact time frame to be agreed with each backer.

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Funding period

- (30 days)