About the Author: Virginia Shore serves as Chief Curator for ART in EMBASSIES.
As India prepares to celebrate its independence this weekend, it's worth noting the work of Subhankar Banerjee. A native of Kolkata, Banerjee's tireless devotion to highlighting the effects of climate change have taken him around the world. His photographs show the beauty of nature and its inherent vulnerability. The Art in Embassies permanent collection for the U.S. consulate facility in Mumbai will soon include three of Banarjee's photographs. The reproductions of Snow Geese II, Oil and The Caribou were taken in the Jago River Coastal Plain in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Subhankar Banerjee, a scientist born in India, first fell in love with photography on his travels through the United States in search of the mythic wilderness of the American West. Banerjee's monumental photographs of the land are captivating, evocative and poetic. He successfully enables the viewer to transcend the breathtaking landscape to perceive the pressing ecological concerns endangering the land and the species on view. He enlightens his audience through beauty.
Describing the photograph to be displayed in Mumbai and featured in this entry, Subhankar Banerjee wrote, "Nearly 300,000 snow-geese arrive from their nesting ground in the Canadian high Arctic to the coast plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in early autumn. They feed sixteen hours a day on a type of cotton grass to build fat before they start their long migration South to places like New Mexico (my home), California, Texas, and Mexico. During spring and summer months nearly ninety species migrate to the coastal plain from all six continents to nest and rear their young, to molt, to stage, and to feed. In my mind through migrations of these birds, Arctic National Wildlife Refuges gets connected to every land and oceans of the planet."
More than 50 museums and galleries in the United States and Europe have featured his work, and he's participated in numerous panels at prominent universities and political venues. He continues to advocate for conservation as he continues his work as a photographer. While India celebrates independence and national sovereignty, Banerjee's work reminds us of the interconnectedness that transcends national boundaries.
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