Bigha Se Bigha

by Priyanka Kumari

Growing up, I didn’t get to spend much time with my grandparents. My paternal grandmother and maternal grandfather had passed away before I was born. I only had a few years with my paternal grandfather and maternal grandmother, when they were alive, but we weren’t very close. I lived in small cities in Bihar and Jharkhand, far from the ancestral landscape, community and (hi)stories. When they passed away, I felt like I had missed out on their stories and a part of my heritage. I became curious about our family history and the places in Bihar they came from. Thus, I started asking my parents about their memories and stories. 

My parents took me to the places they remembered from their childhood in our ancestral region. Through their stories, I discovered similarities between my paternal and maternal heritage, helping me connect the dots of our history and the changing landscape. 

A year later, I asked my father to write about the pictures I had taken. This project is my exploration of who my ancestors were and how the region has evolved. The more I learn, the stronger my bond with my ancestral land and its stories becomes. 

Also read: Habitus

About the artist

Priyanka Kumari holds a bachelor’s degree in Visual Communication from the National Institute of Fashion Technology, Bengaluru, and a master’s degree in Photography Design from the National Institute of Design, Gandhinagar. She specialises in creating documentary films, photo essays, and 2D animation, with a focus on social development issues. Priyanka has collaborated with various individuals, organisations, and agencies as a filmmaker, video editor, photographer, and design strategist, primarily in Jharkhand, Bihar, Bengaluru, and other parts of India. She has recently been involved with educational entities aiming to strengthen visual literacy. In her personal life, she uses photography to capture the daily lives of her family and friends, challenging stereotypes and traditional beliefs, and promoting the concept of ‘Live and Let Live’ in their small city of Dhanbad, Jharkhand.


She is on Instagram: @pk_ponder