Arati Kumar Rao

Past Grantee |

Arati Kumar Rao

Weathering displacement

Arati Kumar-Rao is a an independent environmental photographer, writer, and artist documenting the slow violence* of ecological degradation. She communicates through photos, longform narratives, and art. She is documenting the landscapes of loss left behind as over 200 million are forced to migrate from South Asia due to environmental degradation and climate change. Her work focuses on how anthropogenic interventions have cascading effects on lives and ecosystems, with people forced to become refugees and migrant to survive. Her photo and writing series follows the fates of environmental refugees and explores how unpredictable climate events are now exacerbating inequities on the ground. Her work has documented loss due to erosion from the swinging Ganges in West Bengal, the loss of fish and the Teesta-water sharing agreement, char islands in Bangladesh, and the disappearance of ecologically rich deltas and the hilsa fish.

Why they are the right choice for others

  • Observes the slow, almost invisible violence of the environmental crises in the South Asian region, across borders with a focus on the multilayered impacts on human lives.
  • Documents the slow, attritional lethality of environmental crises and their effect on human lives through art, writing and narratives.
  • Using storytelling across varied communication channels to spread the story and reach readers through affect and connection and knowledge sharing, rather than bursts of sensational, event-based work.


UN Sustainability GOALS