To Fish or Flee: The Punargeham Relocation Project

After consecutive floods and rising death tolls along the coasts, in 2021 the communist-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) of Kerala ruled in favor of the Punargeham (“regenerate”/”reborn”) project to relocate coastal fishing villages further inland. The project was launched to “protect” fishers from the impending risks of climate change, particularly rising sea levels, that have […]

Kappalottam: Sailing on Fasted Shoulders

Ship Procession or “Kappalottam” at Kuravilangad Church Every January, the ropes that tie her 40-foot-long body to the walls of the Kuravilangad Church in coastal Kerala are undone. Held up on the shoulders of fasting men, she moves with the throng around her outside the church, enacting the mythical memory of a storm. She has […]

The Pirate Ship

“We were rolling from one side to another.” Adan was telling me his pirate tale. One moonless night in 2011, he was on a small fishing skiff with six other men somewhere in the Indian Ocean. On this journey, instead of tuna, the skiff was on the hunt for cargo ships. After some maneuvering to […]