White Elephant

Shadman Shahid

Delhi Photo Festival

Delhi Photo Festival
New Delhi, India


  • Title: White Elephant
  • Creator: Shadman Shahid
  • Date: 2015
  • Photographer: Shadman Shahid
  • About the series: Chenggong in China is reportedly the largest ghost city in the whole of Asia. In order to build this city, villages were demolished and people were forced to sell their lands and leave their homes, destroying the traditional way of life. Yet, there are about 100,000 apartments, almost all of which remain unoccupied. China has become the world’s largest economy. Investment in infrastructure accounts for much of China’s GDP – the country is said to have built the equivalent of Rome every two months in the past decade. However, the cost of this rapid urbanization cannot only be measured in economic terms. The lives of many people are being affected as their homes are being destroyed and they are forced to relocate. Some of them have become unemployed with no land to farm on and some homeless. It is a big sacrifice. But what is the end result of this sacrifice? So much destruction of the self in order to be at par with the standards that are set by someone else? What has it all led to? It’s a waste, the byproduct of aspiration.
  • About the Photographer: Shadman Shahid, born and raised in Dhaka, Bangladesh, is a student at Pathshala South Asian Media Academy and also works as a freelance documentary photographer. It is in 2011 that Shahid discovered his passion for photography when he enrolled in a basic photography class in order to build upon his filmmaking background.
  • #DPF2015: 2015

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