Print Coverage & Book Reviews:
Slow Disaster is a journey into the struggles and everyday life of rural communities in the hazardous geographies of the Brahmaputra Valley, Assam. It draws on years of ethnographic research conducted on Majuli river island, one of the largest river islands in the world, located in the middle of the Brahmaputra River. Over the course of the 20 th century, this island has been significantly reshaped by the twin processes of flooding and erosion, resulting in huge loss of landmass, destruction of rural livelihoods, and large-scape displacement and outmigration of the local population.
Slow Disaster presents a political ecological account of the crises facing Majuli, and the Brahmaputra valley as a whole. It does so by paying attention to both natural forces – that is, the extreme instability and volatility of the Brahmaputra river system, characterized by its dynamic fluvial geomorphological processes as well as a highly potent South Asian monsoonal regime – and political economic processes, with a special focus on the role of the
state. This book is the first ethnography of Majuli and perhaps one of the first on river islands.