In Search of Habitat explores the expansion of metropolitan India through two parallel narratives, a sequence of photographs and an essay on urban planning and geography (available in full length in the book). Presenting the images of urban India alongside a description of its formation, the work illuminates both the mechanisms propelling urban growth and the built matter left to posterity. As such, the two narratives of the book are intended to inform and unfold one another.
The work focuses mainly on the fringes of metropolitan India; places of construction, deterioration and places where landscape and urban development intersect. The photographs were taken during two months of fieldwork in late 2010, covering nine different cities across the country. Both the photographs and the essay examine the haphazard and often contradictory urban growth, and together they offer a glimpse of India’s present and future cities, and as such, the very frame within which the lives of more than 400 million people currently take place.
All images ©Lars Rolfsted Mortensen