© Prantik Mazumder (
and 0 draft(s),
created on 02-07-2008
1 project comment(s),
98 photos comment(s)
PROJECT DESCRIPTIONProject vision:
This gallery is an attempt at communicating a personal vision of the city in which I grew up and left sixteen years ago. I am a highly visual person and therefore the feature may be high on visual stimulation and low on social commentary.
Perhaps I should write this on my profile instead of here, but thought it might add some value.
I think today I am much closer to realizing who I am with a camera in hand than I was ehen I started taking semi-serious pictures about a year and half ago. First off, I am a reflexive and intuitive photographer as opposed to a thinking photographer. Second, more than anything, I am a travel photographer. I am realizing more and more that my true passion is traveling and connecting with a new culture than photography per se. I am in a heightened state of awareness when I am walking in the streets of a new town and soaking up everything my immediate milieu has to offer. I am inspired and intoxicated by the cultural idiosyncrasies of the place and the people I am discovering every moment. The camera is simply a tool for me to capture those moments or visuals when the neurons in my brain fires a signal telling me that something magical is about to happen. My photography is simply a reflection of my arduous attempt at discovering something novel in the place that is singularly different from the other places I had traveled before. I have noticed that I am not inspired when I am taking pictures for the sake of photography as an art, and no matter how hard I tried I completely failed in shooting anything remotely appealing
Personal note on Kolkata:
I have been visiting the city every year or so over the past seven years. I see rapid change in certain aspects as well as stoic stagnation in others. "India is full of contrast" is perhaps the most over used cliché, but it is true, and no other city is perhaps as conflicted as Kolkata and no other people as idiosyncratic as Kolkatans. The state of West Bengal has been run by the Marxist parties who have recently discovered the wisdom in "market economy". There is a palpable wind of change in the city. The buying power of the middle and upper-middle class has significantly increased while there is still a significantly large section of people who live in dire poverty. In this city, people still fill up stadiums to watch a five day cricket match, mourn if Brazil does not win World Cup soccer, march in herds with their red flags protesting Western "imperialism", spend the entire day in "Coffee House" solving all the problems of the World, spend fortunes in buying the latest "in" gadgets and clothes at the fancy malls, live and cook and copulate in their squalid tents next to the garbage bins, beg on the streets, go to the plush Nightclubs dressed to the nines in Western fashions. A gin and tonic in a fancy bar costs 10$ (US) while people begging outside for 2 cents is not an unusual site. I hope these pictures bring out some sense of the place.
I really enjoyed reading this intro. And the project is excellent. Maybe what would make it even stronger would be to see some more of that plush side you talk about. Though it would be discordant, perhaps, since you tend to emphasize the working class and poor people. Maybe a whole separate project on Plush Calcutta is in order. Best, -h.