Photographers Who Find Magic In The Mundane: Anurag Banerjee
Anurag Banerjee considers himself an emotional artist for he is easily attached to people, places and things that he photographs. His images, the result of a capricious temperament, usually capture the circuitous routes of his life. If you look at his pictures of Shillong, a place that he is proud to call home, you will see the subtle nostalgia seeping through them. In this photo essay, we chat with him on why photography is more than a profession to him….
What usually brings the subject to your attention?
“What catches my fancy is largely dependent on the way I feel at a particular point in time. I am highly uninspired during summer so I end up clicking very few photographs. Rain, on the other hand, is something that is very close to my heart and I find myself wandering the streets for hours on end during monsoon.
This volatility also holds true for my home in Shillong. For a long time, I was angry at the lack of exposure I had back there, coupled with the nothingness of the place. Living in the chaos of Bombay has taught me the value of home which is quite evident from my subsequent photographs of the place. When it comes to personal work, it would be fair to say that I photograph what I am in love with.”
Describe your experience shooting with the subject.
“As a photographer, if there is one thing I strive towards, it is honesty. I was quite impressionable when I was younger and there have been times when my work has been influenced by those I look up to, compromising its integrity. However, I am slowly coming into my own and developing my personal brand of photography.”
Which subject has left a lasting impact on you?
“I recently returned from a week-long assignment with an NGO called The Hunger Project, a global organisation that works towards the empowerment of men, women and children. They had taken 25 girls aged 13 to 17 years from remote areas in Bihar on a trip to Rajasthan. These girls had left their homes for the first time since they were born, having mutinied against child marriage and fought for their right to education. Listening to their stories and documenting them has been a moving and humbling experience.”