WHILE WE’RE YOUNG: KOLKATA
“During my month-long trip to my hometown of Kolkata towards the end of last year, I interacted with a bunch of young creatives, most of whom live and work out of the city. From abstract photographers and students running zines to a member of a youth-led NGO that works with an artist collective, and illustrators and musicians, the common thread was how their work and efforts have blossomed since the first lockdown.
During this time of confinement, many of them found new creative styles and outlets. While some mined their surroundings for inspirations, others used the abundant time at hand to dive into a project. Many young artists took the initiative of self-publishing, driven by their fondness for the print medium, which they also interpret as a way of sharing their work in a tangible form. Notably, they continued to engage with their respective communities virtually. The internet was a lifeline during the lockdown, allowing isolated creatives around the city to engage with each other.
I met up with them in and around their localities – spread across the city – and, during their customary cha and coffee breaks (mostly cha), we spoke about their practices and how the internet plays a massive role in driving them creatively.
Through the series, I wanted to draw attention to the city: the narrow gullies that separate the houses and lead to hitherto undiscovered spots, the interesting promotional posters plastered on the walls, and the scattered toys and objects that I’d often find lying around on the footpaths.
But I also had a more specific function: I wanted to present a more inclusive view of the city by bringing the suburban areas into focus as well. Shooting there felt special, as these are localities that I grew up in and am familiar with. And they are often left out of the narrative.”