The flavour of Kolkata

The flavour of Kolkata
The city is known for its old alleys. One such is shot by Atanu Pal.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The first Instagram exhibition in India

Yes, you saw that right. Instagram held its first exhibition in India in this city earlier this month. It featured the work of 20 Instagrammers.

As it was, photography professional Soumya Shankar Ghosal from the city got a surprise call from Facebook (which owns Instagram) in December ’15 and he was told that they were intending to hold their first Instagram exhibition of India in Kolkata, coinciding with Global Business Summit in January ’15 (for the best exposure). His role would be curating a part of the exhibition as part of the curator team and the theme would be ‘Diversity of Bengal’. One of the photographs which had already been selected by the team was his click of Nakhoda Masjid during Ramadan.

So Soumya and his team in his photography initiative Streets of Calcutta (Said to be the world’s largest street photography archive) and another popular Facebook group Calcutta Instagrammers collaborated and got down to business poring over hundreds of photographs on Instagram and zeroed in on seventeen. Instagram kept the work of three commissioned shoots- Bandna Festival of Purulia district, Durga Puja at Sonagachhi (A red light area in Kolkata) and the Christian community in Kolkata.

The exhibition was held at ICCR, 9A Ho Chi Minh Sarani on 7th to 9th January not with great fanfare but it did make a mark with the visitors. Soumya and his friends, yours truly included, did their bit in spreading the word on social media.

A team from Facebook inaugurated the exhibition the traditional way- lighting a diya (traditional Indian lamp). Ritesh Mehta, Head- Economic Growth Initiatives, Ankhi Das, Public Policy Director of Facebook and Katie Harbath were present along with the participants. The exhibition was inaugurated by Derek O’Brien, Member of Parliament in Rajya Sabha from West Bengal and an eminent quizmaster from the city. The photographs truly reflect diverse aspects of Bengal and Kolkata. Here’s a look at it.

Katie Harbath lighting the diya on inauguration as Derek O'Brien (extreme left) and Ankhi Das (second from left) look on

Chhau dance, Purulia
Moi-Charan (Bull race) Festival at Herobhanga village near Canning

 Cham, a Tibetan mask dance performed by monks in Kalimpong, north Bengal

 Soumya Shankar Ghosal with his Nakhoda Masjid click

Derek in awe of Arpita Pramanick's (right) shot of Mullick Ghat, Howrah with the famous Howrah Bridge
 in the background

A silent prayer saying thanks before the meal in a Christian home in the city

The fervour of Holi celebration in Burrabazar, Kolkata

 The popular 'Dhunuchi dance' in Durga Puja in Sonagachhi  

 Cattle are decorated with stamps and worshipped in the Bandna Festival in Purulia district

An artist making Pata Chitro, the famous folk art of Bengal. A large part of his body was burnt in a fire at
his home that claimed his family members. Shot by Sammya Brata Mullick.

Ritesh Mehta sharing a light moment with Soumya

I was very happy to see blogger and photographer friend Indrajit Lahiri’s photo of Chitpur, which I made the cover of this blog during Ramadan last year (Find it in the Cover Photo Archive section of this blog).

 To know further details, take a look at Soumya's blog post here. It busts a myth about Instagram photos.

#InstagramExhibition #PhotographyKolkata #PhotographyExhibitionKolkata

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