Published on October 1st, 2014


Attend: Photo exhibition of Chitpur Road, Kolkata

21 German photographers got together to document, celebrate Kolkata’s Chitpur Road. Mumbaikars can see the results at Max Mueller Bhavan today.
by Galerie Max Mueller Bhavan, Mumbai

Goethe Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan Mumbai will today present ‘Calcutta: Chitpur Road Neighborhoods’, a presentation of photographs by 21 German photographers, under the guidance of Peter Bialobrzeski. This body of work is unique in its methodology as its main aim was to develop a coherent, unified approach towards the subject. It challenged traditional ideas associated with originality and aimed at creating a more universal aesthetic of photography shared by these 21 photographers.  This reversal of thinking was in itself a challenge, and it was absolutely important to overcome it in order for the project to be a success. The participants worked in groups and took turns to direct the shoots. Their aim was to “A good picture a day”.  They worked under the collective name:  ‘A Kolkata Heritage Photo Project’, and are the joint authors of this body of work.

During the 19th century, Kolkata was one of the most economically affluent cities in India under the British, the city elites demonstrated their affluence by building huge palaces in a unique mix of traditional Moghul architecture with classical and Victorian elements. Today, the neighbourhoods around the historical axis of Chitpur road in North Kolkata, still exhibit the remnants of this architecture style. Though decaying as architecture monuments, they still house a vibrant community. The project aimed at capturing these two extremities of the area, without deviating from their set approach.

In 2008, Hatje Cantz published the book ‘Calcutta: Chitpur Road Neighborhoods’, based on this project. Though all the 21 photographers were students of Peter Bialobrzeski at the University of Arts Bremen in 2006, today they are all individual professional photographers. The Kolkata Heritage Project consists of Claudia Aguilar, Johanna Ahlert, Björn Behrens, Jörg Brüggemann, Tine Casper, Franziska von den Driesch, Anja Engelke, Tobias Gratz, Christian Güssow, Dörte Haupt, André Hemstedt, Manja Herrmann, Torben Höke, Britta Isenrath, Joanna Kosowska, Jørgen Kube, Pia Pollmanns, Silke Schmidt, Inga Seevers, Marion Üdema, Sandy Volz.  

The exhibition is a presentation of photographs by twenty one German photographers, under the guidance of Peter Bialobrzeski can be seen from October 1 to 31. The Mumbai presentation is designed by Tanvi Mishra and Kaushik Ramaswamy.

(Picture courtesy Max Mueller Bhavan, Mumbai)

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