Wednesday, April 13, 2011

13th of April, just two weeks to go

What a busy last few days I have had on my own as Vino John has been away working on IPL duties with Ron Gaunt in Chennai and Kochi. After the doco makers talk had started at NICC I motored into the heart of the Bangalore CBD to MG Road to try and find the weekend of photography activities which I discovered by reading the newspaper – funny that it’s so full of useful and useless information. Any way after eventually finding the place – Page Turners- a very small bookshop seemingly miles from its Google pin point marker, I met some local amateur street and wildlife shooters who had organised a weekend of photography comprising of lectures, shows, parties, meet and greet sessions, and a film showing. I think they underestimated just how popular the concept would be as at the evening show it was jam-packed was full of interested people, mostly software and production engineers and businessmen and women. 
watching HCB
The next day Raj joined me to attend the final screening of HCB’s impassioned eye doco which was rather boring, just as I remembered it was. We then wandered down MG road and beyond and he showed me where the exhibition I was supposed to have visited the night before actually was, it was so hidden down a side road and behind another building that if you didn’t know where it was you would never find it – and that’s why I didn’t the night before. 
more images from the Russell market at Shivajinagar

he cut all his hair off when he went to a temple over the weekend

a very small shop in Shivajinagar
 I started the second to last week of my adventure here planning for two aspects to cover photographically – old and new Bangalore.  This week I have planned to shoot the older parts of the town nearby, Fraser Town and Shivajinagar and also try and shoot some portraits of the people living on Moore Road.
Next week I plan to shoot life in and around UB city and Electronic city plus some buildings and places near another district called Hebbel.
Along the way I have picked up another copy of the work of Raghubir Singh, one of India’s more well-known photographers' who has been likened to their version of HCB or Franks. He had travelled across India with the American photographer Lee Friedlander who according to him ‘was often looking for the abject as subject’; in the end Singh found Friedlander’s approach of ‘beauty as seen in abjection’ fundamentally western, which suited neither him nor India, thus he created his own style and aesthetic imprint, which according to his 2004 retrospective created "a documentary-style vision was neither sugarcoated, nor abject, nor controlling omniscient" He was well published in India and the west but sadly he died in 1999 of a heart attack at just 56, leaving a big void in modern photojournalism appreciation here. I was impressed with his book on travel where he drove around the country using the car windows as a frame so guess what – I have started adding that dimension to my work but instead using the auto rickshaws as my frame. Having a lot of fun with it so far.

Then on Monday I got a phone call via Vino John from a bloke I had briefly met earlier who had been chatting with another person who worked as HOD of the Journalism school at another tertiary Institute located more than 20 kms outside the central city. Acharya Institutes is a big private operation allied to Bangalore University, catering to more than 5000 students from all over the world. They offer all the usual programs plus degree programs in mass communications and journalism as well, so they rung up to see if I could come out on Wednesday and chat to the students there about my life as a photojournalist which I was only too happy to do.
So I spent most of Tuesday constructing a cool PPT only to discover early on Wednesday morning that I had lost it all – luckily the mistake I had made was saving it as a template and not a finished PPT so I eventually found it, just in time as the driver came to take me on my hour long journey out into the remote suburbs of Bangalore. Man was it quiet out there. The modern green faculty there is real nice and despite the usual hindrance of a brownout I managed to get through the presentation and conducted a short intro to photography for them. The students there are mad keen to learn more so I’m booked to go out again next week and conduct another workshop. 

Exhausted I got back late this arvo and tomorrow I’m teaching at NICC on how to turn professional. So it’s looking like a busy week ahead for my final week here although I have just seen on Facebook that the Momentum show has been pushed back another week so I will miss it sadly, need to chat to Alex and Jeevan tomorrow  but NO!! it was a typo it’s still on 23/24th. As a treat I made the lads here an Italian veg pasta tonight and they didn’t like it because it wasn’t spicy enough so I guess I will be eating pasta for the next two days hahaha. here are some more shots from around the township of Fraser Town and old Bangalore.

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