In August 2014, we were given an English assignment in college to explore areas of Bangalore. Little did I know that it would lead to a course-changing series of events. I fell in love with the roads, the chaos, and the people! Born and raised in an upper middle class family, I was a “city boy” for most of my life. Coincidentally, at the same juncture two things happened—first, I saw my city change the way it looked across my schooling years, and second, I became a part of Naresh Narasimhan’s Facebook group (discontinued) “Bangalore- Photos from a bygone age”. They shared photos of Bangalore from the years of 1800-2000’s. This pairing got me thinking: The way I perceive those photos in 2015 is very different from its time. Everything fascinated me and I began to document the city extensively, to build an archive of photos which is of potential academic value 50 – 100 years ahead. The photos in this theme are a subset of these unpublished archives. The photos here are more from a photojournalist approach than photography or “artistic” take. I felt, taking photos doesn’t always have to conform to art and aesthetic beauty, or science of composition rules. It can be as simple as, well, just capturing a moment. The intent behind capturing the photo became vital and the subjectivity associated with it appealed to me. After trying my hand at numerous genres of photography, I felt a connection in documenting the city life. An extended addition of two photos from Meerut, UP to the set is an effort to establish cause-and-effect relation— how the lanes of my city made me grow itchy feet and extend my efforts in archiving to parts of India. I am home.
Ankit Banerjee is an independent photographer based in Bangalore, India.
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