Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Anamitra Chakladar: Kolkata's Chinatown

Image © Anamitra Chakladar-All Rights Reserved

So far this week, my posts are of photographers using black & white pictures, and this suits Anamitra's work on Kolkata. Born in this city, Anamitra was expected by his parents to be a teacher or an executive, but he chose to be a photographer instead.

He joined an established newspaper as a trainee photographer, then moved on to television joining NDTV, and saw more than his share of world conflicts including the first Gulf War, the ongoing conflict over Kashmir between India and Pakistan, the coups in Nepal and Bangladesh...and getting shot at in the process.

Anamitra says that he's equally comfortable in both moving and still photography, but finds the latter therapeutic. From his website, I gather he's enamored not only by the city of his birth, but by the Taj Mahal and Delhi's Jama Masjid.

I had no idea that Kolkata has a Chinatown...its streets so well depicted by Anamitra's lens. I chose his well composed photograph of a rickshaw puller as the most illustrative of a Chinatown, although the government of West Bengal banned them in 2006. All this brings to mind the movie City of Joy and the brilliant performance by Om Puri, who acted the role of the impoverished rickshaw puller.

Anamitra Chakladar's Kolkata's Chinatown