Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Soham Gupta: The Down & Outs of Howrath

Photo © Soham Gupta-All Rights Reserved
 Following my post of yesterday on my forthcoming Kolkata Cult of Durga Photo-Expedition, I thought it timely to feature Soham Gupta's work on the homeless of Howrah. Soham is a Kolkata-based humanitarian photographer, who specializes in documenting social injustice and works with disadvantaged children. He started as a writer, but later realized that he had the ability to tell stories in a better way, through photographs.

The Down & Outs of Howrah is a haunting photo-essay on some of the destitute who live near the world-famous Howrah Railway Station. Howrah is situated on the west bank of the Hooghly River, and is linked to Kolkata by the famous Howrah Bridge. It is a twin city of Kolkata, and is the second largest city of West Bengal in terms of both area and population. Its railway station is the busiest and second-oldest station, and one of the largest railway complexes in India.

Soham tells us that most of these homeless individuals are drug users, and have developed mental disorders. Some of them carry the HIV virus because of shared syringes.

I encourage you to visit his website, and explore his other galleries. He documents the Bishnois, the Rajasthani gypsies and the Pushkar Fair. I consider his edgy and high contrast black & white photograph to be influenced by what I call the "Bangladeshi" school. You be the judge.