Saturday, January 30, 2016

A photography exhibition by amateurs captures the life and the story of people on railway platforms
rail ChroniclesThe work of one of the photographers.

There are stories waiting to be told everywhere, no more so than in India, which is home to one-sixths of the world’s population with more than one billion people. The Indian Railways, which transports millions of Indians every day, is one of the best places to capture the diverse cross-section of Indian society.

“Some in 8 Billion” — a photo exhibition that captures life-sized portraits of travellers, is an attempt to demonstrate this multi-verse that the Indian railways carries every day. The exhibition, which was on view at the Goethe Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, Bengaluru, was a result of a workshop by photographer Claudius Schulze at the National Institute of Design (NID). The exhibition featured works by 16 photographers, 11 from NID, and five from Max Mueller Bhavan.

“The exhibition is about the people of India. The goal of the project is to de-analyze the people who travel in the railways. If you take the train everyday, you prefer the carriage with the least people in it because that means more space and more quietness. But it’s the same for everybody,” explains Claudius.

“This exhibition is an attempt to showcase the other people who take the trains or work at train stations. That’s the goal.” This is why the team has chosen to display life-sized portraits of travellers so it feels like they are actually there. “Since there are 16 photographers, most of whom are amateurs or novices, we first developed a visual language so that the exhibition has a uniform look. Then we went out to photograph at various railway stations in the city,” he says.

The group interviewed people on platforms, asking them about their journey, what they do for a living, or the purpose of their presence on the platforms before requesting if they could capture their portraits. “It was a great opportunity because we usually don’t get to interview or photograph people on platforms.

It was a unique experience, to meet different kinds of people, listening to what they had to say, especially when it was those who weren’t travelling and were on the platform for other reasons,” shares Priyanka Kumari, a student of NID.

“Photography is not just about clicking pictures but about the whole process, where you get to know the person and listen to their story.”

A group of photographers spoke to people who travel by trains, asking them about their journey.


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