The right kind of ripe

Subhas Chandra Bose Statue, Calcutta
Rickshaw Traffic, Benares

Scooterist and Rickshaw Passengers, Benares

Jama Masjid and Bazaar Crowd, Delhi

Indian Border Security Force Soldiers at the India-Pakistan (Atari-Wagah) Border, Punjab

Holi Festival Day, Red Fort, Agra
Grand Turk Road, Durgapur, West Bengal
Finally found an article that convinced me of Teju Cole's wit: an enlightening counterargument on the beauty of photography taken by giants like Steve McCurry. Don't get me wrong: I'm a fan of Curry's photos, but it would never cross my mind to look at the bigger picture, at his collections, for example, and how Cole argued that "a sequence of photographs, taken over many years and carefully arranged" reveals something far more than just a collection but a worldview--an ideology, if you will.

Raghubir Singh is a photographer I haven't heard of, and would never have if it weren't for this article. Yet it's true that Singh's photos of India has so much more to offer since it "evades compositional cliché"--it's busy and noisy, and yet it veers away from the mystical, exotic experience that the Western perspective has subscribed to: the concept of the Orient. The photos above is a testament to Singh's eye. His is just as masterful as Curry, and it's a shame that the former had never been as widely recognized. (I even mistakenly attributed the first photo, Subhas Chandra Bose Statue, Calcutta, to Curry.) I liked how Teju skirted around the idea of mentioning Steve Curry's nationality and its tense relationship with the subject matter, on how his collections and curations has reinforced stereotypes as he framed India's landscapes. In writing about thorny, controversial issues, Cole's essay has both tact and grace. Where other reviews might be tempted to blatantly write about this issue (and the dynamics of photography and power in general), Cole decides to cite Beyonce's video to point out its increasing relevance.