Well it’s official, I’m off to India! I’ve decide to attend a Mian Photographic workshop in Calcutta in Oct. called The Streets of Calcutta: Color, Light, and the Goddess, it’s being taught by Peter Turnley
Turnley is a photojournalist renown for documenting the human condition and current events. He is also a widely acclaimed street photographer who’s lived in and photographed Paris since 1978-one of the preeminent photographers of the daily life in Paris of his generation. His work is often seen in the world’s most prestigious magazines: Newsweek, Harper’s, Stern, Paris Match, Geo, LIFE, National Geographic, The London Sunday Times, VSD, Le Figaro, Le Monde, and DoubleTake. He is now based both in New York and Paris.
We’ll be shooting just before the first day of Durga Puja, and continue through the five key days of the festival: Sasthi, Saptami, Ashtami, Navami and Dashami. Durga Pooja is a celebration of the feminine divine, manifested in the mythological figure of the mother goddess. For the festival, thousands of life-size idols of the goddess riding a lion (her chosen form of transportation) are created by local artisans and moved throughout the city on trucks. Makeshift temples are created in colorful cloth tents on the street. During the first and second days, people visit the temples at night, bringing the goddess gifts and performing religious rituals. The fourth day involves the indoor festival, when women say goodbye to the goddess, and cover and each other in vermillion, and the final day, when the idols are submerged in the river in a tearful goodbye. We will be photographing this event, which will be the culmination of the celebration as well as the workshop.
I’m extremely excited, overwhelmed, and I’ll be honest, a little scared, for this trip. It means being on the other side of the world from my family, in one of the most intense cultures in the world. But when the workshop was announced I just knew I needed to do this. It’s been a hectic year and things are only getting busier so this was a perfect time to challenge myself, photographically, and emotionally.
If any of my clients want something done before I go, or want to line something up for when I return, I’d encourage you to give me a call ASAP. This next month is going fast!