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From medieval to modern

Photographer Rajib De brings out the contrast between a city from the past and a new emerging city in India through his photography exhibition

“Nothing in life is permanent.” Hampi, the once magnificent city of the fourteenth century, is now deserted. A new polis, Newtown, is rising out of the rural soil of West Bengal. Photojournalists Rajib De, explores the state of these two cities visually through his exhibition in India International Centre.
Titled A Tale of Two Cities, it is a photographic study of a great Indian city in the sleeping past and another waking into being a part of the urban space. It provides us a glimpse of the changes in Indian civilisation from medieval to modern days.

Set in a panoramic format, all the images are in black and white and are put together in pairs. The exhibition features 21 pairs of his photographs which captures the contrast between the magnificent ruins of a city in the past and the distant buildings of a new emerging city. The photographs hints at the scenes of ordinary life at the busy streets of Hampi which now lies silent and deserted.

Situated 5-6 km away from his home in Salt Lake, Rajib has been capturing the changing landscapes of Newtown for the past six years. During this time, he came across a photo of Hampi one day and felt drawn to that place. He visited Hampi six times and clicked photographs of the ruins.

Bringing it all back to his edit table, he started editing all the photographs of both the cities when it hit him that there was some relation between them. He identified a harmony between the two phases of Indian civilisation and put them together in pairs, creating a connection across ages.

Rajib had started photography with The Telegraph in 1989 and has worked with The Statesman, The Bengal Post and is currently the photo editor of Kolkata-based newspaper Sangbad Protidin.

So drop in to look at the duality of two cities through photographs as it traces the gradual rise and inevitable fall of any civilisation. The exhibition is being hosted from August 10 to 20.