Grandmother series, Calcutta c.1978 © Pablo Batholomew
Workers in leather washing unit, Tangra, Calcutta, c.1978 © Pablo Bartholomew
Mosque in a slum, Calcutta, c.1978 © Pablo Bartholomew
Trams & Buses,Calcutta, c.1978 © Pablo Bartholomew
Man with portable shooting range, Calcutta, c.1978 © Pablo Bartholomew
Boy jumping off temple roof, Tangra, Calcutta, c.1978 © Pablo Bartholomew
Ray with son in editing room, Bombay c.1978 © Pablo Bartholomew
Light Boy on set,Calcutta, c.1978 © Pablo Bartholomew
Following Chronicles of the Past Life, Bombay (1970s-80s), a singular and vibrant portrait of that large Indian city, these photographs show Calcutta in 1976. They were taken from Pablo Bartholomew’s personal archives for an exhibition and catalogue, The Calcutta Diaries.
In 1976, Pablo Bartholomew was 21 years old. He worked in Calcutta with Satyajit Ray on the film The Chess Players. In addition to his portraits of the director and his crew, Bartholomew offers a different look at the city by showing the Chinese community. Feeling himself to be an outsider (his father, Richard, an art critic, painter and photographer, was Burmese), Bartholomew bears witness to the hard life of the Chinese, settled in the Bengali capital for centuries but forced to leave the country following India’s loss in the Sino-Indian War of 1962.
The Calcutta Diaries is a fascinating photographic patchwork that combines intimate moments from Bartholomew’s life, like portraits of his grandmother, and his work as a photographer on behalf of marginalized communities.