We are delighted to invite you to Kolkata – The City of Joy – where Workshopx will hold a week-long workshop in March 2014, led by photographers Aleksander Bochenek and Chhandak Pradhan. It will be a great opportunity to visually explore the most fascinating Indian metropolis while experiencing the vibrant chaos that is Kolkata.
© Aleksander Bochenek / Chhandak Pradhan
Why Kolkata? Because, it is a city of many names, a city of opposites- where an American embassy sits on a street named after Ho Chi Minh and fading graffiti of hammer and sickle jostle for space between billboards selling neon fantasy. It’s a city trying to balance its crumbling colonial heritage as the erstwhile capital of the British Raj and jumpstart its development after a limbo of 34-year-old communist rule- the longest ever democratically elected one.
If you manage to look beyond the poverty, grime and dirt, past the cacophony of the hand pulled rickshaws, yellow taxis and trams, you will notice that it is also the cultural capital of the country. Kolkata is an assault on your senses. The heat and exhaust fumes mingle with the omnipresent smell of spices and street food. If you accept the challenge and dare to explore, you will be rewarded with a unique view of the microcosms that make this metropolis a photographer’s paradise. For it is not just a city but also an experience that can change the way you see the whole world.
Our workshop is aimed at photographers interested in developing their documentary, narrative and storytelling skills. Participants will be encouraged to complete a photographic story or build a coherent portfolio of single images under the guidance of experienced photographers and journalists. The tutors will actively assist each participant in their individual journey and help them edit the photographs into a visually engaging narrative.
Participants will propose their own projects or choose one from an earlier announced list of topics. We will help gain access to places and institutions of interest in order to maximize shooting. We will consult (via e-mail and phone calls) the preparation process with the participants before the workshop starts.
During the 7 days in Kolkata, participants will shoot both individually and with the leading photographers within a flexible schedule, adjusted to their individual needs. Local assistants will be available to help translate and commute within the city. There will be daily critique sessions both as a group and as individuals. The venue of our working meetings will be the legendary Fairlawn Hotel. fairlawnhotel.com
During the penultimate day of the workshop participants will have a chance to witness and participate in one of the most colorful festivals of the world – Holi. We will offer guidance on how to prepare and protect equipment to participants willing to photograph the event.
Participants are supposed to make their own arrangements regarding travel and accommodation; however, we are ready to provide a list of possible accommodation options and some help at the arrival, like picking up from the airport, etc., to the confirmed candidates.
Date: 12 – 18 March 2014 (7 days)
Place: Kolkata, India
Workshop is limited to 10 participants.
Aleksander Bochenek – documentary photographer born and based in Poland. He studied photography first in Tokyo and then continued in Barcelona, where he graduated in photojournalism at the GrisArt Escola in 2008. Since that year he has been regularly visiting Kolkata, where he started his major long-term project I love my Sudder Street, documenting the life of a local family. He also has extensively traveled to dozens of other destinations around the world. Aleksander is a member of the Polish Journalist Association and a co-founder of Workshopx. aleksander bochenek photography
Chhandak Pradhan – journalist, editorial photographer and multimedia producer based out of Kolkata, working for such clients as Marie Claire, Forbes, BBC Good Food, Save The Children, Stop TB, Rotary International, British Council and Deutsche Bank. He has a diploma in Photojournalism from Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines and holds a masters degree in Journalism from University of Calcutta. His works have been published in BBC, Yale Journal of International Affairs, Elle Décor, etc. He was a Finalist at 2012 Sony World Photography Awards : Save The Children Photo Competition and received the Konrad Adenauer Asian Center for Journalism Fellowship in 2011. chhandakpradhan.com
The leading photographers will be supported by Grzegorz Ostręga – a photographing journalist and editor, who for a long time traveled and lived in South and Southeast Asian countries, working for local magazines. Grzegorz is a co-founder of Workshopx, within which he leads photo editing workshops.
See photographs taken by participants during the workshop and read their opinions: LINK.