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India’s first Instagram exhibition to be held in Kolkata

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India’s first Instagram exhibition to be held in Kolkata.

Kolkata | By Shounak Ghosal | TNN | Jan 7, 2016, 12:58 AM IST.

Once upon a time it was a common sarcastic refrain: Oh, you’re a photographer? Who’s your agent, Instagram?

All that has changed now and the social media tool is virtually on every smartphone, with even professional growing a fondness for its special filters. So it certainly is a big deal when Instagram’s first photo exhibition in India will be held in Kolkata starting Thursday.

“The event has been organized to curate community-generated Instagram posts around the theme — Celebrating Diversity of Bengal. The exhibition will feature a combination of images covering festivals of West Bengal and images from the local Instagram community capturing diversity of the state in landscape, people, food, wildlife, architecture, and more,” said the formal invitation.

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City photographer Soumya Sankar Ghosal, as part of photo communities Streets of Calcutta and Calcutta Instagrammers, told TOI that there would be 15-odd pictures displayed at ICCR.

 “We were contacted by Facebook officials contacted about two weeks ago. I got a mail asking whether we were interested to collaborate in curating the exhibition. They wanted us to select photos of Bengal posted by Instagram. The group Streets of Calcutta has over 5,000 members and Calcutta Instagrammers has 2000-odd members. So we followed those handles where photos of Bengal are posted regularly. We contacted them easily as we are already connected on social media. We collected the photos and sent it to the Facebook team,” said Ghosal.
While around 50 photos were sent, said the photographer, 15 were shortlisted by the authorities concerned. “Then the officials contacted the photographers directly and an intellectual property release agreement was signed individually between the participants and the officials,” said Ghosal, whose photo of a man praying with a Nakhoda Masjid in the frame is one of the items to be displayed.
Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien is set to inaugurate the exhibition, and he is upbeat about it.
“It is very aptly timed as the Bengal Global Business Summit 2016 kicks on the same day and top corporate leaders from all over the world will be here. If they can spare a bit of time, I’d recommend a quick walk so that they can soak in the spirit of Bengal. This exhibition proves that people worldwide are changing their perception about the state,” he told TOI.
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