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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
wow, what an experience I had in India.
I went to India last winter for a month, and visited Delhi, Varanasi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Agra etc.
The first week in India was the worst, I was sick for a week due to food poisoning, and got my SLR camera and films stolen >( (Nikon FM3A and 3 lenses). Someone broke a window of my guest house room and somehow managed to steal my camera bag which was near the window. That totally runied my experience, because I was really looking forward to taking pictures with my film camera(I am not a big fan of digital photos, I prefer film).
Photos I posted here are taken with a crappy digital camera which was my reserve camera. Luckly I had it with me when I was out for dinner.
Everything went smooth after the first week, and had a wonderful time. What a dynamic country India is, I highly recommend everyone to visit this wonderful country, full of the most kind people :angel1: in the world(except for the thief.)
Of course, it would've been better if I had my FM3a with me and did not get so sick.
I really want to visit it again sometime in the near future.








delicious Chai anyone? :eek:kay:
























































 

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Great pics :)

I like this guy's expression


But :eek:, Varanasi/Kasi looks to be the most underdeveloped part of India. It seems all the pilgrimage money collected in that city is frettered away to other places. It also attracts thousands of 'professional beggars' who move there each year to ply their sick trade on good natured pilgrims and tourists. The 'poverty trade' there is the worst in India.

The government or some private organizations need to spend a couple million dollars rennovating the city. I can't believe their still using bicycle and hand(!) rikshas there. I thought they were banned!


----------==--=--==----------

Though I really must come clean that my heckles are raised somewhat, seeing as the photographer only sought to capture the stereotype and the absurd (grotty back alleys, cows :|, and wtf transvestites??? :weird: ), rather than the reality of the Indian city. And Indian forumers here wonder why India is so stereotyped. Its a self-perpetuating fallacy. :eek:hno:

Someone only looking at these pics... the seedy, the dirty, the strange... the unrepresentative, will get the idea that all of India looks like that -- that such images of India are the norm! Is it some twisted condesention that makes such photographers do so? Or conversely, the shock of the noble savage?


Really... in your words, Indians are the 'nicest people on the planet', and yet you choose to take pictures of the worst of India, and pass it off as the norm? Should the visitor to Mexico take photos only of the most crime ridden favelas and gun toting street children and pass it off as Brazil? Should the visitor to China take photos of the most old and crumbling old city and policemen denying visitation rights in an area and pass it off as China? Should the visitor to LA go straight to Compton or Watts and take numerous photos of crack houses and coke fiends and pass it off as LA?

And yet you do so for India?? :sleepy:


When someone has built a house, and invited you in in a show of hospitality, do you only take pictures of the unfinished basement and the inside contents of the garbage bag? Then do you show everyone rotten banana peels and unfinished floors and say 'this is my friends new house'?

Is it not right to reciprocate such niceness by at the very least being HONEST? Could you not post (take?) representative images of India? Or was the whole trip simply poverty voyeurism and literally slumming it?


But you seems to be a good natured chap. Your words, if not your photos, anyway, so I'll leave it at that. But perhaps India should institute a policy like China, restricting tourists to only the developed parts of the nation. It would cut down the crap. ....not implying that your photos are crap, but I'm just being honest, right? :|
 

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Indeed. I do wish he'd have actually explored it. I mean, what kind of tourist goes to 4 cities, yet manages not to take photos of them. Only images of witherd old men, the homeless and shady back alleys?

I mean, he's obviously been to the cities.

^ Hey look there's Mumbai in the background. Yet no pics :(


^ The same place a second time. Yet no photos of the city itself.

(Did the author walk directly out of the train station, into a Mumbai taxi, and say to the driver: "My good man! Take me to your dirtiest alley of the city, forthwith most expediantly, please!")


^ Whoops, there is the taxi queue outside the Delhi station. Yet no Delhi? :(

(..."Yes my Delhi taxi driving friend! You heard me! To the slum that covers 5% of the city -- and absolutely not the city itself! I'm here to take pics of the 'real' India!")


Surely the author must understand how insulting it is to see only the worst proudly displayed, and the 95% of the rest of 'the adventure' utterly ignored.
 

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V80 said:
what a ...
This is my sentiments exactly.

What the ****? This is your trip to India??

What the hell kind of sick joke is this? How many hundreds of photographs did you allegedly take and discard before getting these 'choice' pics?


You know what's interesting? I distinctly remember seeing at least one of those photos posted elsewhere.

I do not think these are his own. I'll look for them.

In-fucking-teresting indeed.
 

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Looks like a dump, I'm sure there are niser places in India to take photos. :?
 

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Well, he did literally photograph a dump, in one pic. :| By golly... I think we may very well have stumbled onto the author's real intent.


edit- Though I must wonder what part of what red light district he was in to photograph those transvestites. *shrudder* :runaway:
 

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Fact 1: The world is not perfect. There are many parts of the world that look like a dump, and it's about time we see it! Just because SOME parts of India are underdeveloped, does not mean the rest of the country is underdeveloped. If people gain that impression based on a couple of photos they've seen, then they're narrow minded.

Fact 2: India is, quite simply, not a developed country. It's developing. It's a well-known fact that millions of Indians live in abject poverty. Do you not think his photos are a realistic portrayal for the man with the funny expression? Do you not think his photos are a realistic portrayal for the environment in which the transvestyte lives? Or how about those people sleeping in the train station? Of course - New Delhi is the land of milk & honey for them.

A dump might be a place of horror for some- but for the people who live there, it's a realistic way of life. And I say kudos to SoulKorea for actually showing us what a dump looks like - unfortunately for most of us, we seem to be deeply disturbed that the world is not one huge mass of gawdy high-rise buildings.
 

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No I mean he literally took a picture of a garbage pile. :|

India is not a developed country, it still has a poverty rate of 20% and a low income -- no one is saying, or even remotely suggesting otherwise. But at the same time it is hardly defined by poverty.

These photos are as representive of India as America's ghettos are of America, etc., etc.. Again, these photos are of the irrepresentative and the absurd. The voyeuristic pleasures of a rich taveller reveling in other people's misery to the point in that economic misery is the cause for and subject of all he snaps.


And spare me the sermonizing, Mother Teresa. I've lived in the dump, America's version: the projects in Detroit. My family lived on food stamps, and I even once got shot. My family comes has origins in a poor rural village outside Bombay, and my relatives still live in what some in the West might call squalor. The poor are proud, and their dignity is taken by offhand snaps by people gleefully capturing their image to show off later. The dignity of his subjects are stricken when the photographer phtographs to fit a prejudice.

I think you will find Indian forumers here amongst the most honest about their country, in every thread we post photos in. Far, far more than other peoples who censor their snaps to project an image of their country that is irrepresentative.

SIMILARLY these photos are irrepresentative of India, in the opposite way. Not representative. Not honest. DISHONEST. It is not exactly an awesome concept to wrap one's mind around, is it?

If he had posted photographs of the good and the bad -- the images of what INDIANS in their whole live in -- then it would be a travelogue.

As it is, it's a collection of preselected photographs either chosen or taken with a direct object in mind -- to project poverty and run-down-ness.

He has chosen not to photograph India, but to selectively photograph to fit a prejudice.


Now if he had some differing context to his photos (say, that he was an aid worker, helping teach the poor), then it would be different. His context he gave is: I went to 5 cities in India. This is my trip. This is India.

THIS IS NOT INDIA in its whole. If we fall back on statistics, this is less than 1/5 of India only, and in 6 years, it will be less than 1/10th.

There. I've explained the painfully obvious in several ways. Would you like me to explain in another, or do you have another half-baked sermon to deliver instead?
 

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Eh Jai, it's up to people what pics they want to show here. Maybe in the next series he'll post the tall shiny highrises. But for now, this is what we'll get Where did he say his pics represent India anyway? I don't understand your allegation that he did this intentionally to badmouth India. All he said was that this pics came from his trip to India, which indeed is true. Pics like these need to be shown so that people get a sense of what the other side of reality is like. One should never say that a number of slum pics can represent a nation, true, but I fail to see that this is the case here.
 

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Well, if he does come back and show how the great majority of Indians live, saying "oh ho you guys! That was just my "slum" album! Here's actually a photograph of an Indian city!' then what I will do is apologize profusely and humbly and ask for forgiveness because I was damn wrong.

...But why is it that I have a feeling that he won't do that?


'Badmouthing' can be overt or covert. It may even be unintentional, but the damage caused by misrepresentation is done. Let me put it this way: I've been here in SSP for about 6 months (active), in those six months, I've seen -- and I've counted -- twenty-nine threads on India ruined by different people coming in and saying "this isn't India! Show the real India!" and then posting google image search results for "+India +slum" (the same damn photos, in fact!)

The Indian forumers here have had countless trolls barging into either our forum, or unrelated threads whining blatantly wrong facts about how most of Mumbai is a slum! millions of Indians are starving! show photos of them! and other such petty bullshit.

Why, in nearly every 2-page-long+ thread on India in the international forums in the last three months, I can show at least two people daring to lecute either me or the other Indian forumers about how 'real India' is poor, and we're in denial, when they're simply stunningly ignorant of the facts!


Frankly, I'm sick of it. I am. Just plain sick of it. Sick of people trying to mask over the ground realities with incorrect, exaggerated and just plain ignorant stereotypes.

Look at this thread compared to any others in the forum. Any. Do you see the same type of behavior for any other countries? You'd think in a "cityscapes" section, you'd post images of, oh, a city? Something to do with urbanism, rather than the photographic rape of those in poverty?


Is this representive of India? You asked the question, and you tell me. Is it? If so, how?
 

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Jai said:
Well, if he does come back and show how the great majority of Indians live, saying "oh ho you guys! That was just my "slum" album! Here's actually a photograph of an Indian city!' then what I will do is apologize profusely and humbly and ask for forgiveness because I was damn wrong.

...But why is it that I have a feeling that he won't do that?


'Badmouthing' can be overt or covert. It may even be unintentional, but the damage caused by misrepresentation is done. Let me put it this way: I've been here in SSP for about 6 months (active), in those six months, I've seen -- and I've counted -- twenty-nine threads on India ruined by different people coming in and saying "this isn't India! Show the real India!" and then posting google image search results for "+India +slum" (the same damn photos, in fact!)

The Indian forumers here have had countless trolls barging into either our forum, or unrelated threads whining blatantly wrong facts about how most of Mumbai is a slum! millions of Indians are starving! show photos of them! and other such petty bullshit.

Why, in nearly every 2-page-long+ thread on India in the international forums in the last three months, I can show at least two people daring to lecute either me or the other Indian forumers about how 'real India' is poor, and we're in denial, when they're simply stunningly ignorant of the facts!


Frankly, I'm sick of it. I am. Just plain sick of it. Sick of people trying to mask over the ground realities with incorrect, exaggerated and just plain ignorant stereotypes.

Look at this thread compared to any others in the forum. Any. Do you see the same type of behavior for any other countries? You'd think in a "cityscapes" section, you'd post images of, oh, a city? Something to do with urbanism, rather than the photographic rape of those in poverty?


Is this representive of India? You asked the question, and you tell me. Is it? If so, how?
I didn't ask the question. Too many people know slum pics don't represent a country, and no one should pretend they do, to repeat my previous statement.

I recall a post on Shanghai (or some other Chinese city) where the pics shown actually come from areas that are yet to be transformed by the economic miracle. It's actually not that long ago. So, it's not just this post. And the truth is that areas like these are real parts of many cities, and thus qualify as cityscape. It's not pretty sight, true, but life isn't always pretty, is it? It's not that the world (or SSC) is trying to pick on you or India. True there are some ignorant people out there, but why pay so much attention to them?
 

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I agree. Most people with sense can understand that slums do not a city make, but, and I hate to :fiddle: , but it's been my experience (mostly bad), here, that some people are almost religiously against the notion that India is anything but a large slum. It's almost like to even mention otherwise steps on a proclomation by the Almighty himself.

There is a visceral reaction by many, many people here against such that confounds me as much as it pisses me the hell off.


Just think, had I or other Indian forumers refrained from posting in this thread, and put these pictures in correct perspective, we'd have a rash of posters saying how 'interesting' and 'exotic' and 'adventureous' India must be -- a veritable slum amusement park. The image of the wretched India would be again confirmed by the 'first hand'(woot!) photologue account by what must be a 'seasoned traveller' giving the impression he knows what he's talking about.

I doubt one guy would go 'now hold it fellas. Ain't these just photos of slums? How about pics of the real real India?'
 

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I just feel poor and dirty from those pics,really make me sick, but india isn't just like that...

what a......
 

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Thanks Maechile.

V80,
It's a sad fact of live that most of the people in the world live in such conditions. Even the middle class of most developing countries (not just India, but from Albania to Zimbabwe) do not live in conditions far removed from this... just minus the garbage on the street and plus a television or a pair of sneakers.

The only way is for a country to economically develop. That means investing all you can into your people, human and economic capital. Both investment of money, and time, like volunteering in homeless shelters, or teaching the deprived.

But I must ask. You feel sick looking at people in these conditions. How do you think these people feel? Do you think any of them realize that hundreds if not thousands of people from around the world are critically oogling them and saying 'gee, ain't that something how they live in poverty'?

Is it fair to these people that we are clandestinely, and though I use this word over again I'm not overusing it, voyeuring them? Stripping them of their dignity for a cheap laugh or worse, a 'humph'.

This is why I so utterly despise from the bottom of my being these kind of poverty vacations. The rich and well-to-do mingling among the poor -- not to help them in any way -- but to take a few snaps, absorb the refreshing air of decrepitude, assuage the conciance by clicking ones teeth and pursing ones lips pretending to be concerned about the plight of these people. Then relentlessly taking photographs all the while like they're some bloody rajah shooting some game, perhaps dropping a few rupees here or there. 'Sorry for visually jerking off to your misery. Go buy yourself jack shit.'

What really set me off was this guy claiming and indulging himself in the 'Indian hospitality' while all the while having some kooked up plan to exploit their image for some kicks and in what ammounts to be a visual orgy of omission against these very people, later.

Sick.
 
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