Kabuliwala comes calling

Kabuliwala comes calling

first_imgNobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s timeless story Kabuliwala resonates perfectly with the Afghan community living in India. And capturing these connections is an ongoing photo exhibition in the capital that traces the life of Afghans living in Kolkata.Documenting the lives of around 5,000 Afghan families living in Kolkata in the exhibition From Kabul to Kolkata: Of Belonging, Memories and Identity two journalists embarked on a three-year journey to tell the story of a century of social transformation within the community.  It opened Saturday at Siddhartha Hall and is on till April 13. Moska Najib and Nazes Afroz have captured the stories of this secluded and little-known settlement in the present time through photographs. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“Being away from my homeland, I have been always drawn to the themes of identity and new belonging. This inspired me to photograph one of the oldest settled Afghan communities in India in modern times,” said Najib, an Afghan who has lived in India for most of her life. Najib hopes that the photographs on display will allow viewers to experience the problems of preserving an identity and rebuilding a home in a new space. “I wanted to explore how the community has held onto its culture and identity through the 100 years. And by understanding their ways of connection, I, too, wanted to connect with my own country – Afghanistan,” she added. Until a few decades ago, real Kabuliwalas were a common sight on the streets of Kolkata, as in most cities of north and central India; today stereotypes and standard attributes have formed an ambiguous image of these people. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“Kolkata had amazing diversity and it had made me what I am today. But for the last few decades I felt that this diversity was fading fast, which was disturbing me. So by doing this project, I had an opportunity to capture at least one slice of the diversity of this city and in a way it is a tribute,” Afroz, a journalist from Kolkata said. The series will connect viewers to the themes of human bonding and touch on the issues of loss of identity and a new sense of belonging.last_img

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