Instagraming India’s General Elections – The World’s Largest Exercise In Democracy
From 7th April to 12th May 2014, India holds it’s general elections to constitute the 16th Lok Sabha in India. Voting will take place in all 543 parliamentary constituencies of India to elect members of parliament in the Lok Sabha, or House of the People is the lower house of the Parliament of India. According to the Election Commission of India, the electoral population in 2014 is 814,5 millions, making this elections the largest democratic exercise in the world.
Scroll.in engaged a collective of young Indian photographers to capture the vibe of the elections with mobile phones and broadcast the images through an instagram feed. Curating the effort is Ritesh Uttamchandani. “I’ve been working with some hardcore talented and driven youngsters who have not shot an election ever. We are shooting exclusively on our phones, without accreds and passes.” Ritesh explains. “The attempt is to bring in a common man’s eye view of the most important ballot since independence, shot with a very common gadget, and the results, hence, are also easily accessible on a common platform, the phone – thereby establishing a circle of sorts.”
Responding to some criticisms on the use of instagram as medium, Ritesh adds “Criticism over a medium baffles me. Its just a tool, like old cameras where everything worked on estimates. In the case of the phone, the estimate calculation is by a software, built by a human who has probably put a tonne of thought into it. A phone demands intimacy and participation from the subject and the photographer. You have no option but to get close. And the filters, are truly no different from a purist using a red filter on infrared film to get close to a certain kind of result. In fact, its liberating, for it makes you record and pick the subtleties, which sometimes our visually desensitized eyes may not notice. The phone camera, in the right hands has a definite impact on the persons shooting style when shooting with other classical tools.”