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Middle-Class Vacation by Ritam Nandy

“Vacation” as a concept in India has a connection with its long colonial past. Though the concept of vacation for the religious pilgrimage to spiritual sites was not unknown within the country, the concept of taking a vacation for the mere joy of traveling is relatively modern. Travel for recreation was always a luxury that only wealthy people could afford. Taking a break from work periodically took root among the middle and working class much later, with post-colonial influence.

The ‘middle class’ or ‘working class’ is one of the dominant and vocal sections of the Indian population. It is one of the largest consumers and biggest dreamers. This section of the population has its distinct aspirations, standards of food, clothing, aesthetic values, and worldview. This section looks up to the upper class with awe and often aspires to reach up to that strata.

This project could be called ‘travel essays through photographs’, in which I will try to document the ‘travel stories’ of this vast community of people in the role of ‘tourists’, their behavioral patterns, attire, food, and concepts of travel and vacation. Additionally, the modern advent of technology, the modern methods of ‘storing’ memories on smartphones, etc. create new situations.

Alongside this, the photo essay will also document the local people of popular tourist destinations about the traveling tourists. In this section, I shall focus on the sea in particular and see how the tourists and the local people relate to the sea differently.

Photographer: Ritam Nandy

Ritam Nandy is a graphic designer by profession, and photographer by passion, based in Kolkata. He has completed his painting from Kala Bhavana, Visva Bharati, Santiniketan, and his post-graduation in painting from Hyderabad Central University, Hyderabad.

He is currently working on a few long-term projects of human interest like environment, mental health, and sociocultural themes. Photography for him is an extended form of art practice that deals with the concepts of space, and time. Ideas and composition are on an entirely different plane compared to painting, for instance. He enjoys the processes involved in transferring multilayered thoughts and ideas transform into photographic images.

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