Sooni Taraporevala

Tell us about the show, and what according to you is unique?
The show has 90 B&W photographs of the city that span from 1977 to the present day. It’s unique only because each photographer’s viewpoint and experiences are unique. And since my 40 years in this city I call home, is unlike anybody else’s, the photographs are a reflection of that.

When you say photographing Bombay happened organically, how exactly do you end up making your selections amongst the countless photos that you have captured?
It happened organically in the sense that I did not photograph the city with a plan or an agenda. I was photographing because the city is a source of endless inspiration for me. The selections I made were based on images that were first and foremost good photographs, then those got culled down as one does when one edits anything.

Why did you choose black and white?
Most of these photos were made with B&W film. When I began in the seventies, all my gurus were B&W photographers from Bresson to Brassai, Koudelka, Rober Frank, Helen Leavitt. I began shooting colour after I met the legendary photographer Raghubir Singh in 1982 who was a master of colour.

How do you keep yourself motivated and creative?
Life motivates me.

How has social media impacted photography? Where do you see it in the next ten years?
The selfie juggernaut is a massive phenomenon that shows no signs of abating. In our days the only way you could photograph yourself, is if you went to a studio, or a friend with a camera took your photo, or if you had a camera, you could stand in front of a mirror and take a self-portrait. Now, all you need is a phone. In that sense it has been a wonderful leveler – to allow masses of people to take pleasure in, what was once restricted to a few. But on the other hand, it seems to have given rise to socially sanctioned extreme narcissism.

What advice would you like to impart to young photographers?
What advice can I give youngsters today? They are operating in a world I don’t even know.

What are your current projects and future plans?
This show will be going to Sunaparanta in Goa November 14th, and then to Vadhera in Delhi mid-January. I am writing a TV series and hope to make a film next year.

Tell us about your three favorite photographs from the collection.
No favorites. They’re all my babies ☺.

Home In The City, Bombay 1977-Mumbai 2017 is on from the  14th to the 31st of October, 11am-7pm, at Chemould Prescott Road Gallery, Fort, Mumbai.

Image used with permission.