The Chitrabani Photographs

The Chitrabani series takes a look at the everyday life of Calcutta as a city and the activities and occupations of the city’s poor and downtrodden. This collection is a socially conscientious documentary photography founded by the visionary Jesuit priest, Father Gaston Roberge. Chitrabani was a unique institution functioning out of St. Xaviers College in 1970 before its re-location to its present premise on 76, Rafi Kiwai Road.  Chitrabani offered courses in documentary photography and film making with the main objective of spreading a new culture of mass media. Chitrabani’s team of photographers undertook two important projects between 1976 and 1991, under the titles “People of Calcutta” and “Shaheed Minar”. The themes ranged from slum dwellings, religious life, political graphiti, old age and child labour to mention a few. The CSSSC archives have around 700 images from the massive collection of Chitrabani.