Scroll has put together a mammoth collection of Instagrams from India’s general elections this year—and we’re not talking about voter selfies. Photographers from around India have contributed to this project, capturing rarely seen facets of the largest democratic exercise in the world. Here are 13 of those, along with the stories behind them.
By Arkadripta Chakraborty
On the day Assam went to the second phase of the elections, I was wandering the streets of Guwahati trying to make some Instagrams. After half a day of shooting I couldn’t get anything interesting and thought of venturing a little out of town. I was already at the Kamakhaya temple which is halfway towards the airport. I went there. I had not anticipated getting an image. As I was smoking outside the airport, I suddenly spotted this group climbing onto an abandoned aircraft staircase outside the airport. I wandered for a while thinking what they were up to as I smoked, and then walked up to them and started shooting them, still not knowing what they were actually doing up there. But by the end of it they had seen me shooting them, and we eventually started a conversation which revealed they were awaiting to receive their relatives coming to Assam to cast their votes that day. They had come all the way from the Dhubri district of Assam to receive their relatives as the availability of vehicles Guwahati to Dhubri would be next to nil on voting day.
I’m not terrific at remembering to post my published pieces on here, but some products from the last few months:
A piece I reported for Al Jazeera English on mass weddings taking place in post-riot relief camps in Muzaffarnagar.
A piece I reported for the New York Times’ India Ink blog on the politics motivating sectarian violence in Lucknow during Muharram.
A media analysis I wrote for Columbia Journalism Review on how Indian media and international media saw the Khobragade diplomat case.
A Q&A I did with Mukulika Banerjee on what anthropology and ethnography can teach us about why India votes (NYT India Ink).
A Q&A I did with Vishwajyoti Ghosh on the significance of younger generations “restorying” Partition in a graphic novel format (NYT India Ink).
My slowness with these updates aside, I’ve been pretty active lately on Instagram! Check out my photos from the field and some daily life snaps.