Photographic Archival of Endangered Historic Buildings and Monuments in Calcutta
Calcutta is a city that lives in layers of time. With each new day, a bit of 'the old' is demolished and a portion of 'the new' emerges from that very ground. This 'new' that is born every day, can be called development, but 'the old' that is reduced to dust is called History. This city has a lot of such old-new contrast that live side by side and for a city, almost 500 years old; a lot of the 'old' still lives on, though in constant fear of getting demolished by Property Sharks and building promoters to build cage-like modern apartment flats.
I am a web-designer and a self taught photographer. For the last three years I have roamed the streets of Calcutta, photographing its old buildings and monuments; buildings that have historic or architectural importance. Some of these buildings have been given 'Heritage' status by the government and as such are protected against land grabbers, but the existence of many others, still remains uncertain.
The idea with which I started work was to create a photographic archive of all such existing buildings and monuments, along with their brief history. This archive I want to make available on the internet for free, so that the generations to come may not completely forget about these silent sentinels of our History. I have been able to take a vast number of photographs and collect materials on this subject; everything properly sorted according to geographic locations and period. I have dissected the city into three basic zones (North Calcutta, Central Calcutta, and South Calcutta) with respect to the geography. Time and architecture is my other category where in, Colonial, Islamic, Buddhist influences on the city is elaborated with due references to pre and post independence eras. I would also like to come out with a guide-book where in these photographs will be printed along with the history and location of the monument. This book is for free distribution at railway stations, airports and bus terminals, so that people travelling to the city may know where to see them. A freed downloadable copy of the same will be made available on the website as well.
The survival of these buildings depends upon the awareness of their existence, and that is what I want to achieve through my efforts, but I cannot do this alone.
Where am I Stuck?
I have, diligently collected the photographs and the materials required to do the project, but have run out of resources to put such vast data online or in print. I have approached contributors and advertisers for the book and the site, yet unable to make ends meet. Publishing and hosting charges required for the information heavy project, has stalled me in my tracks. I appeal to everybody out there to contribute towards saving the history and the beauty; this, if lost, will be a loss that none of us will afford.
What do I need?
I need am in need of $1200 to get the first edition of the book out and another $600 to put it all on line. Pease Back History.