Remembering Bengaluru—old, new and in between
“In one of Shanthamani M.’s photographic compositions—or “photomontages”, as she calls them—a woman holds aloft a miniature model of an aeroplane. Flanking her are brightly embroidered blankets made by women from the Siddi community of Karnataka and mandalas that look like rangoli designs, though not quite like the ones you see in the southern state. On one side of the frame is an image of a felled tree trunk, hollowed out, with a hole like an open wound.
All these fragments, photographed on Bengaluru’s buzzing Brigade Road between 2006-08, cohere to form a metaphor for a city in a constant state of flux—a metonymy for urban space that is repeatedly dismantled and cobbled together, ad infinitum, a place under siege from a rapacious model of growth meant to serve unbridled commerce to the exclusion of all else.”