Jit Chowdhury’s Soul City

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Images by Jit Chowdhury

Jit Chowdhury, aka Jitch, was part of a book collaborative called Soul City curated by Preeti Roy Choudhury. Soul City is a book about Calcutta from the perspective of 16 different ‘Calcuttans’ who share their version of the City of Joy through narrative, poetry, art (Jitch), photography and so on.

Soul City is a dream dreamt by all its 16 contributors. The brief for this book was to reflect his own take on this city. All the artworks are “honest perspectives to MY Calcutta. A city that gives a lot, she gave me my visual language, taste, knowledge of space, colour and texture i.e. in a nutshell, everything that I possess right now.

I have learnt [my] art, watercolours and composition from her,” says Jitch and took his contribution to the book as a way of thanking Calcutta. Jitch adds, “I did what I usually do – that’s why all my artworks for this book are from my sketchbooks. I [usually] roam around the city sketching, talking to people, conceptualising and jotting all those down visually in my sketchbook.”

While a few sketches were already done when he got the offer to contribute, Bhowanipore Bari and The Argumentative Indian were the two he did especially for Soul City with Charge Up The City and Deya-Neya are the two [the curator] selected from his sketchbooks. He is quite “excited about Charge Up The City” where he has used a very new style and medium for it, with one portion I have used tape (sellotape) impression.

Soul City – Inside Stories from Calcutta, rekindles nostalgia for those who continue to call Calcutta their home while giving a refreshingly personal account for the visitors.

Released in December 2015 and humbly priced, you can pick up a copy of this labour of love here and enjoy it with some cha & adda.

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