Photo Studio

The Hands That Carve God - Ganesh Chaturthi Special

Founded by the Mota Dada (the eldest) of the society during around 1930s, Gulbai Tekra has been named after an affluent Parsi lady named Gulabi Bai who gifted the land to the migrant sculptor community of Rajasthan for residential purpose. The aesthetically sound commune migrated during an extreme famine condition to Ahmedabad and is currently situated between the commercially buzzing areas of Panjrapol and Ashram Road. Due to the paucity of marble ores around the vicinity, the artists started developing Ganesha idols made of plaster of paris. Today, hundreds of families dwell within the hovels of the area, producing approximately 100,000 idols every year. Although the neighbourhood is thousands of miles away from the stardom of Los Angeles, locals call Gulbai Tekra as the Hollywood Basti of Ahmedabad. Some say it is named due to their women’s gaudy dresses but more so it is a satirical innuendo to highlight the contrast of glamour of Hollywood with filth laden environs of Gulbai Tekra Basti. The godly sculptures usually start getting crafted during February and are completed until the end of May. June to August period is the time when they are up for sale, and the fates of sculptors are tested, who work as contract laborers at construction sites during off season.

 

The Hands That Carve Your Gods’ is a photogenic album captured by lensman Marmik Shah on the morning clocks of Independence Day. Hailing from the Metropolitan of Ahmedabad, Shah is an aspiring photographer, management trainee and a digital media student. Shah began his photographic journey with Ketan Modi in his teenage and had developed an eye for it within no time! According to him, streets are his studio, and candids are his portraits.

Photo Studio Curator : Ketan Modi




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