Flâneur, stroller, idler in Mumbai
Are you a tourist or a street photographer, or ??? maybe a flâneur. Let’s see. When traveling and exploring a city, you need to see not only the touristic sights. I suppose that if you went to London, it wouldn't be your purpose to see the Tower, the London Bridge and Hyde Park only.
Traveling different as a tourist means for me to have a real taste of what it’s like to live there. Going into the dark bars, not overlooking the forgotten neighborhoods, trying winding paths that never seem to end. The question is, does my photography reflect that?
Time to stop and think about it. Do I capture moments that are genuine and real and authentic? Or do I, unknowingly, go after clichés?
The term street photography seems to confine my photographic approach. As I read about the concept of the flâneur, the casual wanderer, observer, and reporter of street-life in a modern city, looking at and listening to the kaleidoscopic manifestations of the life around me, I was hooked. The flâneur’s method and the meaning of this activity in connection with my approach in photography are bound together, one with the other. Indeed, I like to be like a flâneur and try to achieve a form of transcendence between traveling and capturing images.
I stroll to pass the time, treating the people who move by and the objects I see as part of my creative canvas for my pleasure. I like to be an unknown face in the multitude; a flâneur free to investigate my surroundings for signs and clues that may go unobserved by others.
I explore Mumbai and other locations the best when I ditch the guidebook and embrace an abstract, slightly absurdist approach. Time to think about photography in a new way.