Sameer Raichur
bangaloREsident-Expanded@basis

Sameer Raichur © Jacobia Dahm Sameer Raichur is an independent Indian photographer based out of Bangalore and a member of Diversify Photo and Native Agency. He graduated with distinction from the Hallmark Institute of Photography; Turners Falls, MA in 2012 – necessary course correction after a brief stint practicing as a corporate lawyer.

He has an affinity for anachronistic socio-cultural practices, and memory and nostalgia are frequent themes in his work. He is particularly drawn to documenting ignored traditions and subcultures hiding in plain sight and is deeply interested in and continues to explore the thorny notion of masculinity and all its accompanying baggage through his work.

He is especially interested in portraiture, documentary photography and relies on editorial commissions to further his personal practice. His clients include Caravan Magazine, FT Weekend Magazine, Geo Magazin, GQ, The Indian Quarterly, Libération, Lonely Planet, LiveMint, Sueddeutsche Zeitung and Time Magazine.

Proposed project at basis:
Like an understanding of the outside world is inevitably influenced by personal life, art is greatly enriched by the harvest of personal experiences. Their emotional expression in a chosen medium has been known to ease our remembrance of negative life events and cope with trauma. I want to use the opportunity provided by the bangaloREsidency-Expanded to recreate memories from a difficult life experience to process any lingering trauma using photography.

Part of this exploration will involve the ‘staging’ of certain incidents – memories seared into the subconscious that are essential to reconstructing the past. A multi-disciplinary approach will benefit the process of staging and recreation as it might involve practices as diverse as performance art, set design and writing; among others. Working at the intersection of cultural viewpoints, the goal is to discover a novel narrative technique to tell a story that I believe would interest an objective observer.

During my bangaloREsidency-Expanded in Frankfurt, I extensively documented Frankfurt’s (in)famous ‘Bahnhofsviertel’ named after the central train station or the ‘Hauptbahnhof’, this neighbourhood is often the first glimpse of Frankfurt for most visitors, as it was for me. While most people use it as a transit point, my host organisation - basis e.V. was based in the Bahnhofsviertel.

The neighbourhood is perhaps best known for housing Frankfurt’s world famous red-light district. It is also home to scores of drug addicts from around Germany whose addiction regularly spills out, often viscerally and disturbingly, onto the streets. This is a source of chagrin to the residents of the neighbourhood, many of whom pay high rents for the vibrant and ‘multi-culti’ vibe that the Bahnhofsviertel affords, unlike some of the other sanitised and affluent parts of the city.

In the past decade or so, the Bahnhofsviertel has witnessed unprecedented gentrification which has brought in swanky cafes, restaurants, bars and speakeasies that cater to the proximate financial district. The end-result is that junkies, hipsters, sex-workers, artists and suits all jostle for space in its history-laden streets.

It is this amalgam of viewpoints witnessed in the Bahnhofsviertel that urged me to document it. As I began to feel comfortable on its streets, I used the outsider’s advantage - objective perspective - to gain access to intimate perspectives. The images I made feature some of the unique spaces that give the neighbourhood its unique character and serve as a portrait of what I consider, the most interesting place in Frankfurt.
  • Sameer Raichur @ basis_1 © Sameer Raichur
  • Sameer Raichur @ basis_2 © Sameer Raichur
  • Sameer Raichur @ basis_3 © Sameer Raichur
  • Sameer Raichur @ basis_4 © Sameer Raichur
  • Sameer Raichur @ basis_5 © Sameer Raichur
  • Sameer Raichur @ basis_6 © Sameer Raichur