Interview #2 with Hardcore Street Collective curator Shweta Agrawal

Today we welcome Shweta Agrawal, founder and curator of the Hardcore Street Collective Instagram account. She curates it together with Mithu Chakraborty who is based in Singapore. Agrawal currently lives in Mumbay and focusses on photography and paintings, mostly charcoal portraits.

Photo by Vineet Vohra

 

Hi Schweta, it’s a pleasure to interview you for the site. Could you tell us a bit about Hardcore Street Collective? How did it start and what is the aim of the account?

Hi Julie, thank you so much for the honor! 
Hardcore Street Collective started last year in September when I was doing Project 365, where I used to shoot daily, one picture a day. I was sharing it on social media and I took it as a challenge to be consistent. Street photography was on my mind throughout. I always had this wish to open an account where I could share brilliant work by talented photographers from all over the world and to get to know these photographers more closely. Also to learn from them.

 

How do you make HCSC stand out in the competitive world of Instagram feature-accounts?

We used to do a daily feature of a photographer of the day in the insta story, which was appreciated by photographers and gave huge impact. Also we featured the work of famous photographers to share their story and inspire other photographers. As we are from India, we make sure that we post pictures from Asia.

 

 

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Photo by Ajay Salvi

 

 

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Photo by Muhammad Imam Hasan

 

And how important is originality for you when you curate the account?

Very very important. Originality is what we look for in every shot.
We do our best to feature photographers who are less known and need more visibility, as their work is so impressive.

Could you explain how you define originality?

For me originality is when you see a photograph, you see how nicely the photographer has observed everything and has made an effort in thinking. It has some unique element or moment which you don’t see often. I see the perspective of the picture, try to understand and read the mind of the photographer behind the particular photograph. I look for the uniqueness of creativity with some street elements behind each photograph, which definitely makes me feel inquisitive to think and hang on for sometime.

What do you think about the repetitions and similarities in street photography? How do you 
approach that element as curator?

We know that people have started really trying to do juxtapositions and layers a lot.
We only select those which look unique and out of the box.

 

 

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Photo by VagueandoPorLisboa

 

 

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Photo by Viduthalai Mani Dharmaraj

 

 

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Photo by Efe Can Uysal

 

I understand that you follow your personal vision when selecting the photographs. At the same time, Instagram is a
 like & comment based platform. How important is this audience response to you? Is there ever a dilemma between choosing what you like and what the audience might appreciate?

Yes. Sometimes I do curate according to the audience’s tastes. Mostly I go with what I love in the shot, even if I feel the major audience may not like it. I balance it.

I see. Do you see a pattern in terms of what the audience relates to the most?

Juxtapositions mostly.

Sounds familiar. Last question, what are your future plans with the hardcore street collective?

Our future plan is to organise photo walks and workshops with our brand.
To make people grow more into street photography, which is the toughest photography according to me.

Seems like a good idea, taking the online offline. Shweta, thank you very much!

 

 

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Photo by Serkan Tekin

 

 

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Photo by Noppadol Maitreechit

 

 

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Photo by Tavepong Pratoomwong

 

 

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Photo by Chot Touch

 

LINKS:
HCSC on Instagram
Shweta Agrawal on Instagram
Mithu Chakraborty on Instagram

 

 

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