This week we’ve interviewed Shilpa Bhatnagar of Flaneurbanite, a twenty-something Indian bringing her keen eye and love of street-writing and photography to London – ‘capturing fragments and rewriting the City’.
Image licensed to Shilpa under the Creative Commons All Rights Reserved License
If you had to describe your blog in less than 15 words how would you do it?
Photographic narratives of London by an urban planner, writer, walker and obsessive photographer.
What’s a Flaneurbanite?
Oh, that’s a compound word made of the French word “flâneur” and “urbanite” that I invented when I was trying to think of a catchy nickname to call myself by on the blog. A Flâneur is one who indulges in flânerie- the act of walking the city in order to experience it without intervening in it, while recording and later retelling it – which is more or less what I do on the blog. Urbanite, because I am essentially one. I know “flaneurbanite” is more tongue-twisty than catchy, but it’s unusual, so people remember it. And I like that.
Why did you start blogging?
I love writing. I love photography. I love telling stories. And I have an intrinsic relationship with Cities – not just as a dweller but as a professional. Towards the end of 2008 I was feeling a major creative void in life, and that is when, prodded on by a couple of friends and family, I finally brought all of these together in Urban Legends. It has just been a little over two months since it started but it’s fun, it partly satisfies my creative craving, and the feedback has been amazing. It’s hard work to walk miles, click, sort through hundreds of pictures, edit and upload them to Flickr, compose the stories, link the pictures – all to make up one post. But I absolutely love it.
That said, Urban Legends is not my first blog – I’ve had another photography blog, a creative writing blog, a personal anecdote blog and have been a contributor to a few literary blogs. Urban Legends is the youngest – just two months old – and my personal favourite!
Read the rest on Londonist.