New release: Curry #1

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For its first issue, Curry centres itself around taste. Explored from the perspectives of class, and various influencing factors in featured communities and cultures, taste is a foothold from which the magazine delves into widely unreported aspects of Indian culture.

Curry is a biannual magazine based in Calcutta, but incorporating international perspectives. It is edited and designed by Shreya Dalmia, who studied at London College of Fashion. Inspired by London’s indepdendent magazines, she wanted to bring the format to India, weaving together the sensibilities of East and West.

The magazine tries to break stereotypes of India that have been perpetuated by Western media in films like ‘Monsoon Wedding’ and ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. Dalmia notes that urban India is talking about the same things as the West, and she tries to show India for what it is, putting things into cultural context using photography, illustrations, and bold stories that explore topics in a multitude of ways.

Through photographs and beautifully evocative descriptions, the magazine invites you to stroll through Calcutta’s markets, walking the reader through flower bazaars and fish stalls. Shreya Mukherjee humorously bemoans male/female gender rolls in her piece ‘Protruding Issues’, a step-by-step guide on how to get a potbelly, which in India is a sign that a man is well fed by a woman (above). Tips include ‘do follow the norm and rely on women to take care of the food.’ In her piece on the ‘derangement of senses’, Amy Lockwood argues the case for hallucinogens in the 21st century, and her words are accompanied by embroidered photographs by Nicole Chui (below).

One of the opening pieces of the magazine is a collage series by artist Lia Surely. Surely creates witty works that present India’s favourite comfort foods, and include a boy skating on a chip, and another meditating on a pile of breads (above). The series sets the context for the rest of the pieces in the magazine; bold, humorous and surprising for those whose notions of India have been misinformed by Western media.

It’s great to see more magazines arriving from further afield than the usual sources.

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