How the World’s Largest Democracy Decorates Its Campaign Offices

Slate’s design blog.
May 2 2014 9:45 AM

How the World’s Largest Democracy Decorates Its Campaign Offices

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Revolutionary Socialist Party Office, Raja Dinendra Street, Kolkata.

Courtesy of Gitartha Goswami/Fabrica

Since April 7, India’s 814 million voters have been participating in a colossal nine-stage, five-week general election to select representatives in the 16th Lok Sabha or lower house of parliament. To document the culture around the longest election in India’s history—it runs until May 12—Benetton Group’s Treviso, Italy-based communication research center Fabrica has commissioned 10 young Indian photographers for a project called Lok Sabha: 814 million votes for India.

Similar to Fabrica's Iranian Living Room initiative, in which the center assigned young photographers to show how Iranians live, the Lok Sabha project offers an inside look at various aspects of the world’s biggest democratic elections, including Ronny Sen’s photographs of political graffiti, Karthik Subramanian’s pictures of the nighttime rallies dominated by enormous neon-lit candidate effigies, and these images by Gitartha Goswami, which give us a glimpse of the eccentric interior decor choices of campaign offices for political parties big and small in Kolkata in West Bengal.

“A party office is a self-representation where the party’s identity is on show, its way of being a community and how it sees itself in relation with its electors,” the organizers write. For more photos and video of the world's biggest democratic elections, check out Fabrica's Lok Sabha website.

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Revolutionary Socialist Party Office, Bagmari Road, Kolkata.

Courtesy of Gitartha Goswami/Fabrica

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Bharatiya Janata Party Obeen Office, Beadon Street, Kolkata.

Courtesy of Gitartha Goswami/Fabrica

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Trinamool Congress Ward 22 Party Office, EM Bypass, Kolkata.

Courtesy of Gitartha Goswami/Fabrica

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Revolutionary Socialist Party Office, Bagmari Road, Kolkata.

Courtesy of Gitartha Goswami/Fabrica

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Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) West Bengal State Office, Creek Road, Kolkata.

Courtesy of Gitartha Goswami/Fabrica

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Communist Party of India (Marxist) Rashbehari Local Committee Office, Satish Mukherjee Road, Kolkata.

Courtesy of Gitartha Goswami/Fabrica

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Communist Party of India (Marxist) 87 Ward Election Office, Sardar Shankar Road, Kolkata.

Courtesy of Gitartha Goswami/Fabrica

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Communist Party of India (Marxist) Rashbehari West Local Committee Office, Manohar Pukur Road, Kolkata.

Courtesy of Gitartha Goswami/Fabrica

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All India Forward Bloc, West Bengal State Committee Office, C. R. Avenue, Kolkata.

Courtesy of Gitartha Goswami/Fabrica

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Communist Party of India West Bengal State Office, AJC Bose Road, Kolkata.

Courtesy of Gitartha Goswami/Fabrica

Kristin Hohenadel's writing on design has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Fast Company, Vogue, Elle Decor, Lonny, and Apartment Therapy.