Selfie with Modi
Remember when Modi broke the internet?


In 2015, for the Delhi Legislative Assembly Campaign, BJP installed more than a 1,000 selfie booths around the capital for supporters to take a photo with the prime minister, or at least his digital avatar. What has been advertised as a hi-tech “3D hologram” was nothing but a simple layer placed over the webcam image.


“Everybody wants to meet Mr. Modi, but because of protocol, everybody can’t,” said Mr. Raj Kumar Sharma, a member of the executive committee of the BJP’s Delhi wing who manages information technology for the party. 
Mr. Sharma said the campaign gives people the feeling that “they are with Mr. Modi.”  source: The Wall Street Journal



A basic smartphone app would have achieved the same result, but the rite, the queue, and the agglomeration mattered.
Narendra had always been obsessed with photographs and selfies with VIPs and world leaders, therefore decided to extend the habit to every Delhiite ...ehm considering the gap between the common man and political elite, this operation seemed like a joke.
“Over 500,000 people posed in special booths” the organizers said, “The subjects of the selfies can then get their photos by email or download them from the party website.” It ended with Seventy Thousands so called “Selfies with Modi” automatically uploaded onto the web.
Obviously a real photograph with a politician creates a bond with him, but Modi took it one step further by realizing that a patently fabricated image might have a similar -subliminal- effect on the naïve mind.
And it’s funny how it doesn’t even matter if the image is genuine: an image represents something. By representing something, it automatically validates its existence. “Pics or it didn’t happen” easily mirrors “whatever pic so it kinda happened”. Maybe just figuratively but when it comes to feelings (sadly therefore ideology) who ever cares anyway?
The psychological mission is ingeniously accomplished.

Eventually BJP lost the election. Nonetheless this experiment received an incredibly strong response in participation and its results, in terms of photography, were extremely good.
I dedicate a page on my website to the smartest and dumbest post-internet piece of full power populist art.