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Indian Photographies
Visual Culture in the Subcontinent
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BOOK REVIEW | 'Will They Sing Like Raindrops or Leave Me Thirsty', Max Pinckers

BOOK REVIEW | 'Will They Sing Like Raindrops or Leave Me Thirsty', Max Pinckers | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

"The idea of love – in its myriad shapes and with its many meanings – has long inspired and provoked the human imagination. A central preoccupation of art, and life, it has been explored by countless artists in numerous forms and through several mediums.It is also the focus of Max Pincker’s latest photobook Will They Sing Like Raindrops or Leave Me Thirsty (2014) that attempts to document and capture, stage and bring to life, the multiple facets of romance and marriage within a contemporary Indian context."

 

Text : Shilpa Vijayakrishnan | TASVEER

Photographs : Max Pinckers

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ARTICLE | “Zenana Studio: Early Women Photographers of Bengal”

ARTICLE | “Zenana Studio: Early Women Photographers of Bengal” | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

Siddhartha Ghosh’s Chobi Tola: Bangalir Photography-Chorcha (Taking Pictures: The Practice of Photography by Bengalis) is a pioneering work that came out in 1988 to critical acclaim and describes the history of photography in Bengal from its inception during the colonial period. The work has an important section on early women photographers in India that will interest lay readers and social scientists alike, not only because it unearths, through meticulous research, a number of early photographers whose contributions would otherwise have been forgotten by posterity, but also for exposing the ways in which colonial modernity touched and shaped women’s lives in ways we do not normally think about.

Photography was a capital-intensive pursuit and usually a pastime of only those who could afford it. But Ghosh’s book draws attention to the ways in which a photographic studio, along with other institutions, such as railways and English schools, became an important feature of colonized Bengali lives. Photographs were the clearest images of the interface between the two cultures: the colonized subject’s resistance and mimicry of Western sartorial and cultural norms was most evident in the early photos of Indian men and women. But the photographs also constructed social and family histories in ways inconceivable even a few decades earlier. Professional and commercial photography was available in Calcutta from the 1840s onward and widely used as a tool in the British colonial government to document, classify and record events, landscapes and people., The advent of women as photographers adds to our understanding of this fascinating history of the Empire’s visual outcomes.

Siddhartha Ghosh (1948-2002) was a mechanical engineer by education and a translator, writer and social scientist by inclination. His many works include the seminal study of nineteenth century British technology and its impact on colonized Bengalis, Koler Shohor Kolkata, (1991), seven books popularizing science for children and one work of science fiction.

 Translated by Debjani Sengupta | TAP

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Studio Photography and Photoshop in Quetta, Pakistan

Studio Photography and Photoshop in Quetta, Pakistan | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

"If you always dreamt of having your picture taken with your favourite celebrity or with a peculiar backdrop which could be anything from Mount Everest to the moon, your dream could come true in less than an hour at a photo-studio in Quetta."


Article by Danial Shah | DAWN

Photographs by Danial Shah and Taqi Hazara

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OP-ed | "Why is India suddenly taking selfies of its ink-stained fingers?"

OP-ed | "Why is India suddenly taking selfies of its ink-stained fingers?" | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it
This election, narcissism is meeting nationalism on Facebook. By Mustansir Dalvi | Scroll.in
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Interview | S. Paul, 'The Sage'

Interview | S. Paul, 'The Sage' | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it
At the age of 84, S Paul, the man who shaped Indian photojournalism, still takes his camera out for a daily shoot

An Article by Ritesh Uttamchandani | OPEN Magazine

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The Way of Light : A site - specific sound & light performance

The Way of Light : A site - specific sound & light performance | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it
Listening is seeing in this sound installation show that questions frenzied city living
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Op-Ed on Public Art in South Asia

Op-Ed on Public Art in South Asia | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

"Yet, I am still not sure that subcontinental cities need public art. (And I’m not talking about dead new townships, but the teeming, deadly, but never dead, core of an Indian or Pakistani city.) European cities most certainly do — their citizens would die of boredom, of Nothing Ever Happening, otherwise. That is why Western public art is never ‘beautiful’. It is made to shock, stun or outrage, and seldom to ‘beautify’. The eye made quiet by the power of civilization must be made to feel the jolt of the unexpected, if only for a few moments. Finding a gigantic bronze spider called Mother looming over your city square, or the entire opera house wrapped in fabric, becomes a matter of life and death when, at the prospect of walking to your therapist’s round the corner, or stepping out with your chihuahua for the Sunday papers, you know that your route would lie through nothing but clean, law-abiding avenues, more or less unpeopled, except for you-clones exchanging tight smiles or collecting dog-poo in ozone-friendly bags and popping them into boxes made for that purpose".

Aveek Sen | The Telegraph 

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Op-Ed | 'The eye of the beholder' by Tara Kaushal

Op-Ed | 'The eye of the beholder' by Tara Kaushal | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

"The democratisation of cameras and image-taking has its side-effects, chief among them the engenderment of a new brand of voyeurism. But Tara* Kaushal argues that the camera can be a tool of self-defence for women as well."

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REVIEW | 'Studio Suhag' & 'My Life is My Message' at Art Heritage Gallery

REVIEW | 'Studio Suhag' & 'My Life is My Message' at Art Heritage Gallery | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

Truth and Theatre: Two recent exhibitions blur the distinction between portraiture and ‘performance'

Text by Trisha Gupta | Open Magazine 

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DOCUMENTARY | Gianfranco Rosi's "Boatman" (1993)

"Shot on the Ganges River at Varanasi (formerly Benares) in northern India, a center of Hinduism, Sanskrit learning and Buddhist pilgrimage, the (correctly) black-and-white Boatman, in Hindi and English, follows boatman Gopal Maji and takes in a plethora of sights both tranquil and troubling. Directed and photographed by Eritrean-born Gianfranco Rosi, this superlative film from Italy took the prize for best documentary at Hawaii. Of current and enduring interest, along the way Hindi-Muslim tension is addressed.
     But the film’s two intertwined main themes lie elsewhere. One has to do with the contradictory nature of the Ganges: a polluted sacred river. The source of much of the pollution accounts for the other theme: the accumulation of the cremated and uncremated remains of the dead, which are routinely and ritualistically consigned to the river. All this occasions another consideration: who are permitted to employ the river for this purpose; who are even able to afford to do this. Sometimes the financially destitute cannot mark a burial with the traditional funeral pyre.
     Rosi, offscreen, asks questions of Maji and others, and all the responses become part of the fabric of the river that we are watching. Rosi establishes the river’s potent symbolism from the start—on land, by the river. He invests the camera with continuous motion through crowds of people, thereby conjuring the sense of a flowing river even before we are in Maji’s rowboat on the river. In this way, the river is associated with people’s bustling lives. Once we leave land for the river, another association accumulates: the river as embodiment of the continuity of life and death. Indeed, few films more openly address death as a part of life.
     Rosi’s film is full of fine images—for instance, the parallel rows of huge shadow-casting drumlike thingamajigs between which Maji rows and halts his boat. It turns out that these are anchors, and the image provides a powerful presentiment of death."

Dennis Grunes 

http://grunes.wordpress.com/2009/04/19/boatman-gianfranco-rosi-1993/
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INTERVIEW: Curator Urs Stahel on Museums and Photography | Artinfo

INTERVIEW: Curator Urs Stahel on Museums and Photography | Artinfo | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

I think the world has become very complex, and this is an issue for the producer of photographs and for the visitor of photographs, the lookers. We accept complexity in our daily life. When we buy a new computer or a new smart phone, we accept that we get a manual and that we have to read at least a part of it, otherwise we cannot use this machine. In our daily life we are ready to deal with a rather complex world. But very often, in art and photography, we want to simplify the world in a childish way. Here, look, that’s the world, is our attitude. The world is no longer like that. Very often the appearance of the world is hiding what it is. So, pieces of art, pieces of photography, I would suggest could be much more complex, could include text, mix up video, text, and create an environment of visual information. Photographers tend to be too easily satisfied with their own work, they should go further, though. Sometimes I use the word radicalization for that. We should push ourselves, become radically intimate when you do something, in a poetic, radical way. When you’re doing political photography, become a political investigator, expose the horrible truth. When you’re an artist, you radically conceptualize, so don’t do this in-between thing. It doesn’t help, and of that we have enough. I don’t like to show or collect photographs, I always say. I like to show and collect personalities and attitudes. I’m looking for a human being who really deals with the world, like Alan Sekula, who, sadly, died just this August. I would love to give as an idea to pass on to young people to make their reference to that kind of personality. "

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Advertisement Photography in India

Advertisement Photography in India | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it
With the speedy progress of industrialisation and urbanisation in the early 20th century, development in the form of mass production gave birth to the market’s need to turn manufacturing goods into popularised and desirable commodities.
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Feature | 'Vez & Me' by Tenzing Dakpa

Feature | 'Vez & Me' by Tenzing Dakpa | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

Tenzing’s photo series called Vez & Me took seven years to complete. It aptly documents the personal and professional journey of an artist in the making.
Photograph by Tenzing Dakpa

Article by Priyanka Chharia | Better Photography

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TALK | Global Photography Now: The Indian Sub-Continent @ Tate

TALK | Global Photography Now: The Indian Sub-Continent @ Tate | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

"Internationally acclaimed artists Shezad Dawood, Hasan Elahi, Ram Rahman and the Raqs Media Collective discuss the impact of speed, technology, mass media and economic power on their photographic practice, and the reality of residing within one of the world’s fastest expanding economies. The session is chaired by critic and curator Gayatri Sinha. Part of Global Photography Now."

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INTERVIEW | Sohrab Hura, Magnum's new nominee.

INTERVIEW | Sohrab Hura, Magnum's new nominee. | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it
"You can’t escape Raghu Rai‘s work whether you are a photographer or not. That is his strength. Once we learn the history of photography and realise the importance of Raghubir Singh‘s contribution we appreciate him more. In some ways he is more a photographer’s photographer. I was also taking a light dig at myself (and some friends) for over-thinking photography sometimes, and not enjoying the simple things as much as we used to earlier, when there was more innocence in our reading of photography."

Article by Kevin Wy Lee | Invisible Photographer Asia

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Photo Essay | 'Performing Politics' by Mahesh Shantaram

Photo Essay | 'Performing Politics' by Mahesh Shantaram | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

"Interested in experiencing first hand the political frenzy surrounding the sixteenth Lok Sabha elections, Mahesh Shantaram packed his bags and went on a cross country trip in March 2014, following the election trail. Mapping the charged political landscape of the country through the lens of his camera, he not only documents the spectacle of democracy, but also reveals it in its making..."

Photographs by Mahesh Shantaram
Text by Shilpa Vijayakrishnan |Tasveer

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REVIEW | 'Love, Honour & Disobey' by Colin Pantall

REVIEW | 'Love, Honour & Disobey' by Colin Pantall | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

"Given an open commission to return to India to shoot a new body of work, Max Pinckers approached the Love Commandos in New Delhi, an organisation that helps couples who have fallen in love escape the threat of honour violence from their disapproving families. But, finds Colin Pantall, the result is a world away from a traditional documentary record, instead developing the approach of his previous work, using staged scenarios influenced by Bollywood cinema..."

Text by Colin Pantall.
First published in the British Journal of Photography magazine, UK, October 2013. 

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"Photographer’s dilemma : Making stylistic choices" by Malavika Karelkar

"Photographer’s dilemma : Making stylistic choices" by Malavika Karelkar | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

"The 19th-century photographic studio brought about what the art historian, Partha Mitter, has called “great transformations of visual culture that broke away from earlier pictorial conventions, not least Mughal pictorial conventions”. Emergent pictorial traditions, he argues, were linked to the modernizing process of India to which “Victorian illusionist painting”, processes of mechanical reproduction and finally, the camera, contributed. That the Mughal imprint remained integral to early photography is clear in the compositions of Indian photographers, whether in Calcutta, Madras or Bombay."

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TALK | Ram Rahman in conversation with Sunil Janah

Photographer Sunil Janah (1918-2012) in a discussion with Ram Rahman during his exhibition at the Gallery at 678 in New York in August 1998.
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St.ART Delhi | Delhi’s Street Art Festival

St.ART Delhi | Delhi’s Street Art Festival | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

An ongoing street festival in New Delhi is transforming the bare walls of the city into a walk-in art gallery. In pictures.

 

By Aditi Malhotra and Enrico Fabian | @WSJIndia

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BOOK REVIEW | Visual Histories: Photography in the Popular Imagination, by Malavika Karelka

BOOK REVIEW | Visual Histories: Photography in the Popular Imagination, by Malavika Karelka | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

"The field of visual culture studies in the Indian subcontinent has gained tremendous momentum over the last two decades. It has drawn the interests of scholars working across disciplines spanning anthropology, film and visual culture studies, curatorial studies, art history, sociology and even history and English literature. While it is evident that the visual has assumed particular historical import — the study of which is often perceived as constituting a radical move against the logocentric bias of the epistemological frameworks engendered by colonialism; the diversity of approaches in the field has however provoked interdisciplinary methods and discourses only in a very limited way. On occasions there is a hasty will to confusing the visual as a ‘popular’ medium, even bearing the mistaken claims to subalternity. The size of India’s mammoth film industry, whose annual output surpasses Hollywood’s, only facilitates this misgiving. In the backdrop of this formative field characterized as yet by an indistinguished discourse/s few texts come close, through their method, to offering a comprehensive and holistic take on the histories of the visual in the subcontinent. Malavika Karlekar’s Visual Histories: Photography in the Popular Imagination is a delicate read, combining a unique and multi-faceted form of close analysis of photographs with eloquent prose that on instances enthralls the reader with masterfully constructed complex sentences and on others, subtly humours her with the flavourful flourishes of Victorian expression..."

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Max Pinckers : 'Will They Sing Like Raindrops or Leave Me Thirsty' (2013)

Max Pinckers : 'Will They Sing Like Raindrops or Leave Me Thirsty' (2013) | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

"Pinckers could have taken a straightforward editorial strategy, photographing the Love Commandos and the people they have helped. But instead of emphasising the record element of the story, Pinckers pulled in a fictional direction using a visual language that borrows from Hindi cinema (Bollywood) and its depiction of relationships and love. An example is his image of a young boy and girl holding hands in an urban alleyway. The future of these childhood sweethearts is already written out for them. The cage the boy is touching contains two green parakeets; they are like lovebirds imprisoned by society. Lit like a Bollywood movie from the 1970s, the image mixes the real and the fictional in a carefully staged manner. “I’m always looking for something that is slightly clichéd because that interests me very much, but I’m also looking for something that is fictional or pulls away from reality. Love is so abstract that it gives me the chance to experiment with the subjective in a metaphorical way...”

Text Colin Pantall on Max Pinckers latest work. More images here : http://www.hpdetijd.nl/2013-10-12/india-fotograaf-max-pinckers/

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OP-ED | 'Photographers must learn to edit' by Aveek Sen

OP-ED | 'Photographers must learn to edit'  by Aveek Sen | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

"A sharp little twist was given to this problem by the historian of photography, Sabeena Gadihoke, during the launch of Nony Singh: The Archivist at the festival. “Men photograph, and women edit,” she said to the audience, subtly prodding them to reflect on the intellectual limits of photography’s unquestioned machismo. The cultivation of introspection and subjectivity was also at the core of the inaugural lecture delivered by Urs Stahel, founder and former director of the Fotomuseum at Winterthur in Switzerland. “Radicalise your shyness instead of trying to cover it up with confidence,” I overheard Urs saying to a young photographer while reviewing his portfolio, “let your work emanate from that shyness, so that what you are fighting against turns into an advantage.”

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Delhi Photo Festival 2013 | Christopher Pinney - The Civil Contract of Photography in India

Lecture by Christopher Pinney on The Civil Contract of Photography in India during the Delhi Photo Festival 2013 September 29th, 2013 www.delhiphotofestival.com
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FEATURE | Sarker Protick : 'Of River and Lost Lands'

FEATURE | Sarker Protick : 'Of River and Lost Lands' | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

"Drowned houses, floating trees, broken structures are traces of life that was once here. Places I have photographed do not exist anymore. Monsoon arrives and the river runs fastest. The lands get washed away and disappear. It is the river that people depend on, it is the river that takes away everything."

 

All images © courtesy of Sarker Protick

sarkerprotick.com
sarkerprotick.wordpress.com/

 

Via Landscape Stories

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