Indian Photographies
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Visual Culture in the Subcontinent
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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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Mumbai’s ‘Focus’ Festival Showcases Women Photographers

Mumbai’s ‘Focus’ Festival Showcases Women Photographers | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

"Yet it is often women who have collected and organized much of the history of photography in South Asia", Mr Gupta said.

“The family album is often guarded and looked after by the women, who are the repository of a family history,” said Mr. Gupta. “Similarly in India, I think a lot of women have worked in the industry end of photography, doing the research, maintaining archives and facilitating dialogues. The handful of photo-specific agencies and galleries that we know of in India were started by women.”

Photograph : Mohini Chandra
Article : Neha Thirani Bagri | NYT 

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Photo Story | "The Bang Bang Club"

Photo Story | "The Bang Bang Club" | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

31,000 women in Punjab have a licence to own guns. Selfdefence is only part of the story. What explains their deep need to be armed and ready?

 

Photos and Article by Garima Jain | Tehelka

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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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'To Conquer her Land' By Poulomi Basu

'To Conquer her Land' By Poulomi Basu | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

Photographer Poulomi Basu said she got the idea after reading a newspaper article in 2009: India for the first time was recruiting women to serve in its Border Security Patrol, training them to police the country’s long and dangerous boundary with its archenemy, Pakistan.

“I thought this was something important that needed to be documented,” said Ms. Basu, who was born in India and divides her time now between London and Mumbai.

The merit of the project magnified in her mind as she realized all that her photos might show. Most of the recruits were from impoverished rural areas. If she could observe them not only in training but with their families as well, she would be able to tell the story of their transformation from villagers into soldiers.

“For these women, putting on a uniform was like coming out of their own skin,” Ms. Basu said. “They saw it as a way of gaining some form of independence...”

 

Photograph by Poulomi Basu

Article by Barry Bearak | LENS NYT

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Exhibition in Delhi | Pushpamala N., The Drama of Three Women

Exhibition in Delhi | Pushpamala N., The Drama of Three Women | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it
The series Avega - The Passion, by Indian artist Pushpamala N. is currently on display at the Nature Morte Gallery in New Delhi. The photographic story focuses on three feminine figures of Ramayana, one of the two Indian mythological sagas written in Sanskrit between the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC.
With this new series, the artist continues her reflection about iconographic references in Indian popular culture. Here, she explores the Ramayana, the foundation of Hinduism, known and shared by all in India. Like her previous works, she photographs herself, role playing the three principal heroines of the story.

 

You can read Sybile Girault's complete text in the French version of La Lettre.

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