Muslim refugees on a train from Delhi to Lahore, 1947 — Click to enlarge
Henri Cartier-Bresson is perhaps the most well-known photographer in India, or rather—an important distinction—the photographer whose work is most well-known. He first visited India in the fall of 1947. One of only two Western photographers granted access to Gandhi, Cartier-Bresson shot a series of portraits of the ailing leader the week before he was killed by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu chauvinist, in January 1948. Cartier-Bresson then covered Gandhi’s funeral and the national mourning that followed.
First published in Life magazine, these photos brought Cartier-Bresson worldwide recognition. They were also widely reproduced in India, and are today so familiar there that his authorship is usually forgotten. The same is true of many quieter, more tableaux-like photos he took on subsequent visits in 1950, 1966, and 1980. In “Henri Cartier-Bresson: India in Full Frame,” the Rubin Museum brings together selections from each of these trips.
Whether the Rubin Museum is an easy trip – or not likely – this article is worth the read. History comes alive. The photographer’s eye is well understood. We learn, we learn more.
4 thoughts on “Distant India in a Distant Time”
“Photographs that show a bygone India” (BBC) http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-42194191 “Photo studios are on the verge of extinction in the digital era. But as they struggle to keep theirs shutters open, one research project is looking at ways to preserve their legacy by digitising archival images. The project, funded by the British Library, visited around 100 photo studios across the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu and preserved, or rather digitised, 10,000 prints. Many of the photos were taken between 1880-1980, and they ranged from portraits of families and famous stars to weddings and funerals.”
How Britain stole $45 trillion from India
And lied about it.
How the colonization of India influenced global food https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2021/4/1/how-the-colonisation-of-india-influenced-global-food
The British, French, Portuguese, Dutch and Danes; India was colonized by many countries and each had an influence on its produce and cuisines. But less is known about the impact India has had on the food of its colonizers.
India: Hindu event calling for genocide of Muslims sparks outrage
Police file case after videos go viral on social media of a meeting in which Hindu religious leaders called for mass killings and use of weapons against Muslims.
The meeting was attended by at least one member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The party stands accused of encouraging the persecution of Muslims and other minorities by hardline Hindu nationalists since coming to power in 2014, allegations it denies.
Modi’s government has not commented on the event.