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Dimensions:
234 × 156 mm
240 pages
Format:
Paperback
ISBN:
9781861890061
Illustrations:
127 illustrations, 40 in colour
Published:
01 Nov 1999
Series:
Envisioning Asia
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Camera Indica The Social Life of Indian Photographs Christopher Pinney

Camera Indica is an exploration of the changing role of photographic portraiture in India over the last 150 years. It is the first anthropological study of photographic practice in the everyday lived reality of Indian society and combines historical and ethnographic perspectives.

Christopher Pinney looks at key ‘moments’ in Indian photography and considers the ways in which photographic portraiture reflects changing political interests, a decreasing desire to fix identity, and a broader popular visual culture. A distinctive post-colonial Indian photographic practice emerges, characterized by a sophisticated inventiveness using techniques such as over-painting, collage, composite printing and doubling. A substantial part of the book is concerned with the production of such images by studios in a small central Indian town, and the reader is given a vivid sense of their use and significance.

‘Christopher Pinney allows ordinary Indians to speak for themselves in Camera Indica, bringing 150 years of Indian history to life . . . enchanting photographs.’ – New Statesman

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Christopher Pinney is Lecturer in South Asian Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. His other books include Photography and Anthropology (Reaktion, 2011) and Photos of the Gods' (Reaktion, 2003).