Sunil Janah: Photographing a Modern Nation

The third of three articles on photographer Sunil Janah Read the previous post here Guest Author: Sourajit Saha On Nehru’s death in 1964, the New York Times referred to the first Prime Minister of India as ‘the maker of modern India’.1 Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, a central figure of India’s Independence movement, was inspired by socialist ideas […]

Sunil Janah: Photographing People

The second of three articles on photographer Sunil Janah Read the previous post here Guest Author: Sourajit Saha Ethnographic studies came hand in hand with colonialism in India. Many examples can be found in colonial art, sometimes even commissioned by the British, of the ethnographic studies of contemporary Indians in the 18th and 19th centuries. […]

Representing the Third World: Social Consciousness in the Photography of Sunil Janah

The first of three articles on photographer Sunil Janah Guest Author: Sourajit Saha Very few have photographed the country as Sunil Janah did. He was a mere college student, an active member of the Student Federation, when P.C. Joshi, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI), visited Calcutta and offered Janah, ‘Come […]

The Bengal Famine of 1943: Chittaprosad Bhattacharya and Political Art

By Anuska Guin It has been widely discussed that the Bengal Famine of 1943 was perhaps a man-made genocide in the making, with some deep-rooted factors that led to the catastrophe. While a lot of these factors get directed to Churchill’s policy lapses, one cannot ignore the role of class and ethnography in what was […]

Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa: A Celebration of Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s Bohemian Heart

By Atmadeep Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s Anwar ka Ajab Kissa (2013) is one of those films in which he narrated the allegorical stories of alienated characters who subvert the formulation of reality by mixing it with dreams and magic – furthermore, responding to the greater enigma of individuality – no matter how small or unimportant they are […]

Love, Lost: Revisiting Basu Bhattacharya’s Marriage Trilogy

The 70s and the 80s were a vibrant time for Hindi cinema, with Bollywood churning out action-and-adventure-packed blockbusters of glitz and glamour with tales of characters who were very distinctly in the black or the white, the growth of the parallel cinema movement in sync with the cinema of other Indian languages like Bengali or […]

The Poet in Translation: Six Poems by Shankha Ghosh

On the poet’s first death anniversary, Debmalya Bandyopadhyay translates from the Bengali, six poems by Shankha Ghosh. Ever since I started reading, poetry has remained my metaphorical breadcrumbs to scatter on the path of time. I have learned to mark my days, weeks, and months with the poems I had read and been moved by, […]

Baba, Music, and Us

On what would’ve been poet and filmmaker Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s 78th birthday, her daughter, music composer Alokananda Dasgupta looks back on the music that shaped her – from that of her father’s films to the works of contemporary artists. Baba and Ma (Kuntala Dasgupta, who passed away in 2009) introduced me and my sister Rajeshwari to […]

In the Twilight of the Mind: Revisiting G. Aravindan’s Pokkuveyil

‘Somewhere within your loving look I sense,Without the least intention to deceive,Without suspicion, without evidence,Somewhere within your heart the heart to leave.’ ‘Interpretation’, Vikram Seth A lot of who we are is shaped by the people around us. We become friends, care, and love – and each of these social acts builds us; even in […]