The Coming of Photography in India

Christopher Pinney

Christopher Pinney

Distributed for British Library

160 pages | 120 color plates | 9-1/2 x 6-3/4 | © 2008
Cloth $65.00 ISBN: 9780712349727 Published October 2008 For sale in North and South America only
Though photography reaches as far back as the sixteenth-century’s camera obscura projects, it wasn’t until the British colonial period that amateur photographers introduced their technology to the Indian subcontinent. By the end of the nineteenth century, however, India was at the center of a representational revolution. Was photography in India simply a void, waiting to be filled by pre-existing cultural and historical practice? Or was it disruptive, throwing up new opportunities, prophesying new social formations, and bringing anxieties about formerly secluded events and practices into a newly visible sphere? The Coming of Photography in India transcends traditional cultural and technological narratives in order to present a subtle and compelling account of the limits, possibilities, and consequences of photography. Examining technology in order to explain the dynamic incarnation of photographic practice as cure, poison, and prophecy, Christopher Pinney presents a bold account that will reward anyone with an interest in India, photography, or the history of the book. Accompanied by beautiful illustrations and a large number of previously unpublished images, this volume presents a sophisticated account of the “disturbance” that photography has brought to all of our lives.
List of Abbreviations
1  Photography as Cure
2  Photography as Poison
3  Photography as Prophecy
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