India and Its Visual Cultures is a comprehensive mapping and analysis of contemporary cultural artefacts and visual cultures through different approaches-iconographic, social, political, religious and so on. This book covers various media and their histories by studying visual representational systems, production and consumption of media and culture-specific understandings. Crucial questions about the usage of media in research are also addressed in the book.
In the selection of the subjects and objects of enquiry, there is a constant engagement with the popular and the everyday. The objects are studied with respect to their situatedness in urban space and everyday life. The five sections of the book focus on five aspects of visual culture: camera works, folk/artistry, market signs, pictorial politics and monumental landscapes. With attention to ethnographic detail and anthropology, each section brings an added dimension to the study of visible cultural forms.
Uwe Skoda is Associate Professor in India and South Asia Studies at the Department of Global Studies, Aarhus University. He is currently working on transformations of kingship in Odisha and is broadly interested in the fields of political anthropology and visual culture. He recently coedited a volume on `Contemporary Indigeneity and Religion in India' (International Quarterly in Asian Studies [1-2]: 2015). Birgit Lettmann is Research Assistant and PhD candidate at HumboldtUniversitat zu Berlin, Germany. In her PhD theses, she focuses on postmortem photographs of pets, analysing the logics of representation and the human-animal relations, as well as setting them apart from other conservatory practices like taxidermy. Her research interest includes the cultural history of death and grieving rituals and the history of photography.
Acknowledgements Introduction: Mapping Visual Cultures in India - Uwe Skoda and Birgit Lettmann Part I: Camera Works The Photograph in Social Science Research-A Few Ethical and Practical Questions - Malavika Karlekar Unlikely `Devis': Gender and Imagination on and off the Silver Screen - Anusuya Kumar Visualising Death and the Corpse: Perspectives on Post-mortem Photographs in Central Eastern India - Uwe Skoda and Birgit Lettmann Part II: Folk Artistry 9/11 and the Folk Artists of Bengal - Roma Chatterji From Ritual Images to Animated Movies: The Transformative Journey of the Sora Paintings (Central Eastern India) - Cecile Guillaume-Pey Anjan Sen's Visual Poetry and the Bengal Uttar-Adhunik School - Asuncion Lopez-Varela Azcarate Part III: Market Signs The Visual Culture of Meat-Shop Signs in Delhi - Rita Brara The Imagery of Indian Matchmaking: Representations of Community, Class and Gender in a Transnational Online Matrimonial Market - Fritzi-Marie Titzmann Part IV: Pictorial Politics A Museum, a Memorial, and a Martyr: Politics of Memory in the Sikh Golden Temple - Radhika Chopra Divine Order, Social Disorder: Debating the Visual Representations of Lalu Prasad Yadav - Ronie Parciack and Ilanit Loewy Shacham Amma Provides for All: Popular Devotional Aesthetics, Material Politics and the Amman in Tamil Nadu - Jill Reese Part V: Monumental Landscapes Building `Monuments' in a World-Class City: Aesthetics and Politics of Contemporary Delhi - Sushmita Pati Mayawati's Politics of Sthals: Spectacle of the Symbolic Landscape - Upasona Khound Index