India - Past Present and Abroad

24 January - 4 March 2011

India - Past, Present and Abroad interconnects the historical past with the present through the lived experiences and narratives told by Indian communities, both here and abroad. India occupies a vast reservoir of knowledge and culture steeped within a long history that dates back to some 9,000 years, and has in more recent times greatly influenced Western thought and ideology.

As we encounter the threshold of the everyday, through the work of three contemporary photographers, the overlaps, the ambiguities and the commonalities begin to emerge conveying rich and varied communities on the brink of a cultural revolution - its influence and power impacting on a global scale.

The Pioneer
Established in 1865 in Allahabad, The Pioneer is the oldest colonial daily, famous for employing Rudyard Kipling and for carrying the dispatches from the North West Frontier of the young Winston Churchill in 1897. There have been 5 changes of ownership since then. Before radio and TV, newspapers represented a symbol of power and a vehicle for political communications.

 
Bharati St
Bharati St. (Pondicherry) today. Press influence is wider than just news. Nationalist poet Subramanya Bharati, who symbolised Tamil cultural identity, was much published in local newspapers at a time when this area of Tamil Nadu was under French colonial rule.
The Nehrus
The Nehrus read The Pioneer with a view to influencing political coverage and even followed the paper in jail -this letter was written by one of the family women from prison.

 
Female led protest
Female led protest was reported in the press, and especially in The Pioneer between 1928-1929 under the editorship of F.W. Wilson , as he was sympathetic to the cause of women and to independence.
Women led pickets
Pondicherry - women led pickets. On 30 July 1936, 'Pondicherry Shooting Day', 130 armed troops tried to stop workers occupying the biggest mill during a big general textile strike. 12 were killed and many more were injured.

 
Pondicherry free trade port
Pondicherry was a free trade port and the administrative capital for a population of 175,000 at the time of full independence in 1962
Nehru and Krishna Menon
Nehru and Krishna Menon visited Paris in 1938 to present evidence of 'brutal repression'. In French India there was no legal right to strike or even to hold mass meetings until 1937-8.
Women preparing for protest
'Demonstrators held national flags and placards and sang national songs along the route' (13 March 1929). Women preparing for protest in United Provinces were represented in the paper. Strikes and boycotts provided the press with 'bad news' but also weakened European business confidence and this contributed towards the granting of independence.

 


Anand Bhawan

Anand Bhawan, the Nehru home in Allahabad symbolised a new power: the family's women often led protests.

 

Sheila Aviet
Sheila Aviet (nee Cesary)
Photo by Effy Alexakis
Fairfield West, Sydney, NSW, 2010
Sikh temple kitchen
Sikh temple kitchen
Photo by Effy Alexakis
Gurdwara Sahib Parklea Sikh Centre, Glenwood, Sydney, NSW, 2010

 

The India Series
The India Series
Photo by Nathalie Hartog-Gautier

 
The India Series 2
The India Series
Photo by Nathalie Hartog-Gautier
Victoria Memorial
Victoria Memorial, Calcutta
Photo by Jon Rhodes
No 7 in "India The Enigma" series
1978
Macquarie University Collection
Everywhere Cows
Everywhere Cows
Photo by Jon Rhodes
(Top) Calcutta, 1978 | (Bottom) Gopalpur-on-Sea, 1979
No 12 in "India The Enigma" series
Macquarie University Collection

 
Mirza Ghalib Street to Howrah
Mirza Ghalib Street to Howrah
Photo by Jon Rhodes
No 6 in "India The Enigma" series
1979
Macquarie University Collection

 

Produced in collaboration with the Faculty of Arts, Macquarie University
Effy Alexakis, Nathalie Hartog-Gautier and Jon Rhodes
Curators: Jane Chapman, Rhonda Davis and Leonard Janiszewski

This exhibition is supported by
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