Afterimage of EmpirePhotography in Nineteenth-Century India

Afterimage of EmpirePhotography in Nineteenth-Century India

Zahid R. Chaudhary

Print publication date: 2015

ISBN: 9780816677481

Publisher: University of Minnesota Press


This book provides a philosophical and historical account of early photography in India that focuses on how aesthetic experiments in colonial photography changed the nature of perception. Considering photographs from the Sepoy Revolt of 1857 along with landscape, portraiture, and famine photography, this book explores larger issues of truth, memory, and embodiment. This book scrutinizes the colonial context to understand the production of sense itself, proposing a new theory of interpreting the historical difference of aesthetic forms. In rereading colonial photographic images, it shows how the histories of colonialism became aesthetically, mimetically, and perceptually generative. It suggests that photography arrived in India not only as a technology of the colonial state but also as an instrument that eventually extended and transformed sight for photographers and the body politic, both British and Indian.