Beyond the Frame: Exploring Dimensions of Colonial Photography in India

  • Martin Tom Central University of Gujarat, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India
  • Balaji Ranganathan Professor, Central University of Gujarat, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India
Keywords: Colonial Photgraphy, Visual Historiography, Post Colonial Visuality, Evolution of Photography, Visual Representation in Colonial Photography, Photographic Societies in Colonial India, Ethnographic Photography in British India, Stereotyping in Colonial Photographs, Indigenous Perspectives in Early Indian Photography, Indian Photographers in the Nineteenth Century, Impact of Photography on Cultural Representation, Geopolitics and Photography in Colonial India, Ethnography and Visual Representation in Colonial India


The paper “Beyond the Frame: Exploring Dimensions of Colonial Photography in India” delves into the multifaceted dimensions of photography’s inception in India during the colonial era. Investigating photography as both an art form and a technological import by the British, it explores its role in representing and often misrepresenting India and its people. Focusing on early pioneers such as the Daniel brothers, Fox Talbot, Louis Daguerre, and Monsieur Montaino, the paper discusses the challenges of early photographic techniques and their evolution. It highlights figures like Linnaeus Tripe, John Murray, and Samuel Bourne, emphasizing their impact on documenting India’s landscapes, monuments, and social narratives during moments of historical significance like the 1857 revolt. Furthermore, the paper examines the colonial gaze inherent in early ethnographic photography and discusses the emergence of Indian photographers like Raja Deen Dayal. Overall, it underscores photography’s pivotal role in representing colonial power dynamics and cultural narratives in India, amalgamating art history, media theory, and postcolonial studies.

Abstract views: 91 times
PDF downloads: 111 times