Seeing South Asia : Visuals Beyond Borders book cover
1st Edition

Seeing South Asia
Visuals Beyond Borders

ISBN 9781032233192
Published April 12, 2022 by Routledge India
238 Pages 39 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book critically examines the cultural politics of visuals in South Asia. It makes a key contribution to the study of visuals in the social sciences in South Asia by studying the interplay of the seen and unseen, and the visual and nonvisual. The volume explores interrelated themes including the vernacular visual and visuality, ways of seeing in South Asia and the methodology of hermeneutic sensorium, anxiety and politics of the visuals across the region and the trajectory of visual anthropology, significance of visual symbols and representations in contemporary performances and folk art, visual landscapes of loss and recovery and representation of refugees, visual public in South Asia and making of visuals for contemporary consumptions. The chapters unravel the concepts of visual, visibility, visuality while attending to determinant meta-ideas, such as memory and modernity, trajectories of tradition, fluidity and hybridity, and visual performative politics. Based on interdisciplinary resources, the chapters in this volume present a wide array of empirical findings across India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh, along with analytical readings of the visual culture of the subcontinent across borders.

The book will be useful to scholars and researchers of visual and cultural studies, social and cultural anthropology, sociology, political studies, media and communications studies, performance studies, art history, television and film studies, photography studies, and South Asian studies. It will also interest practitioners including artists, visual artists, photographers, filmmakers and media critics.

Table of Contents

 1. Introduction – Visuals in South Asia: The Interface of Seen and Unseen

Dev Nath Pathak, Ratan Kumar Roy and Biswajit Das


Part I: Ways of Seeing and Showing


 2. Vernacular Visual: Seeing in South Asia

Sadan Jha


 3. Hermeneutic Sensorium: Positing a Methodological Dynamics of Seen-Unseen

Dev Nath Pathak


 4. Visual Anthropology in Nepal: A Critical Trajectory of Practices and a Way Forward

Fidel Devkota



Part II: Approaches, Representations and Politics


 5. Myths, and the Visual Imagination: The ‘Duplicitous Maiden’ as a Narrative Theme in Gond Art

Roma Chatterji


 6. Transport Art of Dhaka: Where the Invisible City Becomes Visible

Tabassum Zaman


 7. Visual Inscriptions upon Landscapes of Loss: Memorialising Thileepan in Sri Lanka

Malathi de Alwis


 8. Seeing the Invisible: Anthropological Reflections on the Representation of the Rabari Community in Rajasthan

Urmi Bhattacharyya



Part III: Seeing Public and Mediation


 9. South Asian Ways of Seeing: Towards a Visual Public Sphere

Amrita Ajay


 10. Visual Public in South Asia: Seeing and Showing in the Digital Sphere

Ratan Kumar Roy and Ridhi Kakkar


 11. Visibility of Sindhi Progressive Sufism in the New Media Domain of Pakistan

M. Rafiqe Wassan


 12. Visual, Visibility and Memory: Television in Everyday Life in Rajasthan

Biswajit Das



Part IV: Image-Making and Manufacturing Meanings


 13. Collective Making of Press Photographs: An Ethnographic Enquiry

Siddhi Bhandari


 14. The Vulnerability of Visual Vocabulary on Refugee Representation: The Voyage of Boatwo/men Rohingya

Dilpreet Bhullar


 15. Visual Matters: Unpacking Political Communication and Politics of the Camera

Farhat Basir Khan

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Dev Nath Pathak is a founding faculty member of sociology at South Asian University, New Delhi, India.

Biswajit Das is Professor and Founding Director of the Centre for Culture, Media & Governance, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India.

Ratan Kumar Roy was Research Fellow at the Centre for Culture, Media & Governance, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India and is currently Coordinator of International Research Center, SIMEC Institute of Technology, Dhaka, Bangladesh.