[Reader-list] Newsletter August 2007

Tasveer Ghar tasveerghar at gmail.com
Thu Aug 2 10:52:57 IST 2007

Tasveer Ghar (The House of Pictures)
Newsletter August 2007

Dear friends,
As you may be aware, Tasveer Ghar is a digital network of South Asian
popular visual culture, launched earlier this year for collecting,
digitizing, and documenting various materials produced by South Asia's
exciting popular visual sphere. These include posters, calendar art,
pilgrimage maps and paraphernalia, cinema hoardings, advertisements,
and other forms of street and bazaar art.

Tasveer Ghar is supported by a three-year gift from Adarsh and Ranvir
Trehan of the Trehan Foundation to the University of Michigan, Ann
Arbor, USA. With these start-up funds we have planned several exciting
events over the course of the next three years. These activities are
currently limited to Indian popular visual culture, but as and when we
raise more funds, we hope to expand our reach to cover the other
countries of the South Asian subcontinent. While much of the
activities of digital archiving would take place in New Delhi, India,
Tasveer Ghar currently has two other institutional nodes:

1. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, U.S.A.
2. South Asia Institute at the University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany

Tasveer Ghar Fellowships 2007:
Tasveer Ghar is delighted to announce the selection of 3 fellows for
our short fellowship on "Gender, Nation and Spaces for the Everyday"
in popular visual arts of India for the year 2007:

1. Sujithkumar Parayil (Kerala)
Topic: Icons of the reformist period and 're-formed' icons of the present

2. Kamal Kumar Mishra (Delhi)
Topic: The changing dynamics of book illustrations from late 19th
century to 1960's: A case study of commercial Hindustani popular

3. Vishal Rawlley (Mumbai)
Topic: Bhojpuri raunchy album covers

The period of their research/documentation starts in July 2007 and
ends in December 2007, and their findings will result in virtual
galleries on the Tasveer Ghar website - likely to be inaugurated in
January 2008.

In addition to the above fellowships, Tasveer Ghar has also granted
shorter fellowships for the writing of virtual gallery visual essays
to the following researchers. These grants will result in the
collection of images to be used in a virtual gallery on the site.

1. Atma Ram (Chandigarh)
Topic: Commodification and objectification of woman on the titles of
popular Hindi detective novels

2. Javed Masood (Delhi)
Topic: Magazine ads from 1960s and 70s: Setting gender roles on the
way to modernity

3. Inder Salim (Kashmir/Delhi)
Topic: Popular image culture of India-administered-Kashmir

4. Madhuja Mukherjee (Kolkata)
Topic: Cinematic re-presentations through other popular forms: Icons
and Mediated Spaces

5. Peerzada Arshad Hamid (Kashmir)
Topic: Changing forms of art in the public spaces of Kashmir

6. Annapurna Garimella & Arun Kumar (Bangalore)
Topic: Miniature Societies (Narratives in traditional dolls)

Detailed synopsis and the progress of their work will soon be
available on our website.

We are pleased to announce that Manishita Dass has joined our
collective as a new member. Manishita is Assistant Professor at the
University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, USA). Another member of our team,
Sumathi Ramaswamy, who was Professor of History at the University of
Michigan, Ann Arbor, has now joined Duke University, Durham, North
Carolina, USA, as Professor of History. Sumathi continues to be a part
of Tasveer Ghar.

Tasveer Ghar invites artists, art collectors, photographers, students
and others to contribute exciting images representing unique examples
of popular visual culture of India/South Asia. You can send us photo
prints, old photographs, old printed material, photo negatives,
transparencies, digital photographs, high-resolution scans, posters,
calendar, old advertisements, printed packing material, wall graffiti,
hoardings, road-side banners, or any other medium, preferably
mass-produced or truly archival and rare, but representing certain
popular trends of our society. You can get a sense of the kinds of
materials we are looking for in our Call for Proposals on our website.
Your contributions, if accepted by us, would be compensated with a
basic honorarium. We can also sign a contract with you about the use
of such images. Kindly send us samples of such art work, so that we
can respond.

Your contribution to Tasveer Ghar could either be one or two
interesting images, or a series of related images that we can use for
a thematic virtual gallery. A virtual gallery is basically a
compilation of images (say between 8 and 15, or even more, if
necessary) depicting a unique aspect of popular visual culture. Such
images are generally accompanied by a text introduction and detailed
captions that weave all the images into one coherent presentation
spread over several interactive pages on the website. The individual
images could either be scans of authentic artwork or photographs of
scenarios (streets or homes) where such public art is displayed. A
contributor can either send us hard copies of images or electronic
versions (scanned in the prescribed format). Tasveer Ghar will not buy
or own the image contributed by you. If you submit hard copies of any
art work, we will return the same to you after digitizing it. The
contributor does not have to design the gallery: this will be done by
our website designer. But the contributor would have to provide the
text and captions for the images (or any other details that may be
necessary for the gallery).

You can already see some featured virtual galleries on our website:

1. Welcome - Swagatam - Good Morning: Welcome posters of India,
Written and curated by Patricia Uberoi

2. New Year Greeting Cards with a Hindu Nationalist perspective,
Written and curated by Christiane Brosius

Our goal in publishing such virtual image essays is to promote
conversation and scholarship around visual matters through the digital
media, and to encourage discussion around images both well known and
little recognized.

As a small gift for welcoming you to our archive, we offer an
interesting image from our popular art archive for your computer
desktop. The image is not being attached here since some recipients
may not like attachments, but it can be downloaded at the following

Looking forward to your participation in the building of the House of Pictures.

Christiane Brosius
Manishita Dass
Sumathi Ramaswamy
Yousuf Saeed
Shuddhabrata Sengupta

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