Curated by Rahaab Allana

The history of photography in India presents some unexplored and unexpected gaps. One of the most understudied concepts is that of ‘vernacular’ photography – a term often applied to quotidian images, which in India, given its colonial connotations, has been amended by visual anthropologists such as Christopher Pinney with the term mofussil, or that which lies outside the centre and besides the strictly metropolitan. The colloquial referencing of ‘vernacular’ focuses heavily on that which is ‘native,’ as distinguished from the ‘national.’ Hence, the focus on local, community-oriented, marginalised zones that may represent elided traditions come to the fore as viable parameters within which the term is broadly understood.

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