Citizens of Photography: Photographic Ethnographies from Nepal, Bangladesh and India

As described by the Powers Institute: “Each year, the Sydney Asian Art Series gathers leading international voices on critical issues in early, modern and contemporary Asian art. In 2022, the Sydney Asian Art Series introduces its audience to a spectrum of innovative new research on the experience of photography in Asian art.” The 2022 Sydney Asian Art Series: Troubling Images was convened by art historian, curator and editor Dr Olivier Krischer.

Christopher Pinney’s presentation reported on recent ethnographic field research in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Exploring Ariella Azoulay’s provocation in The Civil Contract of Photography (2008) that the camera offers a form of citizenship in advance of conventional rights, the lecture asks whether demotic (aka ‘vernacular’) practices open a subjunctive “as if”, or even the proleptic. Contra Bourdieu, it is argued, demotic practices point not so much to the past as to a future “beyond”.

The online talk can also be found here.

The event took place on 29th September, 2022. For more information, see here.