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SOAS South Asia Institute


Bollywood’s India: Hindi Cinema as a Guide to Contemporary India
Bollywood’s India: Hindi cinema as a guide to contemporary India 

Author: Dwyer, Rachel 
Reaktion Books/Hachette, 2014

Bollywood’s India explores the nature of mainstream Hindi cinema, now best known as ‘Bollywood’ and explains why it favours non-realistic depictions of everyday life in India. Rachel Dwyer argues that Hindi cinema’s interpretations of India over the last two decades are the most reliable guide to understanding the nation’s changing dreams and hopes, fears and anxieties.

Her book shows how escapism and entertainment function in Bollywood cinema, and what that reveals about Indian life and society. It looks at the ways in which Bollywood has imagined and portrayed the unity and diversity of India--what its people believe and feel; their views on religion, caste and politics; life at home and in public. The book is based on twenty years of watching, teaching and writing about Hindi films, working with filmmakers and discussions with critics and fans. Featuring 80 striking images, the book has much to say to scholars and students of Indian cinema who are curious about the ways in which aspects of Indian life and culture are shown on screen, as well as to the general reader and fan of world cinema.

Captain Linnaeus Tripe:Photographer of India and Burma, 1852-1860
Captain Linnaeus Tripe: Photographer of India and Burma, 1852-1860

Authors: Taylor, Roger and Branfoot, Crispin 
National Gallery of Art and Prestel Publishing, 2014

This volume on Captain Linnaeus Tripe, who photographed extensively in India and Burma in the mid-19th century, offers brilliant pictures that display the unusual combination of a surveyor’s eye and an artist’s passion.

Captain Linnaeus Tripe (1822–1902) occupies a special place in the history of 19th-century photography for the outstanding body of work he produced in India and Burma (now Myanmar) in the 1850s. Introduced to photography by those who saw it as a pastime, he recognized that it could be an effective tool for conveying information about unknown cultures. Under the auspices of the East India Company, he took many photographs of Buddhist and Hindu architecture and dramatic landscapes not seen before in the West. His military training gave his work a striking aesthetic and formal rigor and helped him achieve remarkably consistent results, despite the challenges that India’s heat and humidity posed to photographic chemistry. This sumptuous volume features photographs from Tripe’s two major expeditions: to Burma in 1854 and to southeast India in 1857. Essays explore the evolution of his practice and the importance of the sites he recorded, while maps and a chronology provide an overview of his life and travels.