Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Fabricating New Minarets of Identity

While the Swiss ban the minarets, South Asians fabricate new ones

Tasveer Ghar presents an interesting image from Delhi that appeared in an Urdu newspaper, coincidentally the same day the Swiss voted to ban mosque minarets in their country. This image is an advertisement for prefabricated minarets available now in India.
See a detailed report about this on Tasveer Ghar:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Public presentation by Shirley Abraham & Amit Madhesiya: "Tiled gods appear on Mumbai's streets"

Nov 17, 2009
11:45 am 01:00 pm
Category: B4
Karl Jaspers Centre, Voßstraße 2, Building 4400, Conference Room 212
In context of the seminar "Stadtwelten - Weltstädte" by Prof. Dr. Christiane Brosius and Dr. Nic Leonhardt, Shirley Abraham and Amit Madhesiya, short-time scholarship holders of the Cluster "Asia and Europe" are going to give a presentation on "Tiled gods appear on Mumbai's streets: Negotiating through the strictly delineated spaces of the megacity,exploring their transformation into curious zones of urban propriety"

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Election Campaign 2009: How to woo Indian Muslims to vote for you

Last week, the Lok Sabha elections of 2009 to select India's central
government finally come to an end, and results were out. Some analysts have pointed out that the Muslims of north India were one of the important deciding factors for the success or defeat of the different parties. If one observed the Urdu newspapers in north India, one could easily see how different parties and candidates tried to attract the attention Muslim voters by engaging them on a number of issues from development and employment to terrorism and communalism.

While Congress and its allies have emerged once again to form the government, one can see how they and the other parties didn't leave any stone unturned to present a favourable image of themselves, while painting their opponents as the worst enemies of the Muslims.

Interestingly, many of these advertisements have bylines not of the main parties they represent. Rather, these have been issued by hitherto unknown organizations and NGOs of local Muslims, and in some cases, religious clergy or even the keepers of local Sufi shrines, who have a great following among the Muslims. While this is not the first time that Muslim religious leaders have participated in the campaign for political parties, but they have certainly come out more openly
this time, often using the iconography of their religious authority.

We present a few examples of such campaign advertisements from some newspapers published in Delhi in the last few weeks:

We would be happy to hear your feedback about the various interesting image galleries emerging on Tasveer Ghar.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Of Romantic Couples and Gods on the Streets

Tasveer Ghar presents two new virtual galleries:

Tiled Gods appear on Mumbai's Streets: A visual essay on the roadside tiles that prevent the passers-by from peeing, by Amit Madheshiya and Shirley Abraham:

Monuments, Landscapes and Romance in Indian Popular Imagery: A visual essay by Kajri Jain -

Thursday, January 1, 2009

"Priya Paul Popular Arts Collection" and a "New Grant for Tasveer Ghar"

We are delighted to announce the following new exciting projects and features of our growing archive:

1. The Priya Paul Collection of Visual Popular Art@Tasveerghar:

Priya Paul, a well known Indian entrepreneur and the current Chairperson of Apeejay Park Hotels, has been an ardent collector of Indian art, contemporary as well as popular/archival art. Her collection of old posters, calendars, postcards, commercial advertisements, textile labels and cinema posters, painstakingly accumulated over several decades, is one of the finest archives of such ephemera in India. Tasveer Ghar was commissioned to digitize and archive this important collection in 2008. Each image needed careful handling, cleaning, scanning, digital photography, classification, and creation of detailed metadata. It took more than 3 months to physically handle and scan the images into raw digital data. Part of the work was funded by the Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context“ at Heidelberg University. The formatting and digital restoration of all files as well as the metadata creation is still ongoing. It is estimated that when we are all done, we will have the digital versions of over 5000 images in the archive covering a broad range of subjects including Indian nationalism, Hindu mythology, Islamic iconography, commercial advertisements, popular cinema, and portraits. This digital image archive will soon be available on Tasveer Ghar’s website for all to see and benefit from. Specified thematic image-clusters would also be used by specialists/scholars to write visual essays. We also present here a short video interview of Priya Paul about her art collection (recorded in October 2008).

2. New Grant from the German Research Foundation (DFG)

Tasveer Ghar has received a generous grant of three years of funding from the German Research Foundation. This grant emerges from Tasveer Ghar’s collaboration with Heidelberg University’s new Cluster of Excellence, “Asia and Europe in a Global Context. Shifting Asymmetries in Cultural Flows” (see This grant will enable Tasveer Ghar to launch a new initiative on Eurasian Muslim Popular Visual Culture, as well as strengthen our capacity to work across and beyond the South Asian region from Delhi, and develop institutional ties with the Cluster members at the Karl Jaspers Centre, Heidelberg, as well as international partners. Our collaboration with Heidelberg University’s Cluster of Excellence will lead us to track (a) the flows of images and concepts between Europe and Asia, and within Asia; and (b) further ongoing collaboration with European and Asian institutions/scholars/ students/practitioners. The moving and still images collected and tagged in this process will be fed into already-existing image archives of both Tasveer Ghar and the Karl Jaspers Centre.