The dancer Manjari Chaturvedi sent me to Lucknow. It wasn’t as if she asked me to go. It was the uniqueness of her art and the questions it raised in me that compelled me to go. She argued that her dance – classical Indian Kathak elaborated to the specific rhythm, musicality, imagery and possibilities offered by the vast breath of Sufi kalam (poetry, music), could not have emerged but from Lucknow. She told me that her innovation reflected not only the city’s magnificent classical dance heritage, but also the uniquely syncretic cultural and social values that once prevailed there and whose influences can still be found in carefully sought out corners of the city. I just had to see this city, and to immerse myself in its life and history. Here was a uniquely Indian place and a uniquely Indian woman and artist – a product of this magnificent everything that India makes possible. And come to think of it, perhaps only India makes possible. Details »
A new gallery page is now on the project website.
The Sabarimal Pilgrimage, Erumeli, Kerala: The Idea Of India Project: Copyright Asim Rafiqui 2010
Binyanvanga Wainaina’s essay How to Write About Africa remains one of the most powerfully insightful criticism and accusation of the continued dehumanization and oppression of Africa and Africans that continues in modern day language, photography, fine art, literature, poetry and the stultifying and lobotomizing rhetoric of so-called aid organizations and their employees.
It was an essay that stopped me in my tracks and forever changed the way I looked at Africa as a photographer and as a viewer of photography from the continent. It was also the essay that led me to search out more interesting, complex and human works from and about that continent. Details »
It was an amusing interview. Marc Thiessen, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, has written a book that argues for the efficieny of torture, relevance of illegal detentions, continued suspension of habeas corpus, the genius of Guantanamo and various other magnificently inane and stupid acts executed by the previous administration.
He came onto prime time TV to plug his newest collection of nonsense now compiled in a book and to of course parrot the idiocies of the hideous Lynn Cheney who has been insisting that those who defend the accused are in fact terrorist collaborators and possibly even Al-Qaeda sympathizers. Details »
There is a new tempest in a teacup, but ironically its the wrong tempest! A major award competition has had to ‘disqualify’ one of the winning works, and you can follow their thinking here:
This was the original photograph submitted to a competition:
From which the talented photographer, cropped, color converted, burned & dodged, erased and re-aligned to create this: