Imperialism and the Invention of Indian Art

A talk by Vazira Zamindar

Vasl Researcher in Residence

Imperialism and the Invention of Indian Art

This lecture will draw on materials from The Ruin Archive project to rethink a pivotal and well-recounted debate between Alfred Foucher and Ananda Coomaraswamy in the early twentieth century and its significance for a forging a local inheritance of our own.


About the Speaker:

Vazira Zamindar is a writer and historian at Brown University, and has been working on twentieth century histories of decolonization, displacement, war, non-violence, the visual archive and contemporary art. Although known for her book, The Long Partition and the Making of Modern South Asia: Refugees, Boundaries, Histories (Columbia University Press, 2007; Penguin India 2008; Mashal Books, Urdu edition, 2014), her very first job was teaching an art history and theory course at Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture. Returning to this first love, the visual record, she has been working with photographs and films of war and antiquity on the northwest frontier for a book project entitled The Ruin Archive: Art and War at the Ends of Empire. In 2018 she founded the series Art History from the South and collaborates with Ariella Azoulay and Yannis Hamilakis on the  Decolonial Collective on Migration of Objects and People. Based on the Brown-Harvard Pakistani Film Festivals that she co-organized in 2014 and 2015, the beautifully* designed book Love, War and Other Longings: Essays on Cinema in Pakistan (Oxford University Press, 2020) is now available here in Pakistan (for Rs 750).

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