Saheli*: Musings and Observations
Monday, November 14, 2005
 
Photography

Yesterday (and Saturday) I went to the 3rd I 3rd International South Asian Film Fesitval. Saturday was Bollywood extravaganza night with Paheli (how could I resist with a rhyme like that?) but yesterday was documentary night with City of Photos, about portrait studios in India. Unfortunately I missed the beginning, but it was one of those funny, moving documentaries which made me wish all such were released on DVD as a matter of course.

At one point we see a young woman in a narrow sitting room with stacks of albums, showing off photos. She keeps saying how she really, really likes getting her photo taken, and gosh she has a lot of them. There's a photo of her and half a dozen other friends, dressed in colorful salwar suits, all standing single file in narrow, narrow dark wooden boat on the beach, hands outstretched like wings. She shows it off proudly: "This is the pose from Titanic." Then she's arranged, artistically in a white sari, on some rocks in a pond. Another pose, from a Bollywood movie. Then her with Hrithik Roshan. She cut out actress Amisha's face, and ruined many of her own photos to get herself in the picture. (Just imagine this woman armed with Photoshop!) Her friends tease her that she doesn't like Amisha, but no, she wants to be closer to Hrithik. She confides in the camera--her husband doesn't know about this one. If he did, he'd tear up the albums. Only her friends know. "And now, you all." Then we see her mother, who also has stacks of albums, and says she took the children for portraits every time they got new clothes. At weddings, she says, "I'm always in front of the video camera." She says her brothers give her a hard time because they say photography is a sin,
"I tell them, you'll sleep in your grave, and I'll sleep in mine."
She explains to the interviewer, "In our Islam, photography is considered a sin."
The interviewer, who has encountered this attitude previously in the film, asks, "Oh, you don't think it is?" Oh no, the woman replies, she knows it is, but it makes her so happy she does it anyway. Besides, with so much sin in the world, how will a little photography matter?

Indeed.

Speaking of photography, it's been a long time since I linked to Sam Javanrouh's work at Daily Dose of Imagery, but hopefully you all check it regularly anyway. Some recent gems: Pillowfight (and on flickr) makes me want to move to Toronto; cyclist friendly area in England, a lacy window in the Divinity School at Oxford, and pumpkin fields. He's got another flickr slideshow of reflections here.

My friend Alexandra has some pictures from Paris, and previously, from spending time with the Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) in Niger. You'll have to scroll though as she doesn't have permalinks, but it's worth it.

And Nicolas caught yesterdays beautiful sunset over the bay.
 


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Saheli Datta started this when she was a journalism student at Columbia in New York. Now she lives in the Bay Area. *Old people call me R. New people, call me Saheli. Thanks! My homepage. Specifically, my links. Email me: Saheli [AT] Gmail [dot] Com

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Blogs I Read (Or Try To)
113th Street
american footprints(Nadezhda & Praktike)
ANNA's Diary
Apartment Therapy
Armchair Generalist
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
Dave Barry
The Bellman
Mine's On The 45 (Brimful)
Campaign Desk (CJR)
ChennaiCentral
ClimateBoy
Combing the Sphere
Crooked Timber
Daily Dose of Imagery
The Daily Rhino (Bong Breaker)
Dark Days Ahead
The Decembrist
Brad DeLong
Atanu Dey on India's Development (Deeshaa)
Daniel Drezner
Ennis
Ephemera
Cyrus Farivar
Finding My Voice
Forsv
Neil Gaiman
Ganesh Blog
Geeky Chic 2.0 (Echan)
Geomblog
Green Ink!
Heliolith
Alexandra Huddleston
Iddybud (Jude Nagurney Camwell)
Indeterminacy
India Uncut
InSpiteOfEverything
Intel Dump: Phillip Carter et al
The Intersection (Chris Mooney)
Jesus Politics
John and Belle Have a Blog
Mark A. R. Kleiman
KnowProse (Taran Rampersad)
1Locana
Maenad (Nori Heikkinen)
Scott McCloud
Mind Without Borders
Electrolite: Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Corey Pein
Political Animal(Kevin Drum, formerly Calpundit)
Kevin G. Powell
QuakeHelp (South Asian Quake)
Radiation Persuasion (Nick)
Reneebop
Rhinocrisy
Scott Rosenberg(Salon.com)
Rox Populi
Felix(&Rhian)Salmon
samVaad
Nick Schager
Idea Spout: Daniel Sanchez
Sepia Mutiny
Amardeep Singh
Snarkmarket (Robin Sloan & Matt Thompson)
South-East Asian Earthquake and Tsunami Blog
SreeTips: New To Sree
Steprous (Bear)
Robert Stribley
Subjunctive.net:klog
Talking Points Memo: Joshua Micah Marshall
Tech Policy
TiffinBox
A Tiny Revolution
To The Teeth
TreeHugger
Unfogged
VatulBlog
Venk@
Manish Vij
Vinod's Blog
War and Piece
Nollind Whachell
Wonkette
WorldChanging
Matthew Yglesias:Old
Yglesias:Tpmcafe
Zoo Station:Reuben Abraham
Ethan Zuckerman
Zwichenzug



Some Categories

Blogs focusing on policy, politics, and national security:
Armchair Generalist
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
The Decembrist
Brad DeLong
Daniel Drezner
Eschaton(Atrios)
Green Ink!
Iddybud (Jude Nagurney Camwell)
Idea Spout: Daniel Sanchez
Informed Comment: Juan Cole
Intel Dump: Phillip Carter
The Intersection (Chris Mooney)
Irregular Analyses
Jesus Politics
Mark A. R. Kleiman
Liberals Against Terrorism(Nadezhda & Praktike)
Political Animal(Kevin Drum, formerly Calpundit)
Talking Points Memo: Joshua Micah Marshall
War and Piece
Wonkette
Yglesias:Tpmcafe

Photo Blogs
Daily Dose of Imagery
Ephemera
Alexandra Huddleston
Radiation Persuasion (Nick)
TiffinBox

Columbia Journalism Folks
Apartment Therapy
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
Campaign Desk (CJR)
Ranajit Dam
Cyrus Farivar
Alexandra Huddleston
InSpiteOfEverything
Corey Pein
Nick Schager
Zoo Station:Reuben Abraham

Literature, Fiction and Entertainment
Dave Barry
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Electrolite: Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Scott McCloud


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