University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Visual Constructions of South Asia (2014-15) > The Iconography of Alterity: Simla and the Visualisation of ‘British’ Enclaves in Indian Highlands

The Iconography of Alterity: Simla and the Visualisation of ‘British’ Enclaves in Indian Highlands

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Annamaria Motrescu-Mayes.

The first seminar in the ‘Visual Constructions of South Asia’ series aims to understand the politics of visualisation in the setting up of Indian hill stations. Nineteenth-century India witnessed the growth of a new urban entity across its length and breadth, that of the ‘hill station’. Serving as an “other” to the heat and dust-ridden cities such as Delhi and Calcutta lying in the flat plains, the hill station was developed by the colonizers in the nostalgic image of their home lying far away in the British Isles. This presentation looks into the visual documentation of such a lifestyle through a variety of media: sketches, lithographs, architecture, photographs, and postcards. Keeping Simla – the summer capital of British India from 1864 to 1947, and the most famous hill station – as its focus, the seminar hopes to chart a history of perception of the hill station’s evolution through a detailed exposition of material archives covering a period of around two centuries. It ends with a commentary on the contemporary state of Simla’s “visualisation”.

This talk is part of the Visual Constructions of South Asia (2014-15) series.

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