24 July, 2021

Annals On Bromide

Photojournalist Kulwant Roy operated in times that changed the course of history. This is a fitting tribute.

Annals On Bromide

It has taken a long time for us to appreciate that photographs can be records of more than weddings and ‘cultural functions’. Now, not only has photography  been recognised as an art-form, but photographs are understood to have archival value. This has been supported by initiatives like that of Ibrahim Alkazi and of the photo division of the I&B ministry (which had been planning, some years ago, to shred their collections of old photographs to save space!). To think ‘photographer’ for the mid-20th century is to think Cartier-Bresson and Sunil Janah. This book, like Sabeena Gadihoke’s book on Homai Vyarawalla, draws attention to the work of a neglected group—photojournalists. It introduces us to Kulwant Roy (1914-84), one of those who benefited from the arrival of the Brownie camera, Kodak film and the flashbulb. His association with the family of photographer Aditya Arya (he was apprenticed to the Aryas’ Lahore studio) prompted him to leave Aditya his collection. Arya opened Roy’s boxes of...

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