In India Mitch Epstein


This book on India by American photographer Mitch Epstein is distinct from other publications of photographs on the subject as Epstein had an unique insight into the country. He travelled for the first time to India in 1978 with his girlfriend Mira Nair shooting her thesis film. They met in Boston, him teaching and her studying at Harvard. The now famous filmmaker was to become his wife and so he ended up doing eight trips between 1978 and 1989, taking thousands of pictures. His photographs reflect the fact that he had an unique access to Indian society and culture through Mira Nair’s family. During the Covid pandemic he revisited his contact sheets and made a new selection of his old photographs, having not been in India for more than 30 years. He finds his new choice of pictures more relevant as he has deromanticised his India experience and at the time was emotionally too close to see his work critically. This book in my opinion captures the vibrancy of the country in all its majesty. The city scenes have an unique intimacy and in the countryside views he manages to capture the closeness of people and animals. This summer these pictures were exposed in the context of the Rencontres de la photographie d’Arles.

Available at the library

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