National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai, Ministry of Culture, Government of India and Avid Learning present a fascinating lecture demonstration as part of a virtual week dedicated to Sculpture and its many registers of meaning. Former Director and Retired Professor of History, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta Tapati Guha-Thakurta and Indologist, Academic and Art Historian Sandeep Dahisarkar will present two coveted academic perspectives on the colonial synergies between Bombay and Calcutta, as revealed through their statuary, monuments and memorials. Sculptural icons from colonial Kolkata and the Bengal Presidency as well as the Bombay School of Art will be highlighted. Both these eminent speakers will then be in conversation with Historian and Founder of Bombaywalla Historical Works Dr. Simin Patel to uncover synergies between the two historical perspectives and urban legacies in terms of the artistic, the political, the colonial and the social.
Join us to understand our colonial past through sculpture.
Prof. Tapati Guha- Thakurta has just retired as Professor in History and was the Director of the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta (CSSSC) from 2012 to 2017. She has written widely on the art and cultural history of modern India. Her three main books are The Making of a New Art: Artists, Aesthetics and Nationalism in Bengal (Cambridge University Press, 1992); Monuments, Objects, Histories: Institutions of Art in Colonial and Postcolonial India (Columbia University Press, and Permanent Black, 2004); and In the Name of the Goddess: The Durga Pujas of Contemporary Kolkata (Delhi: Primus Books, 2015). She is also the author of the exhibition monographs – such as Visual Worlds of Modern Bengal: An introduction to the documentation archive of the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta (Seagull, Kolkata, 2002), The Aesthetics of the Popular Print: Lithographs and Oleographs from 19th and 20th Century India (Birla Academy of Art and Culture, Kolkata, 2006), The City in the Archive: Calcutta’s Visual Histories (Calcutta: CSSSC, 2011). She has also co-edited two anthologies of essays – Theorising the Present: Essays for Partha Chatterjee (Delhi: OUP, 2011) and New Cultural Histories of India: Materiality and Practices (Delhi: OUP, 2013). In 2019, she was assigned the work of preparing a dossier on the Durga Pujas which has been submitted by the Government of India to UNESCO for inscription under its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.Read more
Sandeep Dahisarkar is an Indologist and Art Historian based in Mumbai. He stood first in the subject of Ancient Indian Culture and Archaeology at the University of Mumbai Examinations for the Bachelor's Course. He is also the recipient of the prestigious Mrs. Avabai B. Wadia Research Fellowship 2018, awarded by the K. R. Cama Oriental Institute, Mumbai. He was also awarded the Gulestan Bilimoria Junior Research Fellowship 2017 of the Asiatic Society of Mumbai for the topic 'The Cultural History of the Pathare Kshatriyas in the Bombay Presidency'. He has worked with the Department of Ancient Indian Culture & Archaeology, Sathaye College as an Assistant Professor; Department of History, Sophia College as a Visiting Faculty and is often invited as a Guest Lecturer at various colleges of Mumbai for the subject of Archaeology.Read more
Dr. Simin Patel, better known as Miss Bombaywalla, is a historian of Bombay. Simin runs Bombaywalla Historical Works, an organisation that creates awareness about Bombay’s built environment and social history. Simin completed her PhD in South Asian History from the University of Oxford (Balliol College) in 2015, as a Clarendon Scholar. Her thesis Cultural Intermediaries in a Colonial City: The Parsis of Bombay, c. 1860-1921, examined how the Parsi community fashioned themselves into ‘modern’ citizens in the setting of colonial Bombay. By looking at the changes in Parsi dress, and domesticity as well as the ways the community managed internal groups such as the Parsi poor and Irani refugees in the landscape of Bombay, her thesis highlights the more difficult negotiations and the inner tensions of the project of Parsi self-fashioning. Simin is working on a book on Bombay's iconic Irani Cafes, which thrillingly dives into the world of Irani strongmen and local dons and the cafes they operated from.Read more