Tasveer Ghar: A Digital Archive of South Asian Popular Visual Culture

Online Resources
on South Asian Popular Culture and Arts

These links open to webpages outside of Tasveer Ghar and are roughly divided into (1) Books, (2) Journals and Academic Resources, (3) Image Collections and Archives, (4) Online Essays, and (5) Miscelleaneous Links.

(1) Books (in alphabetical order, author-wise):

Brosius, Christiane. 2010. India’s Middle Class. New Forms of Urban Leisure, Consumption and Prosperity. New Delhi, London, New York: Routledge.

For reviews, see Udupa, Sahana. 2013. "World-Class Aspirations. The New Middle Class of India". Economic & Political Weekly 48(15), April: 29-31 or BIBLIO: A Review of Books, by Mitu Sengupta, Vol 15 (3 & 4), March April 2010

ibid. 2005. Empowering Visions. The Politics of Representation in Hindu Nationalism. London: Anthem Press

Brown, Kerry (ed.). 1999. Sikh art and literature, Routledge London

Dawson, Barry. 2001. Street Graphics India: London: Thames and Hudson

Dwyer, Rachel and Divia Patel. 2002. Cinema India: The Visual Culture of Hindi Film. London: Reaktion Books

DY Works (eds.). 2012. Amul's India. Based on 50 years of Amul Advertising by daCunha Communications. With essays/comments by Amitabh Bachchan, er al. NOIDA: Harper Collins 

Geetha, V., Rao, Sirish (eds.). 2001. An Ideal Boy: Charts from India. Dewi Lewis Publishing

Harrison, Samatha, and Bari Kumar (eds.) 2003. Pop Culture - India Bazaar: Vintage Indian Graphics. TASCHEN Books

Jacob, Preminda. 2009. Celluloid Deities: The Visual Culture of Cinema and Politics in South India

Jain, Jyotindra (ed.). 2008. India's Popular Culture. Mumbai: Marg Publications

Jain, Jyotindra. 2003. "Indian Popular Culture. 'The Conquest of the World as Picture'". In Peter Seel (ed.). body.city. New Perspectives from India. Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Tulika: Delhi

Jain, Kajri. 2007. Gods in the Bazaar. The Economies of Indian Calendar Art. Durham: Duke University Press

McLain, Karline. 2009. India's immortal comic books: gods, kings, and other heroes. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Neumayer, Erwin and Christine Schelberger. 2003. Raja Ravi Varma and the Printed Gods of India. New Delhi: OUP  

Pinney, Christopher. 2008. The Coming of Photography in India. New Delhi: Oxford University Press

ibid. 2004. Photos of the Gods. The Printed Image and Political Struggle in India. New Delhi: Oxford University Press

ibid. 1997. Camera Indica. The Social Life of Indian Photographs. London: Reaktion Books, Chicago: University of Chicago Press

Ramaswamy, Sumathi. 2010. The Goddess and the Nation: Mapping Mother India. Durham: Duke University Press

ibid. (ed.) 2003. Beyond Appearances? Visual Practices and Ideologies in Modern India. New Delhi: Sage Publications (Contributions to Indian Sociology Studies, Occasional Papers 10)

Saeed, Yousuf. 2012. Muslim Devotional Art in India. Delhi: Routledge. Now available: Second edition with a new Afterword (2018).

ibid. 2006. ‘Mecca versus the Local Shrine: The Dilemma of Orientation in the Popular Religious Art of Indian Muslims’, in Jyotindra Jain (ed.), India’s Popular Culture: Iconic Spaces and Fluid Images, Mumbai: Marg Publication, pp. 76–89. (See this article in Economic Times).

Sinha, Gayatri (ed.). 2009. Art and Visual Culture in India : 1857-2007. Mumbai: Marg Publications

Srinivas, Deepa. 2010. History, Masculinity and the Amar Chitra Katha. New Delhi: Routledge

Uberoi, Patricia. 2009 (1°: 2006). Freedom and Destiny. Gender, Family and Popular Culture in India. New Delhi: Oxford University Press


(2) Journals and Academic Resources:

BioScope: South Asian Screen Studies, Sage Journals

Journal of Religion and Popular Culture

Narrating the "Everyday" in South Asian Popular Visual Culture (Sandria Freitag) American Historical Association

South Asian Popular Culture (Journal, published by Routledge, since 2003)

South Asian Visual Culture (Syllabus at Smith College)

Visual Cultures of Islamic South Asia (Texas A&M University)



(3) Image Collections and Archives

Arab Image Foundation (Preserves and studies photographs from the Middle East, North Africa and the Arab diaspora).

Archive Southasia is an initiative that emerged from Hri’s commitment to garnering greater recognition for the art and science of archiving. It also attempts to connect small archives in Southasia and create spaces for a cross-border fellowship of archivists, scholars and artists.

Bombay Arts - arts, crafts and media practices that reflect the vitality of a city - by Vishal Rawlley)

Calendar Arts of India - Kamat's Potpourri - images from the personal website of the Kamat family - a 'hodge-podge' of Indian history, arts and culture

CIVIC - Centre for Indian Visual Culture - New Delhi: the Centre houses digital images of a range of nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first century Indian visual culture 

Classic Bollywood actors and their ad posters - Vintage ads uploaded by individual persons

Deep Blue Library, University of Michigan

Digital South Asia Library, University of Chicago - image resources

Flags and Stamps (Indian stamps and nationalism)

H. Daniel Smith Poster Archive

Hri Institute for Southasian Research and Exchange, a unit of the Southasia Trust, Kathmandu, is an emergent platform for discussion, networking and research. In addition to a deep engagement with political issues of cross-border relevance, Hri focuses on culture, music, literature and the performing arts.

Images of Asia (large collection of old picture postcards)

India Foundation for the Arts

Indian Calendar Art (Information about artists)

Islamic bazaar Art (F.Pritchett)

Kamat's Potpourri: India's Street Culture - website and blog (since 2002)

Kamat's Potpourri: The Genius of Ravi Varma - website and blog (since 2001)

Kananda Collection of Bollywood Cinema Hoardings

Khoj: International Artists Association

Material World, NYU-Blog with emphasis on Visual Culture

Material World: Objects, Perfumes, Language

Matt Lee: Macho Men and Flirtatious Women (Popular visual culture on the streets of Bangalore - a collection)

MIT: Visualizing Cultures

Package and Bazar Graphics from India

Photo.circle: platform for new photography in Nepal, set up in 2007, aspiring to nurture voices that document and engage with social change in Nepal. In 2010, photo.circle set up Nepal Picture Library, a digital photo archive that hopes to contribute to the study of Nepali photography, generate knowledge and raise questions about how we can explore issues of memory, identity, and history through images.

Poster Women - A Zubaan Project. In 2006 Zubaan began a new and fascinating project: Poster Women, a visual mapping of the women’s movement in India through the posters the movement had produced. The idea was to ask what the history of the movement would look like through its posters and the visual images it had used, the various campaigns that the movement has engaged with and the forms these campaigns have taken over a period of time. By now, around 1500 posters have been collected in this context.

Posters Collection at International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam, Netherlands (India section)

Priya Paul Collection at Heidelberg Research Architecture, Cluster "Asia and Europe in a Global Context", Heidelberg University, Germany

SAVIFA- the Virtual Library South Asia, Heidelberg University

SPARROW: Archiving Imges and Stories of Women (Mumbai)

Tasveer Arts

Travelers in the Middle East Archive (TIMEA)

UNESCO Image Bank

Urdu detective novels of Ibne Safi: a collection of images from their titles

(4) Essays (online and offline)

Ansari, Shabana. Hand-painted film poster art is in vogue again, DNA

Bande, Usha. Pictorial art and the Indian ethos: Some thoughts on calendar

Boivin, Michel. Devotion and Iconography

Brosius, Christiane. 2004. “Of Nasty Pictures and ‘Nice Guys’: The Surreality of Online Hindutva”. In Sengupta, Shuddhabrata und Monica Narula (eds.). Media.Crisis. Sarai Reader 4. New Delhi: 138-151 (Download here).

Chandra, Nandini. The Amar Chitra Katha Shakuntala: Pin-Up or Role Model? South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal, 4, 2010.

Chatterji, Partha. Critique of Popular Culture. Public Culture.

Chopra, Anupama. Caught on Canvas

Covington, Richard and Shahidul Alam. Masterpieces to Go: The Trucks of Pakistan, Saudi Aramco World, March/April 2005, pages 8-17

Exhibit explores Indian Calendar Art - New York - Brief Article (Art Business News)

Frembgen, Jürgen Wasim. Saints in Modern Devotional Poster-Portraits: Meanings and Uses of Popular Religious Folk Art in Pakistan

Gangar, Amrit. ‘A good poster artist is also a good sociologist’, DNA

Groys, Boris. Religion in the Age of Digital Reproduction, Eflux

Gupta, Trisha. ‘Visual history tells us about repressed histories’ Interview with Christopher Pinney (Tehelka)

Hawksley, Humphrey. Bollywood technology kills poster art (BBC)

Inglis, Stephen. Indian Popular Culture and Courtly Life

Insaf, Habiba. Indian calendar art: the popular picture story (Open India)

Jha, Sadan. The Life and Times of Bharat Mata, Nationalism as Invented Religion

Kashyup, Pallavi Goorha. Brand Yatra: Bollywood queens’ beauty in a bar

Kirkpatrick, Joanna. Rickshaw Revelations, Mukto Mona

Lotus Reads. Poster Art From India and Urban Camouflage in Japan

Madhu, Manjusha. The Art of Devotion & A Devotion to Art, The Sunday Guardian, May 20, 2012.

Mazumdar, Ranjani. The Bombay film poster

Mazumdar, Ranjani. The Bombay film poster, Seminar, May 2003

Newell, Zo Margaret. 'Picturing the Goddess: Bazaar Images and the Imagination of Modern Hindu Religious Identity,' Ph.D. Dissertation at Graduate School of Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, May, 2011

Paint The Town Blue (wall art) - Outlook

Pinney, Christopher. The Nation (Un)Pictured? Chromolithography and 'Popular' Politics in India, 1878-1995, Critical Inquiry, Vol. 23, No. 4 (Summer, 1997), University of Chicago

Poster Art Of Bollywood: Contemporary Scene Report

Puppet Shows In India – A Dying Art

Ravikant and Prabhat Jha. 2007. 'Auto ke Peechhe kya hai' (in Hindi) (What's Behind the Auto?), Rachnakar blog

Ravindran, Shruti. My Name Is Green, Outlook, April 21, 2008

Rumi, Raza. Islamic poster art in India – and South Asia

Saeed, Yousuf. 'An Image Bazaar for the Devotee,' ISIM Review, 17, Leiden, 2006, pp. 8–9

Saeed, Yousuf. ‘Popular Art Bridges Divide’, The Times of India, New Delhi, 18 February 2006.

Saeed, Yousuf. 'Depicting the Saintly Miraculous Powers in Islamic Poster Art of South Asia', in Gopa Gupta et al (eds.), Religion and Popular Culture in the Indian Subcontinent (Seminar publication), Kolkata: Bethune College, 2012, 29-34.

Saeed, Yousuf. 'Poster piety', Himal Southasian, Vol 26, No.1, January 2013, Kathmandu, p. 202-09.

Saeed, Yousuf. 'Breaking Boundaries: Devotional Iconography in Popular Muslim Posters in India,' Manushi, No.157 (November-December 2006), New Delhi, pp. 12-15

Saeed, Yousuf. ‘Muslim Exotica of Hindi Filmdom,’ (a review on the book Islamicate Cultures of Bombay Cinema by Ira Bhaskar and Richard Allen, Tulika Books, Delhi, 2009), in The Book Review (South Asia Special – XIV) Aug-Sept.2009

Saeed, Yousuf. ‘Our New Minarets of Identity,’ Himal Southasian, web special, 4 December, 2009

Saeed, Yousuf. ‘Setting gender roles in Early Indian Print Advertisements,’ Marg (Issue titled Framing Women: Gender in Colonial Archive), Vol. 62, No. 4, June 2011, Mumbai, pp. 84-91

Saeed, Yousuf. 'Jannat ki Rail: Images of Paradise in India’s Muslim Popular Culture' in Mumtaz Currim (Ed.), Jannat: Paradise In Islamic Art, Mumbai: Marg Foundation, 2012. A review in Time Out Mumbai.

Saeed, Yousuf. 'Poster piety', Himal Southasian, Vol 26, No.1, January 2013, Kathmandu, p. 202-09.

Saeed, Yousuf. 'Writing an Art History of the Bazaar', Review of Glocal Studies, Vol.1, issue 1, Monsoon 2013, Saharanpur: Glocal University Press, 58-64.

Saeed, Yousuf. 'Ishtihar Tasveeren: Visual Culture of Early Urdu Magazines', Art Connect, Bangalore: India Foundation for the Arts, 2014.

Salam, Ziya-us. Popular for posterity, The Hindu

Sankhe, Shraddha. Can Urban Art Gain Mileage in India?

Singh, Jai Arjun. A film and its cover

Singh, Kishore. The Origins of Popular Hindu Religious Prints (Review of "Raja Ravi Varma and The Printed Gods of India" by Erwin Neumayer and Christine Schelberger)

Sinha, Gayatri. 'Slow dies the calendar art.' The Hindu, 2005.

Smith, Marquard. Visual Culture Studies

Steyerl, Hito. In Defense of the Poor Image, Eflux

Technology killing India's movie poster art (Reuters Life!)

Tekwani, Shyamsunder. "Visual Culture in Indian Politics:The Gaudy Billboard as Political Communication" New York City, NY. 2009-05-25

Thakurta, Tapati Guha. Women as 'Calendar Art' Icons: Emergence of Pictorial Stereotype in Colonial India. Economic and Political Weekly. Vol. 26, No. 43 (Oct. 26, 1991), pp. WS91-WS99

Times of India. Sit, don’t squat: Toilet posters on Swiss trains target Asians, June 6, 2015.

Uberoi, Patricia. Feminine Identity and National Ethos in Indian Calendar Art. Economic and Political Weekly. Vol. 25, No. 17 (Apr. 28, 1990), pp. WS41-WS4

Uberoi, Patricia. 'Unity in diversity?' Dilemmas of nationhood in Indian calendar art. Contributions to Indian Sociology, February 2002 vol. 36 no. 1-2 191-232

Zitaewitz, Karin. The Secular Icon: Secularist Practice and Indian Visual Culture

(5) Miscelleaneous Links

7 Secrets from Hindu calendar Art : Devdutt Pattanaik

Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery, UK

BLAFT Publications: Independent Publishing House in Chennai, publishing Indian crime novels, experimental fiction, graphic novels.

Bollywood Poster Art meets new Fashion & Lifestyle Label

Calendar Art links

Christopher Pinney (Personal site)

Colourful Indian Popular art (Vineeta Nair)

Dakshina Chitra (Institute)

ETIHAS - Educational Technology for Indian History, Arts and Society.

H.A. Mirza & Sons Postcards on Delhi's monuments (The Delhi Wallah)

Indian cinema posters

Indian Culture Posters at allposters.com

Indian street signs and images (on Flickr.com)

India's Popular Art of Muslim Religious Posters

India's Street and Transit Music By Navin Thomas

Inside the Maharaja Talks: Indian Popular Culture

Jannat ki Rail, The Train to Heaven, A short musical video using Muslim poster art and devotional music

Minimal movie posters India

Mobile Artistic Platform across South India

Movie posters (IMP Awards)

Muslim popular devotional art in urban context (Sarai Fellowship), January 2004

Pop-Art Indian Estyle

Rickshaw slogans of India and Pakistan

SARAI/CSDS (New Delhi)

Street Art In India

Tibetan Art Calendar 2011

Yoda Press