Framing Assam and its Diverse People through Colonial Photography: 1846 to 1947.

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Debasis Gogoi


The Indian Diversity and Colonial experiences in the context of Assam have many a fact yet to be explored to its potential. In 1840, the practice of Photography was started in India and in the same year Assam Tea Company also began the commercial production of Tea, a period from which the British actually started their strong interest in Assam. The authenticity of the use of Photography in Assam in the 1840’s is not known in available records but the British and other Western Photographers have definitely photographed Assam in the 1850’s and it stands very clear about the use of Photography in official records from the 1860’s and 1870’s. Captions and descriptions of images were on many occasions confused and mixed up while documenting the picture in various Print Media’s. Even the colonial studies about dates and year of Photo Archives of Assam have been mistaken to an extent. The use of Photography in Print Media also found its position in the Colonial Period. It was only in the 1940’s onwards that Photography began to be used commercial by the people of Assam. Photography not only made research about the geographical boundary but also its diverse people and culture.

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