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The Indians: Portraits from My Album

Raghu Rai (Author)
Synopsis Raghu Rai’s stupendous portraits capture the uniqueness of India and chart the evolution of portraiture in the photographic medium in the country. Empathy between photographer and subject is revealed in every image of The Indians. From princes in royal settings to village craftsmen outside a shopping mall in Delhi; from Mahatma Gandhi to Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama; from Satyajit Ray to Arundhati Roy; from Amitabh Bachchan to Shah Rukh Khan; and from formal family photographs to an obscure artist’s studio—Raghu Rai brings them all together in this portrait of a nation. Divided into two sections, the first is a selection of images by earlier photographers from nineteenth and early-twentieth-century India, including Raja Deen Dayal, Bourne and Shepherd, and Johnston and Hoffman, which have been collected by Rai over the years. The second is a celebration of Raghu Rai’s unique engagement with the lens and a wide cross-section of the Indian people for over forty years. A compelling record of the ambitions and aspirations of the people, The Indians captures the uniqueness of a nation as much as it charts the evolution of portraiture in the photographic medium in India.
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About the author

Raghu Rai

Raghu Rai started photographs in 1965.  He was Chief Photographer of The Statesman (1966-1976).  In 1977, legendary photographer Henri Cartier - Bresson nominated Rai to Magnum Photos, the world’s most prestigious photographers’ cooperative.  Thereafter, Rai was Picture Editor with Sunday (1997-1980) and Picture Editor - Visualiser – Photographer of India Today (1982-1991) where he contributed trail – blazing picture-essays on social, political and cultural themes of the decade.

In 1971, he was awarded the Padmashree, one of India’s highest civilian awards.  In 1992, he received the ‘Photographer of the Year’ award in the United States for his story, ‘Human Management of wildlife in India’, published in National Geographic.  His photo-essays have appeared in many of the world’s leading magazines and newspapers.  He has been on the jury of the World Press Photo contest, thrice and on UNESCO’s International Photo Contest, twice.

Raghu Rai has done extensive photo-documentation of the 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy and its continuing effects on the lives of the victims as a special assignment for Greenpeace International.

He has 28 books to his credit including Raghu Rai’s Delhi, The Sikhs, Tibet in Exile, Indira Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Raghu Rai’s India and India’s Great Master Musicians.  His works have also been published in major books done by Magnum Photo.

Rai’s photographs have been exhibited in one man shows in Bunkamura Museum, Tokyo and Museo De Capitolini, rome.  They have also been exhibited in prestigious galleries.  In 2007, a major retrospective of his work was held at Arles Festival, while in 2008, the bigger ever retrospective of a photographer in India was held at the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi and Mumbai.

Raghu Rai continues to be an associate of Magnum Photos and works on personal projects and pictorials.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Indians: Portraits from My Album
Author Raghu Rai
Format Hardcover
Date published: 03.12.2010
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Penguin Studio
Language: English
isbn 9780670084692
length 160p., Col. Illustrations; 30cm.