'Paper jewels postcards from the Raj': An illustrated presentation
India International Centre along with Mapin Publishing and the Alkazi Foundation for the Arts is presenting, 'Paper jewels postcards from the Raj' by Omar Khan on August 27 at IIC.
The book, a 500 Vintage Postcard Tour of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, published by Mapin in Ahmedabad in the summer of 2018 an Illustrated presentation by Omar Khan, Chief Technology Officer, Common Sense Media, San Francisco, avid historian, award-winning web designer and aspiring filmmaker who runs the website Harappa.com will be launched followed by a conversation with Dr Malavika Karlekar.
The book's launch will also start a process of releasing more than 3,000 free, professionally-restored postcards from the Raj – India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Myanmar (Burma) – to the public under a free and open Creative Commons CC BY-SA license on Internet Archive. The goal is to bring some of those exquisite images back into currency.
Paper Jewels are the story of postcards during the Raj and the first book on the subject. It uncovers such gems as the early postcards of the great Indian painter M V Dhurandhar and the Ravi Varma Press in Mumbai, the exceptional work of an early Austrian lithographer in Kolkata, a British photographer in Peshawar, and Indian studios in Jaipur, Kashmir, Delhi, Lahore, Madras, Karachi and elsewhere.
It is organised by place into a dozen chapters. The essays cover the key themes important to postcard publishing—religion, dancers, teas and soaps, famines, fakirs, humour, warfare and the role of postcards in the Independence movement. It tells the stories of the first postcard publishers of the subcontinent between 1892 and 1947, most of those images have not been seen since they were published.