Colonial India takes centre stage in postcard exhibition

An exhibition ‘From Madras to Bangalore: Picture Postcards as Urban History of Colonial India’ is running in London until September 23.

It is being staged at the Brunei Gallery, in the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, in Russell Square, and is open Tuesday to Sundays, from 10.30am to 5pm, with a late opening until 8pm on Thursdays.

This exhibition covers a selection of picture postcards from the Indian cities of Chennai and Bengaluru between 1900 and the 1930s – then known as Madras and Bangalore, the two most important colonial cities in British south India.

The exhibition tells how these two cities, although separated by 215 miles, were linked through a set of common representational and material practices.

It explores how postcard practices imagined, figured and performed a colonial encounter by depicting cities’ monuments, street, people and places.

The exhibition is curated by Emily Stevenson and Stephen Hughes, of the university’s Department of Anthropology and Sociology.

Stephen said: “I have used postcards as part of my social history research into south India. A PhD student of mine has also been conducting research about postcards in south India – and now we have put our two interests together into this exhibit.”

Here’s the link to the gallery website https://www.soas.ac.uk/gallery/from-madras-to-bangalore/