Rewind to family photographs before the selfie era: Pout, pose, click and apply Instagram filter — taking a selfie today is a matter of seconds. Not so long ago, getting one’s photograph was a big deal, which meant dressing up to the nines and walking up to the studio at the centre of the town or waiting patiently for the studio photographer to set up his paraphernalia. The pre-selfie era of family photographs is recorded on the rear wall of the French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP), which has turned into an interesting spot to hang out this month, with passers-by and visitors intrigued by the black- and-white exhibition on the wall. Organised by the institute and Pondy Art, the ‘Heritage of Family — Tamil Studio portraiture’ chronicles sepia tinted photographs from 1880 to 1980, of families in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. As amusing as it is to observe forbidding glances and stately bearings of people in the photographs, they are also a trove of information on society, culture and fashion of the period.a trove of information on society, culture and fashion of the period.
Olympia Shilpa Gerald