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Indian Minute Camera Photographers

“They are amongst the last of their kind and they know it – adepts of a simple yet ingenious photographic apparatus which once bejewelled street pitches all over the Indian subcontinent. These innovative, by-lane photographers offered cheap, on-the-spot, black-and-white photographs, which customers used widely both for official identity portraits and as personal keepsakes.”– Sean Foley, Introduction

In a rare publication authored by visual anthropologist Sean Foley, in collaboration with practitioner Lukas Birk, Foley highlights an elided history of photographic production in the subcontinent from the 1960s onwards. Fraglich Publishing has been consistently producing books on analogue image-making/makers, including Box Camera Now (2020), and this unique edition, co-published with the Alkazi Collection of Photography, shares a myriad collection of handmade prints from box cameramen in Northwest India.

Indian Minute Camera Photographers explores the varied contributions of four practitioners between the 1960s and 90s. Bharat Bhushan Mahajan (Delhi) specialised in ‘trick photography’ in Birla Mandir which involved cutting and layering multiple photographs to create a single composite; Teekam Chand Pahari and Surendar Kumar Pahari (Jaipur) are presumably two of the last working minute camera photographers in India stationed outside the Hawa Mahal in the touristy city centre; and Kinshan Chand Hemlani (Pushkar) documented pilgrims and ‘hippies’, the latter arriving via the overland trail from Europe.

Co-published by The Alkazi Collection of Photography with Fraglich Publishing