Dalit Art and Visual Imagery

Dalit Art and Visual Imagery by Gary Michael Tartakov is new from Oxford University Press (India)

Untouchability and discrimination against Dalits is a hidden, yet widely prevalent, phenomenon in Indian society. Raising the face of contemporary untouchability into view, this book analyses the uses of visual imagery by, for, and against Dalits in the historical and contemporary periods.

Dalit Art and Visual Imagery explores the representation of Dalits in Hindu temples, Buddhist stupas, popular art and painting, state-sponsored architecture and sculpture as well as prints, posters, photographs, statues, and parade floats. It makes visible the Dalit lived experience and their world. The essays also examine how Dalits continue to contribute to social transformation and nation building through their struggle for equal rights and social justice. It delves into the phenomenon of the creation of a new Dalit identity around the imagery of Buddha and Ambedkar in public and private spaces.

Where are the images of Dalit oppression in the Hindu temples or Dalit triumph in the Navayana Buddhist viharas? How have Dalits utilized statues and photos of B.R. Ambedkar to bring their reality before the nation? How are Dalits attempting to use visual imagery to describe the world around them and to shape their identities? Through case studies from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Maharashtra, this volume highlights how the Dalits have transformed and empowered themselves since the mass conversion movement to Buddhism in 1956.


In hardcover, Rs. 1495, ISBN: 9780198079361

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