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Tasveer Ghar: A Digital Network of South Asian Popular Visual Culture

... is a trans-national virtual “home” for collecting, digitizing, and documenting various materials produced by South Asia’s often highly transcultural popular visual sphere including posters, calendar art, pilgrimage maps and paraphernalia, cinema hoardings, advertisements, and other forms of street and bazaar art.

Some of the key fields of exploration within the network are:
(a) the social and performative life of images; (b) the histories and everyday lives and voices of producers, disseminators and ‘consumers’, and (c) various techniques of visuality/media of visualisation (for instance, ritual or theatrical performance, or political spectacle).  

Resource types: Text, Images
Time period: mid 19th century until today  
Languages: English



Public access at

How can this resource be used in teaching, studying and research?  

Tasveerghar hopes to serve as a hub around which to promote dialogue and debate on matters pertaining to South Asian popular visual culture. One particular interest with respect to the work done in the context of the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” is to explore particular transcultural contact zones in which many of the images and media, as well as agents and events that have figured in the 40 visual essays by scholars from all over the world, are entangled.

The Priya Paul database as well as several fellowships given out to scholars working on cultural flows between Europe and Asia in popular Muslim iconography have directly resulted from this productive alliance between Tasveerghar and the Cluster network at the University of Heidelberg.

Further upcoming initiatives are the publication of an edited volume entitled ‘Housefull! Best of Visual Essays of Tasveerghar-The House of Pictures (edited by Christiane Brosius, Sumathi Ramaswamy and Yousuf Saeed, Delhi: Yoda Press) and a pilot project “The Visual Pilgrim. Mapping popular visuality and devotional media at Sufi Shrines and other Islamic institutions in South Asia and beyond” (Suboor Bakht, Christiane Brosius, Yousuf Saeed).  

Highlights from this resource

The Visual Essay Gallery
The fellows of 2010