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Madras Talkies – Reading List

Titles from the Sarmaya library that will draw you further into the heart of Tamil Nadu’s culture through music, architecture, photography and art

Thanjavur – Country of Gods & Kings

Between the 16th and 18th centuries, Thanjavur welcomed large communities of Telugu and Marathi speakers as a consequence of Nayaka and Maratha conquests in Cholamandalam. The result was a slow mingling and simmering of cultural influences, resulting in the unique artistic heritage of this temple town

Postcards from Madras

Postcards began at the end of the 19th century as a new kind of crossover between photography and the popular print market. In a collaboration with Picture Postcard Empire, we bring you a virtual exhibition of intriguing postcards from the city of Madras

The Making of Madras

The history of the Madras Presidency is also the history of an embryonic nation finding its identity under colonial rule. We take you through some key moments, movements and personalities that shaped Madras and what would in time become India

Whose land is it anyway?

We examine the themes presented in Saju Kunhan’s work as they are represented in our collection of rare 19th-century portraits, war photography, engravings, contemporary art and Warli painting

Zarina Hashmi and the idea of home

Witness to the horrors of Partition as a child, Zarina dedicated her decades-long career to exploring the idea of home and belonging, and the lingering pain of displacement

Reading between the lines

From medieval coins to colonial-era photography, we bring a diverse array of objects from our collection that reinforce the arguments made by Saubiya Chasmawala’s art

To the earth we return

Through surreal Gond art, witty feminist narratives and earthy Pattachitra scrolls from our collection, we further the themes that influence Rithika Merchant’s paintings

Anju Acharya and the circle of life

Artist Anju Acharya’s gaze may seem coolly observational at first, but it is in fact informed by deep wells of emotion and sensitivity towards her environment

Mayank Shyam and the forest of Gond

If there’s one lesson Mayank Shyam has learnt from his father and legendary Gond artist Jangarh Singh Shyam, it is to be wholly, joyously, uncompromisingly himself and true to the soil that has nourished him

Where do we go from here?

Faced with the ravages of the global pandemic, we’re all seeking comfort, beauty and a way to strengthen that inner light no storm can disturb. ‘Shifting Selves’ offers the balm of art and history as it documents this journey inward