We live today surrounded by images – on billboards,calendars, posters, and religious paraphernalia, in print-media and television,in restaurants and shops, on the roadside, in auto-rickshaws, taxis, trucks, andbuses, in bazaars and around temples. This explosion of the visual emanatesfrom the forces of urbanization of India’s culture in terms of technologies ofimage production and ways of thinking and looking. Colonial ideals ofperspective and realism in pictorial representation endowed the idealized traditionalimagery with a more tangible and sensual presence. Mass production andcirculation of this imagery became a potent instrument in negotiatinginterstices between the sacred, the erotic, the political, and the modern.
This book largely focuses on the current contexts of popularvisual culture. Both “popular” and “visual” as specificforms of modern culture have only recently received serious academic attentionin India. Some of the factors which have supplied new frames to these culturalcategories are the emergence of modern communication technologies -digital media, TV, and film – as well as emergent new disciplines such ascultural studies, visual studies, film, and media studies.