Raghubir Singh photographed by Ram Rahman.(Jhaveri Contemporary)
Raghubir Singh photographed by Ram Rahman.(Jhaveri Contemporary)

Indian photographer’s exhibition in Toronto triggers parallel #MeToo show

Celebrated Indian photographer, the late Raghubir Singh, is being recognised with a major showing at Toronto’s leading museum. But just as his work is on display, another exhibit is running concurrently, this one triggered by allegations of sexual harassment by the master lensman in the 1990s.
By Anirudh Bhattacharyya | Hindustan Times, Toronto, Toronto
PUBLISHED ON AUG 07, 2018 01:04 AM IST

Celebrated Indian photographer, the late Raghubir Singh, is being recognised with a major showing at Toronto’s leading museum. But just as his work is on display, another exhibit is running concurrently, this one triggered by allegations of sexual harassment by the master lensman in the 1990s.

‘Modernism on the Ganges: Raghubir Singh Photographs’ is a summer standout at the Royal Ontario Museum or ROM. Organised by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York late last year, the retrospective has now travelled to Canada’s largest city.

Deepali Dewan, who curated the exhibit for ROM, told Hindustan Times in an email, “Raghubir Singh made a global impact on the history of photography, as an innovative colour photographer, and yet, as an artist from India, he wasn’t included in this history which tends to be dominated by Western photographers. So by presenting this exhibition at the ROM, we are making an intervention into that history. As well, we wanted to showcase a vision of modern India that reflected its complexity, as captured in Singh’s photographs, and that didn’t reproduce touristic or ethnographic tropes.”

But also travelling along from New York is the shadow cast by accusations of what may have been a negative aspect of that personality. As the exhibit was held there in 2017, city-based artist Jaishri Abichandani alleged she had been raped by Singh in the 1990s, while she was serving as his assistant. That lead to protests, and precipitated the #MeToo and ‘The Arts’ exhibit at ROM, which is free to public and on display near the entrance to the museum.

Raghubir Singh’s capture titled ‘Catching the Breeze’. Location: Hathod Village, Jaipur, Rajasthan, in 1975.
Raghubir Singh’s capture titled ‘Catching the Breeze’. Location: Hathod Village, Jaipur, Rajasthan, in 1975.

“We decided that rather than cancel, we would continue with plans to host the exhibition, while at the same time addressing the issues of art in the #MeToo era raised by the allegation,” Dewan explained.

Asked how his creativity will be viewed by visitors given the #MeToo context, Dewan said, “Whether one can appreciate an artwork after learning more about an artist is a personal decision.”

Singh passed away in 1999, and this allegations come nearly 20 years after his death. However, it is believed that Abichandani had communicated her traumatic experience to those close to her at or near the time the alleged incidents of rape occurred. But fearful of repercussions from a figure of such stature, she never filed an official complaint. She did not respond to an email seeking comment on this matter.

The collection featuring Singh’s work, spanning from the 1960s to the 1990s, captures a “time when India was going through profound change”, Dewan said.

Working in colour, at a time when they were often dismissed a kitsch or commercial, “Singh’s images reflect both urban and rural spaces and the unique tension or co-existence of traditional ways of life and modern technology”, she said.

His artistic legacy is very visible at the ROM special exhibit, but as the accompanying display evidences, it is now haunted by the spirit of the #MeToo movement.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
A file photo of an employee walking with sanitary wipes through the post-vaccination waiting area at a vaccination centre, as part of the Covid-19 vaccination campaign, in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. (REUTERS)
A file photo of an employee walking with sanitary wipes through the post-vaccination waiting area at a vaccination centre, as part of the Covid-19 vaccination campaign, in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. (REUTERS)

Covid-19: Canadian provinces looking to import vaccine tech knowhow from India

By Anirudh Bhattacharyya I Edited by Nadim Siraj
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 11:53 AM IST
An Indian official said “preliminary” discussions have commenced and some provincial governments are interested in the technical expertise developed by SII and Bharat Biotech
Close
A file photo showing a Tibetan in-exile pinning a small flag on a map of Tibet to commemorate the 108th anniversary of the declaration of Tibetan Independence Day, at Mcleodganj in Dharamshala, India on February 13, 2021. (PTI)
A file photo showing a Tibetan in-exile pinning a small flag on a map of Tibet to commemorate the 108th anniversary of the declaration of Tibetan Independence Day, at Mcleodganj in Dharamshala, India on February 13, 2021. (PTI)

High-speed train from Lhasa to Tibetan city near Arunachal to run from June

By Sutirtho Patranobis I Edited Nadim Siraj
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 11:14 AM IST
Construction of the 435km train corridor, also the first electrified railroad in Tibet linking the two cities had begun in 2014, Lu Dongfu, chairperson of China State Railway Group Company and a deputy to the National People’s Congress, said on the sidelines of the annual session of the parliament
Close
China has been claiming the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and their have been many incidents of incursions of Chinese ships in Japanese territorial waters. (Representative Image)(AP File Photo)
China has been claiming the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and their have been many incidents of incursions of Chinese ships in Japanese territorial waters. (Representative Image)(AP File Photo)

Japan to closely monitor China's increased defense spending

ANI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 10:37 AM IST
As per this year's draft budget at the annual session of the National People's Congress, which opened on Friday, the Chinese government increased its defense budget by 6.8% from last year to about 209 billion dollars.
Close
A member of the medical team administers a coronavirus Covid-19 vaccine shot at the NHS vaccination centre in Robertson House in Stevenage, north of London on January 14, 2021 (Photo by Leon Neal / POOL / AFP)(AFP)
A member of the medical team administers a coronavirus Covid-19 vaccine shot at the NHS vaccination centre in Robertson House in Stevenage, north of London on January 14, 2021 (Photo by Leon Neal / POOL / AFP)(AFP)

NHS England invites people aged 56 to 59 to book Covid-19 vaccinations

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 10:23 AM IST
"The latest invites have been sent after more than eight in 10 people aged 65 to 69 took up the offer of a jab", the National Health Service said in an emailed statement on Sunday.
Close
Cuomo’s workplace conduct has been under intense scrutiny in recent days as several women have publicly told of feeling sexually harassed, or at least made to feel demeaned and uncomfortable by the Democrat.(REUTERS)
Cuomo’s workplace conduct has been under intense scrutiny in recent days as several women have publicly told of feeling sexually harassed, or at least made to feel demeaned and uncomfortable by the Democrat.(REUTERS)

Pressure piles on scandal hit Cuomo as ex-aide calls out office conduct

AP
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 10:17 AM IST
A spokesman for Cuomo didn’t immediately return a request for comment from The Associated Press, but told the Journal that some of the behavior Liss was describing was the kind of innocent glad-handing that politicians often do at public events.
Close
The 46-year-old died of asphyxiation beneath the knee of a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, on May 25, 2020 in the US city of Minneapolis.(AP)
The 46-year-old died of asphyxiation beneath the knee of a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, on May 25, 2020 in the US city of Minneapolis.(AP)

George Floyd: 'Gentle giant' who became symbol of fight against racism

Posted by Prashasti Singh | AFP
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 09:55 AM IST
"Daddy changed the world." The words of Floyd's six-year-old daughter Gianna summed up the paradox of his killing, in which the end of his life began a moral reckoning on race and white supremacy far beyond the borders of the United States.
Close
Into the early hours of Sunday, residents said soldiers and police moved into several districts of Yangon, firing shots. (Reuters)
Into the early hours of Sunday, residents said soldiers and police moved into several districts of Yangon, firing shots. (Reuters)

Protesters back on Myanmar streets after night raids by security forces

Reuters
UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 09:35 AM IST
The biggest protest was in Myanmar's second city of Mandalay, local media said. Protests were also held in Yangon, in Kale near the Indian border, and in Dawei, a coastal city in the south. There were no reports of violence.
Close
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.(AP)
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.(AP)

'We can do big things,' Schumer says as Senate approves aid

AP, Washington
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 05:59 AM IST
  • Senate passage of the sweeping relief bill Saturday puts President Joe Biden’s top priority closer to becoming law and shows Schumer, in his first big test as majority leader, can unify the ever-so-slim Democratic majority and deliver the votes.
Close
Similar protests were being organized in cities around the country in advance of the trial of Derek Chauvin.(AP)
Similar protests were being organized in cities around the country in advance of the trial of Derek Chauvin.(AP)

Dozens rally before ex-officer put on trial in Floyd's death

AP, Minneapolis
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 05:45 AM IST
Many of the roughly 150 people who demonstrated in Minnesota were family members of others who died during police encounters.
Close
Anti-viral oral drugs such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) are sometimes prescribed for seasonal flu but researchers have yet to come up with something similar to fight the coronavirus.(REUTERS)
Anti-viral oral drugs such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) are sometimes prescribed for seasonal flu but researchers have yet to come up with something similar to fight the coronavirus.(REUTERS)

Oral Covid treatment yields promising trial data: Drugmakers

Posted by Shivani | AFP
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 05:42 AM IST
  • "At a time where there is unmet need for antiviral treatments against SARS-CoV-2, we are encouraged by these preliminary data," said Wendy Painter, chief medical officer of the US firm, Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.
Close
As demonstrators gathered in different parts of the city, the police used tear gas to stop their advancement. (Representative image)(AFP)
As demonstrators gathered in different parts of the city, the police used tear gas to stop their advancement. (Representative image)(AFP)

Swiss police fire tear gas on demonstrators at feminist rally

Posted by Prashasti Singh | ANI, Zurich
UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 05:35 AM IST
According to a report by Sputnik, the police had warned people ahead of a planned protest that mass events are banned in Switzerland amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Close
In picture - People attend the funeral of Angel a 19-year-old protester also known as Kyal Sin who was shot in the head as Myanmar forces opened fire to disperse an anti-coup demonstration in Mandalay on March 4.(Reuters)
In picture - People attend the funeral of Angel a 19-year-old protester also known as Kyal Sin who was shot in the head as Myanmar forces opened fire to disperse an anti-coup demonstration in Mandalay on March 4.(Reuters)

‘Scores from Myanmar trying to flee to India’

AFP, Guwahati
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 12:12 AM IST
Forty-eight Myanmar nationals, including the eight police, have entered India’s northeastern state of Mizoram, a senior officer in the Assam Rifles paramilitary force said.
Close
A study by the University of Oxford shows AstraZeneca effective against Brazil variant.(AP)
A study by the University of Oxford shows AstraZeneca effective against Brazil variant.(AP)

Covid-19 pandemic: WHO warns against letting guard down

Agencies, Geneva
UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 05:37 AM IST
“Countries are going to lurch back into third and fourth surges if we’re not careful.” Mike Ryan, WHO’s top emergency expert, told an online briefing.
Close
Pakistan PM Imran Khan thanked all lawmakers from his party and allies for supporting him.(Reuters)
Pakistan PM Imran Khan thanked all lawmakers from his party and allies for supporting him.(Reuters)

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan wins trust vote

Agencies
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 12:00 AM IST
PM Khan won 178 votes, safely above the 172 votes he needed, to prove his majority in the NA
Close
Carabinieri officers patrol one of the main access road to Bollate, in the outskirts of Milan, Italy.(AP)
Carabinieri officers patrol one of the main access road to Bollate, in the outskirts of Milan, Italy.(AP)

Mutated Covid-19 variants responsible for spike in cases across Europe

AP, Milan
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 11:25 PM IST
  • Europe recorded 1 million new COVID-19 cases last week, an increase of 9% from the previous week and a reversal that ended a six-week decline in new infections, WHO said Thursday.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP