Composed of 54 digital reproductions of original prints, the exhibition takes the visitor to India in the first three decades of the 20th century. The photos come from the archives of the Italian Geographic Society, which holds about 200,000 phototypes (including positives, negatives, slides and postcards). They are mostly rare materials, often unpublished, related to very different contexts: the time frame of reference is about 150 years, since the oldest collection dates back to 1866 (French expedition to the Mekong valley), while the photo-essays by Franco Lubrani, one of the most recent acquisitions, recount contemporaneity. The wide range of contents allows to find significant references to Italy and to each of the five continents. Also the typology of the photographs ranges from the landscape to the anthropometric ones, from portraiture to images that document the reports of explorers or heads of scientific missions.


Gino Bandini, Maurizio Piscicelli, Antonio Sturla, Massimo Terzano and Giotto Dainelli are the photographers of images about India whose authors are known. Gino Bandini is in India in 1903. He photographs cities, monuments and countryside, focusing in particular on portraying the predravidical ethnic group of the Bhils. But he also proposes numerous portraits, in particular of groups belonging to the different religions and castes in which the Indian society is divided. Maurizio Piscicelli is in India between 1913 and 1914. He photographs above all the cities of Benares and Calcutta, remaining fascinated  by the Hindu religious rites taking place along the banks of the river Ganges. Antonio Sturla in the Indian subcontinent is present between December 1932 and January 1933. His favorite subjects are people, often belonging to the popular classes, caught in the street or in the countryside in their everyday life. Massimo Terzano and Giotto Dainelli contribute with images taken during the exploratory and scientific expeditions on the Himalayan mountains in which they took part. The first with a shot taken on the Karakoram chain. The second with a photo taken from a series dedicated to Buddhist dances in Ladakh.

Curated by:

Alessandro Luigi Perna

A production of:

Eff&Ci - Facciamo Cose (We Do Things)

In collaboration with:

Nadia Fusco / Photographic Archive of the Italian Geographic Society


Pictures of:

Photographic Archive of the Italian Geographic Society

background photo of the page ©Photographic Archive of the Italian Geographic Society