Thursday, November 20, 2008

Kashmir in Life Magazine Photo Archives

Google recently announced "the availability of never-before-seen images from the LIFE photo archive. This effort to bring offline images online was inspired by our mission to organize all the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. This collection of newly-digitized images includes photos and etchings produced and owned by LIFE dating all the way back to the 1750s."

Curious, I looked for old photographs of Kashmir and came across some unseen gems like:


US Soldier Vaden Carney and his date Pam Rumbold (CL), walking the streets of Kashmir.
Location:Kashmir, India
Date taken:1943
Photographer:William Vandivert

In this photograph taken in1943, one can see a typical Srinagar suburban street. Looking at this photograph, one can say that these street have changed very little since then.

Check out the complete set of photographs of this American couple enjoying their time in Kashmir

It's an unbelievably large collection of more than 200 photographs. A bulk of them were taken by photographer Howard Sochurek in 1951.

Along with capturing life scenes from Kashmir(see the beautiful photograph of a bunch of Kashmiri kids with their beloved Kandis 'fire pots'), these photographs also give hints to the political environment of the time. There are photographs of "Free Kashmir" rallies in Pakistan, Kashmiris preparing to defend themselves against Kabaili intruders, UN peace folks, then there are photographs of political entities of the time like Sheikh Abdullah in better times and the young prince Karan Singh. The only color photographs of Kashmir in this collection of Life are by James Burke (died in 1964 after falling from a cliff while shooting a photo essay in the Himalayas) and are titled 'Nehru in Kashmir'. The curious one in this set is: A NC (National Confrence) organized boat procession (were quite popular at the time) with NC and Indian flags going down the Jehlum river in Srinagar to welcome Nehru. No date is given , but were most probably taken during Nehru's visit to Kashmir in May 1953 just before the time Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad became Prime Minister of Kashmir. There are also photographs of the pro- Abdullah protests that followed.

You can browse this entire wonderful unseen Kashmir collection here

1 comment:

  1. Life magazine article about the American Soldier and British Censorship officer. Here.

    ReplyDelete

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