Shifting stories of the land

Using the language of maps, let’s start a conversation about our ever-changing territorial boundaries.

Published: 13th August 2017 08:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th August 2017 08:27 AM   |  A+A-

British India

Using the language of maps, let’s start a conversation about our ever-changing territorial boundaries. As India enters its 71st year of Independence,  this exhibition seems befitting. Anubhav Nath, Curatorial Director of Ojas Art, a selection of 71 maps are being shown in an exhibition titled, India: A Mapful Story, that bring unseen maps and engravings from the 18th century to 1946. These serve as historical corroborations of our drastically changing geographies and topographies over the centuries.

Nath has been procuring maps for nearly a decade. His grandfather was fond of maps and there was always a large world map in his office that he would refer to when talking about travels. “I still have it,” he says.
These maps have been procured from collectors, old book sellers and kabadi bazaars (scrap markets) by cartographers such as John Tallis, James Rennell, Pierre Lapie, Rigobert Bonne and Matthaeus Seutter.

They were printed in England, France, Italy and the US. “Each map tells stories of discoveries, geography, colonisation and politics. The boundaries change and the areas become bigger and smaller depending on who commissioned the cartographer. The maps are works of art with beautiful cartouches and elaborate designs and colouring,” he says. This makes them a great tool to understand the geo-political and socio economic set-up of an era, Nath believes.

Good to know: On view till August 20, from 11 am to 7 pm. Closed on Mondays and on August 15. Ojas Art, 1 AQ, Qutab Minar Roundabout, Mehrauli.

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