Voices From The Past : Interpreting the Archive

Voices From The Past : Interpreting the Archive
Voices From The Past : Interpreting the Archive


Wednesday, February 21 2018

06.00 PM to 08.00 PM


Pundole’s, Hamilton House,

8 J.N. Heredia Marg,

Ballard Estate, Mumbai




Aditya Arya

Rajyashri Goody

Vrunda Pathare 

Monisha Ahmed




Avid Learning and Sarmaya present a panel discussion around the cultural value of the archive and its future role. Are archives subjective interpretations of truths, memories, events and even myths? Is the historian or archivist a subjective interpreter and influencer? How do differing cultures archive and interpret versions of history?

Photographer and Archivist Aditya Arya, Photographer and Visual Anthropologist Rajyashri Goodyand Chief Archivist at Godrej and Boyce Vrunda Pathare in conversation with Social Anthropologist Monisha Ahmed will probe how the multitude of voices from an archive can be interpreted through differing cultural perspectives. They will also probe the role of technology in shaping the archive and how we preserve and pass on our collective histories and discuss the evolution from oral traditions to material archiving and subsequently to digital archiving. This panel will also touch upon the role and future of business archives as cultural touchstones.

Join our experts as they discuss the role of the archive and the stories it tells in making sense of our past, present and future.

  • Aditya Arya.jpg

    Aditya Arya is an eminent commercial and travel photographer. Over the last few years, he has honed his skills and knowledge on preservation, restoration and archiving particularly through the documentation of historic photographic works from the Kulwant Roy Collection of the pre and post Independence era. He has played a pivotal role in the establishment of India Photo Archive Foundation and the Neel Dongre Awards/Grants for Excellence in Photography. He divides his time between his photography archive and Museo Camera - the only Photography and Camera Museum in India. With more than 1000 rare and iconic cameras and other equipment, this museum traces the history of photography from the 1870s to the Digital Era. He has been on the Jury of the National Art Exhibition 2014 organized by Lalit Kala Akademi among others. He has also curated several shows of archival and contemporary visual works, both nationally and internationally.  He is a guest faculty at Sri Aurobindo Centre of Art and Communication, and also previously at the Jamia Millia Islamia University’s Institute of Mass Communication. He was a mentor at Habitat Photosphere, Director at the Academy for Photographic Excellence (APEX), and a Guest Fellow and Curator at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla.

  • Monisha Ahmed.jpg

    Rajyashri Goody is a visual artist and ethnographer. Grounded in the principles of visual anthropology, her research interests span caste and class structure and interpretations of hierarchical patterns in societies. Since late 2016, she has been working on the interrelationship of food politics, the power of the written word, and caste, focusing on Dalit literature. She has an academic background in sociology and visual anthropology, and her art practice has developed over the last two years, facilitated particularly through engaging in residencies with Khoj International Association, Bamboo Curtain Studio in Taipei, The Eroles Project in Paris, Piramal Residency in Mumbai, Asia Culture Centre in Gwangju, and Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. Between 2015 and 2017, she was a curatorial fellow with the Students' Biennale (an initiative of the Kochi Biennale Foundation). Her recent group shows include ‘Microsubversions Playbook’ at Conflictorium (Ahmedabad), ‘ARTPORT_Good Food’ at Hyderabad Literary Festival, ‘The World Next Door’ at Khoj International (New Delhi), and  ‘Odds & Ends’ at Gallery Ske (Bangalore) curated by Samira Bose.

  • Vrunda Pathare.jpg

    Vrunda Pathare is presently heading the Godrej Archives – a Business Archives of Godrej Group (India) which she was instrumental in setting up. She is currently a Secretary of Section of Business Archives (SBA) of International Council of Archives (ICA) and Secretary of Oral History Association of India (OHAI). In the past, she had served as a member of the Advisory Board of Rajbhavan Archives of Government of Maharashtra (India). Vrunda began her career as a research assistant to Mr. Sadashiv Gorakshkar (Formerly Director, Prince of Wales Museum) in a project on 'A history of Rajbhavans (Governor's Residences) in Maharashtra (India)' and 'ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd.) Golden Jubilee Museum'. Before joining Godrej, she worked as Assistant Archivist at TIFR Archives of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. She has been a resource person in many national workshops on archives and has presented papers in national and international conferences.

  • Monisha Ahmed.jpg (1)

    Monisha Ahmed is an independent researcher whose work focuses on art practices and material culture in Ladakh. Her doctoral degree from Oxford University developed into the book Living fabric – Weaving among the Nomads of Ladakh Himalaya (2002), which received the Textile Society of America’s R L Shep award in 2003 for best book in the field of ethnic textile studies. She has published several articles on textile arts of the Western Himalayan World as well as other areas in India, more recently a chapter on textiles for The Arts and Interiors of Rashtrapati Bhavan – Lutyens and Beyond (2016), and the catalogue Woven Treasures – Textiles from the Jasleen Dhamija Collection (2016). She co-edited Ladakh – Culture at the Crossroads (2005) and collaborated on Pashmina – The Kashmir Shawl and Beyond (2009 & 2017). Formerly Associate Editor of Marg Publications, she is co-founder and Executive Director of the Ladakh Arts and Media Organisation (LAMO), Leh.