Today’s Mumbai as Photo-Textuality

  • Carmen Concilio Università degli Studi di Torino
Keywords: Mumbai, Photo-Text, Photo Essay, Urban Studies, Slums, Adivasi


The aim of this essay is to enquire into representations of the city of Mumbai whose urban development has produced images of heaven and hell, sometimes within enclosed boundaries. What is interesting to tackle here is its aestheticisation in a photo-book which presents itself as ‘image-text’ (Mitchel, Stafford), Bombay/Mumbai. Immersions (2013). Not differently from what happens in other cities, such as Cape Town, for instance, here considered only very briefly as counterpoint, the Indian megalopolis’s development has produced disconnected images of urban heaven and hell. The photo-text here discussed presents itself as a composite narrative of words and photos, as the product of the cooperation between an Indian woman poet, Priya Sarukkai Chabria, and an English photographer now based in France, Christopher Taylor. Last but certainly not least in a long sequence of urban photo-texts, this new project requires the reader’s attention in order to try and clarify its role, its meaning, its function, its ethical/aesthetic responsibilities.

Author Biography

Carmen Concilio, Università degli Studi di Torino

Dipartimento di Lingue e Letterature Straniere e Culture Moderne

Professore Associato di Lett. inglese e postcolonaile


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How to Cite
Concilio, C. (2015). Today’s Mumbai as Photo-Textuality. RiCOGNIZIONI. Rivista Di Lingue E Letterature Straniere E Culture Moderne, 2(3), 47-58.