Challenging Coupledom and Creating a New Family

Historian and Filmmaker Uma Chakravarti on Pandita Ramabai’s incredible visual archive

On Pandita Ramabai’s 164th birthday, we bring you a rare glimpse into her life as an image maker and archivist. During the 19th century widow reformation movement, Pandita Ramabai set up Mukti Mission – a home for widows and other young girls women rescued from the aftermath of pandemics and famines. In Mukti Mission, she created photographs that not only archive a precious moment in feminist history, but also challenge the ongoing conjugality project by offering up alternatives to coupledom and the traditional family set-up.

In this video, Dr Uma Chakravarti, feminist historian and filmmaker takes us through the radical act of Pandita Ramabai: of reinventing the family photograph.

Produced by Dipta Bhog, Shabani Hassanwalia and Shivam Rastogi
Camera and editing by Shivam Rastogi
Photographs Courtesy:
Old Wedding Photos by Malavika Karlekar
Pandit Ramabai: The Story of her Life by Helen S Dyer
Pandit Ramabai – Her Vision, Her Mission And Triumph of Faith by Helen S Dyer

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