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This book, spanning the 150 years since the arrival of the first Indian indentured labourers in Natal, illustrates the power of photographs. Its lens is wide as it captures the social, the economic, the political, and the religious. It invites readers to see beyond images to the human experience in the photographs.
While the focus is broad, this collection of over 700 photographs does not ignore life’s minutiae. The strength of the book lies in the interweaving of big events with the everyday as the photographs are brought to life with well researched vignettes that provide context and meaning. As it explores the many lives of Indian South Africans, this collection challenges the partitioning of identity, while acknowledging its pull and protective presence.
The story is a beguiling one that will provoke feelings of nostalgia, dissonance and intrigue, anger and hilarity, as the pages peel back history to reveal stories of passion and pain, the ordinary and the courageous.
'MANY LIVES: 150 years of being Indian in South Africa' is a book by Goolam Vahed, Ashwin Desai and Thembisa Waetjen. It is published by Shuter (2010).
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Last Updated (Sunday, 21 November 2010 12:35)