Recognizing the value of archival photos for community engagement in India and Africa: School of Oriental and African Studies London – Jharkhand

Photo: A family of Santals looking at the photos on a laptop (Joy Tudu, 2011)

Posted on 7 September 2011 by conncomm

We have finished our work with our African and Indian communities successfully. […]

Our community engagement programme is now beginning to bear fruit. Among the five groups we are working with are the Santal tribe in eastern India and the Mende group in Sierra Leone, where Methodist missionaries took photos in the 1920s-1940s. In both locations, a local man showed the archival images via a Pico projector and as print-outs to various audiences (in churches, schools, hospitals and villages) and recorded their reactions to this visual history.


Mr. Joy Tudu, from the Santal community, spent a few weeks in the town of Sarenga and surrounding villages, where people found the pictures interesting as this extract from his report shows:

“While a picture of the Sarenga church was shown in the projector, one of the members came to me and asked if I had a printout of it. As soon as I gave it to him, he went to the local shop and got a photocopy. People really took a long time looking at the picture and confirmed from all possible angles that this was their church in the 1920s. People went on to discuss the landscape in those days and said how more crowded the place has now become. People also admired the construction of the church building, saying it is strong and still looking good. The church members assured me that they would publish this picture in the annual church souvenir this year.”

Mr. Tudu also took the following five photos…

Source: the CCC project | Connecting Communities with Content
Address :
Date Visited: Wed Sep 17 2014 18:55:43 GMT+0200 (CEST)

“Connecting Communities with Content” is a JISC-funded project running at the School of Oriental and African Studies and the University of London Computer Centre from March to September 2011. […]

We also want to find ways of enhancing this collection by working with some of the communities depicted in the slides in Africa and Asia. No one pictured will be alive today, but there may be memories or stories handed down that can be captured, or comparisons between then and now that can be drawn. One possibility would be to take a picture as the scene looks today and upload it to the Web site. […]

Source: About | the CCC project
Address :
Date Visited: Wed Sep 17 2014 18:59:51 GMT+0200 (CEST)

Related posts

About website administrator

Secretary of the foundation
This entry was posted in Adivasi, Anthropology, Colonial policies, Community facilities, Cultural heritage, Eastern region, Education and literacy, Modernity, Names and communities, Networking, Organizations, Photos and slideshows, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Storytelling, Success story, Tribal culture worldwide, Tribal elders and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.