Selective Photography

All over Rajasthan, we’ve seen beautiful pictures of the “remote desert ruins” of Bada Bagh. Restaurants and hotels are decorated with tourist posters luring tourists to explore the beautiful attraction. Guidebooks entice travelers to seek out the site featuring an isolated desert hilltop covered with stone cenotaphs. But it turns out that Bada Bagh is a prime example of selective photography.

5 responses to “Selective Photography”

  1. avatar evelyn says:

    omg! if i didn’t know you had taken this photo, i would say it was faked to make a political statement. this is one of the scariest pictures i’ve seen on your blog. i might have a nightmare tonight.

  2. avatar Beverly says:

    Wow. It’s absolutely surreal. Talk about an image representing the impending approach of modernity.

  3. avatar greeneyes says:

    Well it could be worse.

    Thank goodness these are not oil rigs.

  4. avatar laurelle says:

    Thanks, Freda. I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been deliberating over commenting on this one.

    This type of development shouldn’t surprise us and should actually be encouraging! The folks who live out there in the desert want to charge their cell phones and watch “American Idol” just as much as anyone does. If Indians can support that kind of development without enlarging their carbon footprint, more power to them!

  5. avatar evelyn says:

    it’s not the development that makes me gasp as much as the use of blatant commercial deception in marketing the ‘ruins’ of bada bagh. maybe it’s just human nature to try to frame something potentially marketable in the prettiest or most exotic light. i was told years ago that some of my primatologist colleagues photographed ‘their’ chimps to disguise how close they were living to modern towns, paying particular attention to the background in their shots (e.g., so you couldn’t see all the car and truck traffic on the road to the site). the researchers wanted the public to see the animals as ‘wild’ (whatever ‘wild’ means!), close to ‘nature.’ contrast the bada bagh approach with healy, alaska, where one of the attractions is to see how coal is mined 25 minutes from denali national park.

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