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Photography Visual Arts

Lola MacDougall on research trip to Switzerland

Lola Mac Dougall
Photo credit: Fabian Charuau

GoaPhoto. Photographer Fabien Charuau. Art direction Lola Mac Dougall

Lola Mac Dougall is a photography curator based in Goa. Lola has a doctorate from Barcelona’s Pompeu Fabra University, with a doctoral thesis dealing with Indian women photographers. She was the founding director of the photography festivals GoaPhoto and of JaipurPhoto.

On her research trip to Switzerland, Lola will pursue the subject “An Inner Balance: Photography and Yoga.”

 Yoga -or yoga related subjects- have been depicted in photography almost since photography’s arrival in India in 1840. The People of India (published by the India Office in between 1868 and 1875) included images of ascetics practicing austerities, creating an archetype that has settled in the Western imagination ever since.  The research explores photography shot in India as well as so-called transnational yoga, which went through an exponential increase since the 1950s, when an “international asana revolution” took place. A significant aspect of the research investigates – in collaboration with the art historian Caroline Nicod- the Swiss connections with yoga and whether they had a photographic translation. Additional research could also explore whether Switzerland was just one amongst western countries where postural yoga was disseminated or rather whether key figures based there may have influenced the overall dissemination of yoga in Europe. Can Switzerland be seen as an avant-garde country when it comes to the spread of yoga in the West?

Follow Lola MacDougall on Instagram @lolamacdougall