striking a pose

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The land of the Far East was still a distant enigma for the West. The mystery that enamoured numerous, also intrigued American inventor Thomas Edison. His messenger was his cameraman, who set out to explore the terrain of China and India in the 19th century. His findings appeared on movie screens in the US in 1906. Edison’s Hindoo Fakir was the first movie produced about India — one that had the film’s protagonist display a variety of tricks for the camera, several of which could be classified as yogic postures. More than a century later, the film is again garnering interest. It has the audience queuing before the screen at Smithsonian’s Arthur M Sackler Gallery in Washington DC. Part of the exhibition “Yoga: The Art of Transformation”, it is one of the 130 exhibits sourced from 25 museums and private collections in India, Europe and the US. “These works of art allow us to trace, often for the first time, yoga’s meaning across the diverse social landscapes of India,” says Debra Diamond, Associate Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.

Excerpt from The Indian Express Article Striking A Pose by Vandana Kalra

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