Accepted paper:

Between the couple and the videographer: Ritual, identity and aesthetics in marriage videos in North Kerala, India

Authors:

Janaki Abraham (University of Delhi)

Paper short abstract:

In focusing on weddings and wedding videos in North Kerala, India, this paper explores the newness brought in with the presence of the photographer and videographer? How do wedding videos bring together the cultures of aesthetics of both the couple getting married and the videographer?

Paper long abstract:

One of the most dramatic changes that have taken place in marriages is the way in which the wedding is recorded and presented. A very large and heavy photograph album and a video that can be viewed later are considered essential products of a wedding. This paper argues that in the study of marriage little attention has been paid to a set of people who record the wedding and are now considered indispensible - photographers and videographers. This study focuses on a community called the Thiyyas in North Kerala - an intermediate caste with a history of matrilineal inheritance and descent. The paper is based on fieldwork done primarily in Thalassery, North Kerala at marriages, in houses, and in photograph and video mixing studios. In focusing then on weddings and wedding videos in North Kerala, India, this paper asks how marriage rituals and the ways in which a wedding is performed have changed with the critical presence of the photographer and videographer? How do wedding videos bring together the cultures of aesthetics of both the couple getting married and the videographer?

panel P48
Weddings: identity and aesthetics in a globalising consumer world