Images d'Orient – Tourisme Vandale
(Images of the Orient – Vandal Tourism)

Directed by Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi.
France/Italy, 2001, digital video, color and b&w, 62 min.

This precursor to Pays barbare is similarly taken from privately shot footage, this time by European travelers to India at the end of the 1920s. Although this period was a time of gathering anti-colonial fervor, such events remain offscreen. Instead, the “vandalistic tourism” decried by the film’s title includes images of festivals and processions, parades and cremations; as Gianikian and Ricci Lucchi would have it, the camera’s touristic gaze amounts to a kind of desecration. Especially striking is the contrast between the poverty witnessed in the streets and the opulence of a ruling-class garden party.

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