Photo Wallahs

David MacDougall
Australia, England | OmeU
Q&A with: David MacDougall

Renowned ethno­graph­ic film­mak­ers David and Judith Mac­Dougall explore the many mean­ings of pho­tog­ra­phy in this pro­found and pen­e­trat­ing doc­u­men­tary. The film focus­es on the pho­tog­ra­phers of Mus­soorie, a hill sta­tion in the Himalayan foothills of north­ern India whose fame has attract­ed tourists since the 19th cen­tu­ry. Through a rich mix­ture of scenes that includes the pho­tog­ra­phers at work, their clients, and both old and new pho­tographs, the film exam­ines pho­tog­ra­phy as art and as social arti­fact -- a medium of real­i­ty, fan­ta­sy, memory, and desire.

There is now an inter­est in making films that do not simply deliv­er a state­ment about a topic but open it up in richer and more pro­duc­tive ways. These are films that devel­op com­plex net­works of con­nec­tions and rela­tion­ships. In a sense they are meant as struc­tures for gen­er­at­ing mean­ing. That is cer­tain­ly our inten­tion in PHOTO WALLAHS. We want it to be a resource for a range of obser­va­tions, ideas, and pos­si­bil­i­ties.” (David Mac­Dougall, Visual Anthro­pol­o­gy Review)