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Object: ’Monsoon girl’. From the series: ‘Monsoon’

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Title ’Monsoon girl’. From the series: ‘Monsoon’
Production Brake, Brian (photographer), 1960, India
Medium summary colour transparency
Materials reversal film, cut film, photographic gelatin
Classification colour transparencies, colour slides, portraits
Technique chromogenic processes, colour photography
Format 35 mm slide (mounted)
Credit line Gift of Mr Raymond Wai-Man Lau, 2001
Registration number CT.035625

Monsoon girl is Brake’s most famous image. It was also controversial because it was a ‘set-up’ shot shown in the context of photojournalism, where viewers assume the images are ‘real life’ witnessed by the photographer.

The subject, Aparna Das Gupta (later Aparna Sen), was an actress on a movie set. Many years later, she recalled that Brake, ‘…took me up to the terrace, had me wear a red sari in the way a village girl does, and asked me to wear a green stud in my nose. …Someone had a large watering can, and they poured water over me. Brake said, “Feel the rain on your face.”’

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