Plane Views

 Plane Views, Photography and Culture, Vol 8, Issue 1, Routledge/Taylor and Francis, 2015

Plane Views, Photography and Culture, Vol 8, Issue 1, Routledge/Taylor and Francis, 2015

“Plane Views” are taken from airplane windows by gazing tourists and migrants alike. These photographs give self-reflexive witness to the “in-between-ness” of air travel as an experience of modernity. However, such images of celestial skies and earthbound topography are also reworked through folklore, and classical and popular culture, into the metaphorical dreamscapes of diaspora imagination. This article looks at a collection of my father's photographs taken from planes during various family migrations of the 1960s and 1970s, between the globally scattered territories of Indian Fijian communities, across the Pacific region and beyond. By linking these images to the personal and collective narratives attached to their production and consumption, “Plane Views” can be understood as reinterpretations of the historical tropes of both landscape photography and the omnipotent gaze of surveillance.  Mohini Chandra, 2015