A new publisher of high quality books and black and white photographs by Michael Thomas about unusual places and people in India.
Michael Thomas has made many trips to India over the last 25 years and always armed with black and white film. After a full career in architecture, which included the recently Grade II listed Oaklands housing (1968) in East Reading and the complex alteration and restoration of Reading Town Hall (1981 to 2001), retirement gave the chance to travel more slowly to see more of this most captivating, varied and rapidly changing subcontinent. He has been admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
Pipal Press emerged as the vehicle to produce extensively illustrated books to document places that are changing, threatened and often remote from the tourist trail. These are well produced books in limited quantities using the best materials, with minimal text and finely printed b/w photographs. They are informative tangible objects and hopefully worth keeping. Pipal Press also offers individual archival prints to order.
A blog tracks notable developments after publication and can be seen at http://pipalpress.blogspot.co.uk/ . A résumé of the first two books follow.
Kutch, once an influential State, is an island bordered by the largest natural salt flats in the world. The book focusses on the volatile geology, its unusual history, and the remarkable people in this remote part of India. It is a photo-documentary of Kutch ten years after the massive earthquake of 2001, followed by a huge increase in development and it suggests how these changes will affect the people.
Elusive India: tribes – Chhattisgarh and Orissa
This is an inspirational photographic excursion into the world of indigenous people whose ancestors migrated to India around 60 thousand years ago and now seek little more than to survive from day to day in tune with nature and their beliefs. The many informative black and white photographs illustrate the habitat, landscape and lifestyle.
There is reference to the Dongria Kondh tribe and their current resistance to bauxite mining by Vedanta in the sacred Niyamgiri hills.
Michael Thomas FRGS April 2013