Dr Verrier Elwin’s life (1902-1964) was exceptional and eventful. Born in England he attended Oxford University. A religious calling brought him to India in 1927where he sought first to make personal reparation for colonial domination, which he perceived as unjust. It was his contact and close association with Mahatma Gandhi, which diverted him from the path of evangelism, a decision that led to his departure from the church, to the world of anthropology and the tribes of India.
Elwin lived for 27 years of his life in Gond villages in the heart of Central India and during that time he became the most prolific writer on tribal ethnography and folklore of India. His legacy includes 10,000 black and white photographs that provide a significant archive from the colonial to the post-colonial period of history. Elwin’s life, opinions and writings were radical and unconventional. His approach was to recognise the value of tribal cultures and to encourage these communities to develop at theirown pace, and “according to their own genius”. The Adivasi Arts Trust has organised numerous exhibitions of the photographs that were taken by Dr Verrier Elwin in Centraland in North East India
Exhibition of Photographs from Central India by Verrier Elwin
Exhibition of Photographs from Central India by Verrier Elwin at the Eco-cosmology, Sustainability and a Spirit of Resilience Conference, 21 – 22 September 2018, University College Cork, Ireland.
Exhibition of Photographs from Central India by Verrier Elwin in Patangarh
Exhibition of Photographs from Central India by Verrier Elwin in Patangarh, Mandla, Madhya Pradesh, 3 July 2017, in collaboration with Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, Bhopal.
Readings of work by Verrier Elwin
The Production of Truth, Justice and Histories at Tate Modern, June 2018.
Exhibition of Photographs by Dr Verrier Elwin.
INTACH, New Delhi, March 2016
From Tribal Forest to Urban Jungle: An Exhibition of Photographs by Dr Verrier Elwin
15 – 22 November 2016, The Nehru Centre, 8 South Audley Street, London W1
Revisiting The Philosophy of Verrier Elwin
Exhibition of Photographs by Dr Verrier Elwin and National Seminar, 26 September, 2016 at the Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (CNESPR), Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.
Tribal Forest to Urban Jungle Photographs from Central India by Dr Verrier Elwin Exhibition, January – March 2018 at the Bruneii Gallery, SOAS, London.
Exhibition of Photographs by Dr Verrier Elwin at Oral Traditions: Continuity and Transformations, a Conference organised by Indian National Trust for Cultural Heritage (INTACH) in Shillong, Meghalaya 1-5 February, 2016.