Arts and Culture
This paper will consider exoticism as an attraction. Looking over the 1900s, we see that visions of the Other and of the Far were permeating Universal and Colonial Exhibitions. But what is called “exotic” can be very changeable regarding the period and the point of view. For example, the "Swiss village" rebuilt in Paris in 1900, with its mountain pasture and waterfall, was an attraction for the visitors as it has been for Indian audience watching Raj Kapoor and Yash Chopra’ movies from the ‘60s to the ‘90s. After these directors’s trips in Europe, many Indian musical and dance sequences took place on locations all around the world. Of course, some can match with the Indian diaspora (London, Montréal, Sidney, L-A) but others (Pyramid of Giza Machu-Picchu, Rome, Paris, Chambord Castle) are more relative to that taste of attraction for the Elsewhere. To discuss the reverse shot of this gaze, we will match Indian popular images, especially cinema (in Hindi and Tamil: "Queen", by Vikas Bahl, 2013 and "Junga", by Gokul, 2018) with educational charts inspired by Epinal or Rossignol picture books that proposed stereotypes of exotic people and places. The Indian public depot is still publishing educational charts like “people and children of the world”, “wonders of the world” and also a selection of sites and monuments around the world. So we’ll try to track the way Europe and France, for instance, became an exotic attraction for Indian people which focuses on the same stereotypes.