India's Disappearing Railways by Angus McDonald
India's Disappearing Railways is a vibrant photo-essay by Australian photographer Angus McDonald, capturing for the first time in print the sub-continent's unique narrow-gauge railways in all their vivid colour, character and chaos. Published posthumously and edited by his widow Catherine Anderson, it is an intimate and humorous portrait of life on the trains, evoking the very soul of India. With a rare empathy and insight this stunning photo-essay illustrates the lives of those who ride India's railways, who work on them, and who live alongside them. Yet as the nation modernises these railways - whether in the snow-peaked Himalaya, the terai of Rajasthan or the verdant Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu - are vanishing. India's Disappearing Railways records a way of life that is slowly disappearing and documents the diversity of this vast and multi-layered country from a unique standpoint.
All author proceeds go to The Angus McDonald Trust.
India's Disappearing Railways at the Royal Geographical Society, London, 2014-15
Angus’s last major project the vivid photo-essay India’s Disappearing Railways was published in November 2014 and was accompanied by an exhibition at London’s Royal Geographical Society in December 2014/January 2015. The exhibition will move to the Customs House in Sydney and fortyfivedownstairs in Melbourne in the Winter of 2015-16.
Evoking some of the most hauntingly beautiful landscapes in the world, this is the only existing contemporary archive of its kind, and both book and exhibition document a very personal journey on the remote and increasingly rare narrow-gauge railways of the sub-continent. Angus spent five years photographing, amongst many others, the hill railways of Darjeeling and Nilgiri, the Aravali line in the Western Ghats of Rajasthan, and such lesser-known lines as the Barak Valley in Assam and the Dabhoi network of Gujarat. “After years living and working in India I wanted to gather a set of photos that would summarise many of the things I admire about this country: its tolerance, its diversity, its beauty,” he wrote. “I chose these trains because they are a metaphor for all these qualities.”
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All author proceeds from both book and exhibition go directly to The Angus McDonald Trust.