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Using the photographic collection of the German expeditions to the Himalayas between 1929 and 1939, this presentation draws out the experiences of the porters recruited in the mountaineering expeditions. It looks specifically at a category of photographs titled Lagerleben (‘Camp-life’) to analyse the labour relations and power dynamics in the high-altitude camps. Additionally, it is an exercise of how photographs can be looked at ‘the same way one looks at the historical record’ (Moss 2010) and woven within the narrative of labour relations in the mountains.

Nokmedemla Lemtur studied for Masters and MPhil degrees at the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. She is currently a Ph.D student in the DFG-funded Modern India in German Archives project at the Centre for Modern Indian Studies, Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen. Her research focus is on Himalayan mountaineering expeditions and labour in the early twentieth century.


Please note that registration for this seminar will close 24 hours in advance so that the meeting link can be distributed to registered attendees.


All welcome- this seminar is free to attend, but booking is required.