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Chandernagore’s dilemma

'Chandernagore Mon Amour: The Citadel of the Moon' fails to achieve cohesion in its pictorial and textual narratives

By Nayantara Mazumder

  • Published 7.12.18, 1:29 AM
  • Updated 7.12.18, 1:29 AM
Photograph of Chandernagore scanned from the book under review, Chandernagore mon amour: The Citadel of the Moon
Photograph of Chandernagore scanned from the book under review, Chandernagore mon amour: The Citadel of the Moon Chandernagore mon amour: The Citadel of the Moon

Chandernagore’s dilemma is all too familiar. Its reputation of historical and cultural significance precedes it; yet, owing to rapid urbanisation, its heritage is in urgent need of protection. Raising awareness about this is the aim of Chandernagore Mon Amour: The Citadel of the Moon (University of Liverpool), a bilingual heritage resource book of pictures and essays edited by Antara Mukherjee.

It is, thus, unfortunate that the book fails to achieve cohesion in its pictorial and textual narratives. The social, cultural and architectural strands it covers are fairly extensive; a few of them outline histories of the former French colony in Bengal that are rarely explored in the mainstream discourse on heritage conservation. But a remarkably ill-planned page design only serves to highlight the shoddily-edited text — grammatical errors aside, entire paragraphs are repeated on successive pages — and the undeniably amateur quality of most of the photographic material. 

Photograph of Chandernagore scanned from the book under review
Photograph of Chandernagore scanned from the book under review Chandernagore mon amour: The Citadel of the Moon
Photograph of Chandernagore scanned from the book under review
Photograph of Chandernagore scanned from the book under review Chandernagore mon amour: The Citadel of the Moon

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