as an extension to their work of 2014, where they shared pictures of local cinemas, german photographers sabine haubitz and stefanie zoche reveal a photo series depicting colorful churches of south india in zephyr gallery, mannheim, germany. titled ‘postcolonial epiphany’, the images show the singular, irritating mixture of western and socialist influences and local construction styles.


assumption church, mupliyam
all images © stefanie zoche / VG bildkunst

 

 

the reception of modernist architecture in india was substantially inspired by le corbusier’s building projects in chandigarh in the 50s and is also reflected in the buildings of local architects. this influence is clearly evident in the south indian cinema and church buildings but is also punctuated by elements that, from a western perspective, would count as anti-modernistic.


our lady of miracles, thoppumpady in cochin

 

 

the buildings captured by houbitz+zoche derive in equal measure from traditional indian architecture and the influential art deco. strong chromaticity and striking architectural ornamentation persist here as an occurring decorative form.


st anthony’s church, mukanad

 

 

‘we find a culturally influenced re-interpretation and appropriation of modern construction style that is not only characterized by the hybridism described above, but also by a markedly set-like impression on the part of the architecture itself,’ explains zephir team. ‘the architectural style is a testimony of the desire of a nation that had been colonized for a long time by the british empire to shake off the yoke and create a unique architectural language of their own. haubitz + zoche allow us with these series to reflect upon the complexity of changes that have come about india in postcolonial times.’


st. anthony’s church, peratta

 


st ephrem, poyya

 


st joseph’s chapel, thuravoor

 


st joseph’s church, santhipuram

 


st mary, nandikkara

 


st theresa, eravu 

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: maria erman | designboom

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