Essay on Gandhi at His Spinning Wheel

Essay on Gandhi at His Spinning Wheel

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“Some photographs are destined to be ruined or forgotten. Some photographs are destined to be remembered and cherished. Such as his infamous portrait which almost did not make it.” (1946) Life Magazine.
I am going to be analysing the historical story behind the photograph Gandhi at his Spinning Wheel. This black and white portrait photograph was taken by Margaret Bourke- White in 1946. His real name is Mahatma Gandhi; he was one of the most important figures of the 20th century.
Gandhi’s overall appearance made people question their views of him. His frame was thin and frail but he was one of the powerful people during the time. This photograph almost didn’t happen because of Gandhi’s strict demands. Margaret Bourke-White was allowed a great opportunity to photograph Gandhi, India’s leader. She had to learn how to use the spinning wheel first before being able to take the photograph of Gandhi, she also had further demand that she must not speak to Gandhi as it was his day of silence. Margaret was only allowed to use three flash bulbs as Gandhi didn’t like bright lights so strong of silence which provided an additional burden as she was unable to direct him into any position that she wanted as the photographer, she had to rely on his going in to a suitable position for the final shot. Gandhi at his spinning wheel (Anon., n.d.) As she had set her equipment up and was ready to shoot the photograph the first flash bulb had failed and the she had forgotten to pull the side which made it come out blank. At the end of it she came out with a photograph which became Gandhi’s best portrait and was recognised by the whole world. In the end Margaret Bourke-White came away with a photograph of Gandhi which became the most enduring represent...


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...The life and death of Mahatma Gandhi (Anon., 1998)
I believe that I have shown the historical, biographical, cultural, political, context behind this photograph of Gandhi at his spinning wheel taken by Margaret Bourke - White. I have taken time and researched in detail at the political and cultural impact of the symbolism shown in the photograph, looking at new articles, websites and books. This photograph is a rare image of India’s leader and showed what he stood for whilst he was still alive. I like this photograph because it captures Gandhi helping out his country in times when they needed help the most. He didn’t let the British Government bully him; he stood up for what he believed in and made life a lot better for Indians. He was a very inspirational man and to this day he has made a massive impact to people’s lives, which have made India forever great full.

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