friday 26th september
6.30 pm ” A theological look into the world of Phillumeny” - A History of Indian Matchboxes  an illustrated talk by Robinson.

If Religion survives, so will the matchbox industry

Along with a curated exhibition of over 800 Matchboxes which can be viewed also on saturday from 12 noon to 6 pm

 

    

People collect many things - old gramophone records, stamps, film posters, coins among the more sensible collectors and then there are collectors of old milk bottles, airline teaspoons and sick bags, burnt food. There is even a Burnt Food Museum. Where does Phillumeny, the hobby of collecting matchboxes, and other match related items come in?

The humble Matchbox has been an integral part of human life for more than a century and the  idea of light is an important part of most religious traditions,  evoked in scriptures and rituals.

In India, the matchbox industry has been a thriving cottage industry. What makes the Indian matchbox really special is the iconography of  its wide array of labels ranging from the profane to the profound. The simplicity of the imagery including various animals, gods and goddesses, national symbols and even politicians make these collections representative of the pop and film culture of modern India.

The talk will explore these and some more interesting aspects on the subject.

Robinson, an alumnus of St. Stephen's College, Delhi is a Theologian, Meditation Practitioner, Poet, Art Critic and Heritage Walks Curator based primarily in Delhi. He describes himself as a traveller in life who intends to journey well, with his pockets full of matchboxes.