Journey of India in images

Journey of India in images

To show the real India, its history and its past, the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) is presenting an exclusive photo exhibition ‘(Re)Discovering India: Then and Now.’ This displays an exquisite collection of photographs from veteran photo artists like Shambhu Shaha, Sunil Janah and Henri Cartier-Bresson. As contemporaries, their works and paths crossed many times from 1930 to the end of 1960.

Curated by Shakeel Hossain, a renowned curator and photo connoisseur, the collection thematically presents a photo journey of India. The exhibition has been inspired by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s vision for India, and the images of India as documented by the photographers, do justice.

The photographs range from the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi to the Partition, from Rabindranath Tagore to the royalties of India, from religions to traditions, from bazaars to labourers – in effect a comprehensive picture of this diverse nation.

“When I was asked to do an exhibition of their works, I was struck with the seemingly eternal substance of all these images shown to me. These images not only let us witness the moments gone by but they also stir equal thoughts and concerns even now,” says Shakeel.

He further adds, “It is also not so unusual to say and accept that India lives in many centuries at the same time and that one can experience all of mankind here. The photographs of Shambhu Shaha, Sunil Janah, and Cartier-Bresson explores all of these, and more. They present its glory and its pride. They display its intensity and its passion.

At the same time, they question the priorities and directions of modern India as we move rapidly into the global arena governed by economic gain and cultural loss.”

The exhibition at Twin Art Gallery of IGNCA which will continue till October 31 is set in five themes – Dawn of Freedom, Personalities and Ideologies, People and Places, Traditions and Trades and Despair and Hope and places the images in the social and political issues of the nation, which were the moods of the photographers then. And the pictures were and are not just photographic compositions of moments and situations.

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