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Panchtatvas: The Road Ahead


An Interface between Photography and Sustainability December 2016

Sustainable Development is the grand narrative of the Festival and the Panchtattvas is the micro-narrative which strings together Photography and Sustainable Development into the holistic Photosphere. The emphasis of the festival is on mapping new footprints of the photo language, experimental language, to work as a pioneer inventing new languages of photo representation ensuring that the ultimate artwork does not bear an activist slant, look, presentation or texture to it. We are a festival with a green conscience evoking the bhaav of sustainable developments across all genres of photography. Focusing on the five primordial elements, the Panchtattvas, i.e. prithvi (earth), vayu (air), jal (water), akasha (ether) and agni (fire), the Habitat Photosphere photography festival will be creating a new language of photography by commissioning photographers and filmmakers to work on the theme of sustainable development. The Indian understanding of cosmology is set against the aforementioned elements which define the working of the environment and ecology. In Indian mythology, the universe, in harmony with the five elements, is the ideal state of working. The disciplines of dance, astronomy, yoga and medicine seek the balance of these panchattavas to attain the ideal self. In bringing the nuances of Indian mythology to the hyper reality of the photography and film world, the festival puts indigenous knowledge to a global reality of images and icons. The theme of the festival is situated in crucial times, when we are constantly living in fear of environmental decay.

ARANYAKAS- Books Section

Aranyakas: The Enchanted Landscape
Exhibition of Indigenous Art

The Enchanted Landscape is an attempt to showcase the beauty, aesthetics, the magic of indigenous art. Through a closer reading of art, it brings alive the inner landscapes of the different tribal communities. In some ways indigenous art is an extremely insightful cultural signifier of the community in which it is produced. It is a serious attempt to bring the requisite gravitas and visibility to the beauty and the politics of this art practice. The exhibition seeks to remedy this, expanding the scope and scale of the way indigenous and tribal art is viewed both economically as well as culturally. The goal is manifold.

Aranyakas: The Enchanted Landscape
Exhibition of Indigenous Art
29th -31st January, 2016
Visual Arts Gallery
Curated by Dr. Alka Pande

Mela Phulkari-3 Catalogue- Show Curated by Dr. Alka Pande

Mela Phulkari III 1469

Group Exhibition of Punjab and Phulkari – art installations, ceramics, jute, metal

The exhibition Mela Phulkari, presented by 1469 and curated by Alka Pande, was aimed at reviving the artform of phulkari and bringing in a fresh whiff of all pretty and popular things from Punjab. Phulkari, the popular embroidery technique of Punjab is not only a well-appreciated textile craft, but also a happy blend of colours and culture. The exhibition became a platform where on display werecolourful pakhis (hand fans), madanis (butter churner), tillajutis (footwear), Manja (village cots), parandis (the festive hair accessory), and not to forget the rich textiles and embroideries.The feast for the eyes paved way for ears too. Visitors were greeted by traditional musical instruments such as sarangi, nagada, dilruba, and dhadd. The concept was aimed at serenading urban Delhites and pampering their senses. The event saw a revival of art, craft, and culture in the feistiest form. The exhibition presented over 150 year old phulkaris, some of which belongs to the brand 1469, while a few were borrowed from the personal collections of royal families for public viewing. The ‘Mela Phulkari’ became the iconic image of the cultural identity of the state. The novel concept not only offered economic independence to the women-power, but also provided financial aid to the widows who were victims of farmer suicides in Punjab. 1469 is actively developing centres in various belts of the city to promote and popularize the art of phulkari. Phulkari is a metaphor that represents not just as a textile on which the women of Punjab embroider their dreams and their lives, but a leitmotif that represents the complex web with which the crafts and culture of the land are enmeshed.

Group Exhibition of Punjab and Phulkari – art installations, ceramics, jute, metal

7th April – 17th April 2016, Open Palm Court Gallery, India Habitat Centre

Curated by

Dr. Alka Pande

Musicscapes : The Multiple Emotions of Indian Music

Curated and Edited by Dr.Alka Pande, Roli Books, New Delhi , 2016

The book features Shoba Deepak Singh’s unerring eye to the world of music It works closely on the heels of Theatrescape and Dancescapes..

Narratives for Indian Modernity- The Aesthetic of Brij Mohan Anand- Foreword by Dr. Alka Pande
Narratives for Indian Modernity- The Aesthetic of Brij Mohan Anand- Foreword by Dr. Alka Pande - Iside Cover

Narratives for Indian Modernity: The Aesthetic of Brij Mohan Anand

Brij Mohan Anand’s art offered a polemical commentary on the political events of the Cold War, the Vietnam war and India’s entry ointo the nuclear club under the leadership of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Through a range of powerfully unsettling images on scratchboard with provocative titles and a series of dystopian landscapes, Anand made a scathing condemnation of American imperialism and neo-colonialism.

Narratives for Indian Modernity: The Aesthetic of Brij Mohan Anand
Dates: May 13-21, 2016
India International Centre (IIC), New Delhi
Curated by Dr. Alka Pande

Tat Tat Vam Asi- That thou Art- an Expression of Immense Faith- the Simhastha Kumbh, Ujjain, 2016- Curated by Dr. Alka Pande- Cover Page
Tat Tvam Asi-that Thou art- An Expression of Immense Faith- he Simhastha Kumbh, Ujjain, 2016- Curated by Dr. Alka Pande- Slip Case Cover

Tat Tvam Asi

That thou Art

तत्त्वमस्यादिवाक्येन स्वात्मा हि प्रतिपादितः ।
नेति नेति श्रुतिर्ब्रूयादनृतं पाञ्चभौतिकम् ।। २५।।
tattvamasyādivākyena svātmāhi pratipāditaḥ /
neti neti śrutirbrūyādanṛtaṁ pāñcabhautikam //25//

Attributed to the Mahavakyas (Grand Pronouncements) in Vedantic thought, ‘ Tat Vam Asi’ are three powerful words which originally occurred during a conversation between

Uddalaka and his son Svetaketu in the Chandogya Upanishad. The meaning of this saying is that the ‘Self’ — in its original, pure, primordial state — is wholly or partially identifiable or identical with the ‘Ultimate Reality’ that is the origin of all phenomena. In the ninth chapter of book six of Chandogya Upanishad, Svetaketu’s father, Uddalaka, talks of the relationship between Brahman and individual human beings.

Tat Tvam Asi
October 15-23, 2016
Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts
Curated by Alka Pande

MAny Indias Book-Gond Art4
Many Indias Book-Gond Art 2
Many Indias Book -Pichwai
Many Indias book- Gond Art
Many Indias book- Gond Art
Many Indias Book-Gond Art3
Many Indias BookWarli
Many Indias- Gond Art
Many Indias Gond Paintings
Many Indias

Many Indias

Peter Barry writes in his book Beginning Theory: An introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory, “ Many of the notions which we usually regard as the basic ‘givens’ of our existence ( including our gender identity, our individual selfhood, and the notion of literature itself) are actually fluid and unstable things, rather than fixed and reliable essences.” Moving away from the ideals of universality and mythical engagement with the past, allows us to live and breathe the plurality of the present. The idea espoused by the exhibition is the result of many Indias that have seen major ideological shifts and changes starting from the history of this idea from pre- independence and Nehruvian nationalism to the neo liberal state of the 1990s. This turn from the socialist past the embracing of the neo-liberal capitalism has also made recognition of the multiplicity available at the regional and local level. The notion of the ‘constituted by politics’, stated by Sunil Khilnani in his famous book The Idea of India, helps us to envision India not a s a stagnant mystical or immemorial entity like a romantic, but empowers the people to celebrate the syncretic culture of many geographical existences in India.

Many Indias
August 26 -31, 2016
Visual Arts Gallery
Curated by Dr Alka Pande

New Homelands- The Indian Diaspora in the European Union (Cover page)
2 New Homelands- Copyright-The Indian Diaspora in the European Union- Dr. Alka Pande
3 New Homelands- Copyright-The Indian Diaspora in the European Union- Dr. Alka Pande
1 New Homelands- Copyright-The Indian Diaspora in the European Union- Dr. Alka Pande

New Homelands: The Indian Diaspora in the European Union

What does it mean to be ‘Indian’ outside India? How can culture be preserved without becoming ossified? How should we discuss the need for change within ourselves and our community (…)? These questions are all a single, existential question: How are we to live in the world?
– Salman Rushdie, Imaginary Homelands (1982)

Salman Rushdie occupies the space of self claimed “outsider” in the world of literature, receiving brickbats and bouquets at the same time. While living in self- imposed exile in Western Europe and the US he has contributed to literature with a mix of fantasy and naturalism. A sense of belonging, displacement and assimilation are recurring motifs in the collection of essays Imaginary Homelands. The paper delves into the negotiations made by the artists with the culture and values of both ‘native’ and ‘adopted’ homes.

New Homelands: The Indian Diaspora in the European Union
October 20-31, 2016
Open Spaces India Habitat Centre
Curated by Alka Pande