Photography: France Heritage

City: Bangalore
Location: NGMA
Date: Thu, 2013/04/18 – 6:00pm

The NGMA, Bengaluru and Bonjour India bring to the city a photo exhibition “France Heritage”

This is an incredible photographic voyage of French heritage in India with Anay Mann, Gigi Scaria, Rishi
Singhal, Serena Chopra, Isabel Saij along with Jean-Pierre Dubois.

18th of April at 6.00p.m at the NGMA.

The Curator Anay Mann and one of the photographers, Serena Chopra will be present and will share their experiences at the opening. The exhibition will continue till the 28th of April.

NGMA, Bengaluru, in collaboration with the Alliance Française de Bangalore will conduct outreach programs during the exhibition.

All details of these programs are given after a presentation of the photography project.

France Heritage: A presentation

France Heritage is a photography project built around the labour of love of young Indian conservation architect, Ms. Aishwarya Tipnis, who has made a first attempt to map French inspiration in Indian architecture. Drawing from this research, photographers Anay Mann, Gigi Scaria, Serena Chopra, Rishi Singhal, Isabel Saij along with Jean-Pierre Dubois revisited French built heritage sites in India in 2012 and brought to life France in India in an exciting journey bringing back with them their own stories in the form of photographic experiences. Their work, under the curatorship of photographer Anay Mann, has taken shape of an exhibition around this incredible slice of Indo-French history. The idea is not only to showcase France’s connections with India and the legacy left behind but also to throw up questions related to conservation and artistic and social and other aspects.

As Aishwarya Tipnis says “France Heritage isn’t just about what the French built in India, it is an attempt to look beyond the stereotype image of France in India namely Pondicherry, it is a brilliant attempt to capture the lingering romance of the Indian and French cultures”.

«Glimpses of France are still visible in the form of buildings along the Strand, city gates with inscriptions of ‘Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité’ as well as the rich merchant houses of the Bengali zamindars»

The French East India Company (La Compagnie française des Indes Orientales) maintained independent trading posts in the 18th and 19th century in Pondicherry, Chandernagore, Mahe, Yanam and Karaikal. The French brought to India a new way of life, trade, governance, military warfare techniques, creating a cultural diversity which we now define as shared cultural heritage. The tangible built heritage varies from forts and military installations, public buildings, residential buildings, public squares, urban artifacts and even urban city planning. Intangible influences on culture include education systems, trade, art, design, interiors and culinary traditions.

The exemplary French planning and engineering can be seen at the Fort of Srirangapatanam, and the Fort of Aligarh. The French architectural design finds its influence well beyond the traditional confines of French presence in India – in Gwalior, Sardhana, Mysore, Kapurthala, Hyderabad. The greatest degree of French influence was observed on the architecture built by royal patronage in the palaces and mansions of princely India.

The second edition of Bonjour India festival, titled Bonjour India 2013, brought to India by the Embassy of France in India, the Institut Français and the Alliance Française network in collaboration with the ICCR, highlights Indo-French dialogue and friendship. It is also about raising awareness about the shared history between India and France.

NGMA, Bengaluru in collaboration with the Alliance Française de Bangalore will conduct many interesting outreach programs as part of the France Heritage exhibition.