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Sangeeta Bhalla

While Global Warming is a concern today, the public discourse on environmental degradation is noisy and often confusing. It can be overwhelming, discouraging and disempowering. However, we still need to act and contribute mindfully to address these concerns. 

  • What is our individual response to the daily clutter that our lives create?
  • Is there a way in which we can take a sense of ownership and empowerment and focus it on a higher purpose?
  • Can we take a creative and positive route to contribute every day to reduce our carbon footprint?

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle? Yes, for sure most of us are involved in some of these activities. 

Upcycling: A step forward

To transform our everyday discards into things of beauty and utility. Let’s relook at what is considered trash, and repurpose it with our imagination and some ‘crafty’ activities and make them into objects of beauty and purpose.

Amma Daivangal: The Goddesses of Theyyam
Indu Chinta

Amma Daivangal literally means mother goddesses, but unlike in the conventional sense, the word ‘mother’ is used here as the best representation of the female form. As a part of this exhibition, photographs of a few goddesses of Theyyam are displayed. Although a majority of the over 400 Theyyams being performed are portrayals of goddesses, with the exception of one woman performer, all other Theyyam artists are men who become gods or goddesses with equal ease.

Theyyam is a ritualistic art form that is performed in north Kerala, in sacred groves called kavus and/or in ancestral homes called tharavadu. The root word for Theyyam is devam, god and it refers both to the art and the artist. The artist transcends the physical boundaries of his body while performing the legends and myths centred around a god. Hence, the distinction between the performer and the performed is forgotten. The artist becomes the god himself. He is Theyyam.

Rohit Saha 

It is claimed that well over 1528 people have died in extra-judicial killings carried out by the Armed Forces (under AFSPA (Armed Forces [Special Powers] Act) in Manipur, a ‘disturbed’ state, between 1979 and 2012. With this project, my aim is to understand the nature and scale of these ‘fake encounters’, keeping the landscape as a witness. By volunteering for the EEVFAM (Extra-Judicial Execution Victim Families of Manipur) – an organization formed by the widows of victims – I gained insight and gathered evidence about the situation at hand. By going through the victims’ testimonies as well as witness accounts, I was able to shape my current perspective – a photobook of my personal experiences in Manipur between 2016-2018.

The Naqqashi patams
Dhanalakota Vaikuntam Nakash, Dhanalakota Rakesh and  Dhanalakota Vinay Kumar Nakash

The Naqqashi patams (scrolls) of Telangana are among the longest in size in Indian pigment paintings on cloth, with an average length of 10-15 meters. Intricately crafted and painstakingly detailed, these narrative scrolls have served as chronicles for several communities of the region, being repositories of local histories and knowledge. Narrated by the itinerant story-telling communities, and painted by the naqqash artists of this region, these visual and oral performative aids have lost their local patronage, owing to the colonial and post-independence breakdown of rural economy. This exhibition is dedicated to the skill of the makers, and to their commitment to preserving and transmitting their knowledge in the face of emerging markets and global pressures

Exhibition of and live demonstration of paintings by Specially Abled artist Sunil Kumar

The Cities Beneath/ Die unterirdischen Staedte
Jai Undurti & Fabian Stoltz

In 2009, the Hamburg Ministry of Culture and the Goethe-Zentrum Hyderabad initiated the project “040” with the aim of coordinating and lending their support for cultural projects. The name of the project comes from the coincidence that Hamburg and Hyderabad share the same area code – 040. “The Cities Beneath” is part of the 040 project. The idea is to use chitrakatha (or comics) to find new and unique linkages evoking the idea of a city; to explore the geography of myth and fable – rather than documenting its physical fact. In this telling, the stories we tell about ourselves, our private mythologies will intersect with those the City tells about herself. 


Urban Sketchers – Hyderabad

 The drawings, drawn on in or outdoor location, are based on observation. They tell the story of our surroundings, the places we live in, or travel to. The drawings are a record of time and place and are truthful to the scenes observed. They use different kinds of media and are drawn in individual styles. The drawings are the outcome individual and collaborative work. They are shared online and show the world, one drawing at a time.

Art as a Language
Curated by Lina Vincent

Many languages use the same words to refer to painting or drawing as are used for writing— ‘chitram ezhuthu’, in Malayalam for instance, is to inscribe a picture. Art is a language in itself, and artists evolve different methods and styles to express themselves, interpret memory, capture personal and collective experience, or describe common concerns about history and contemporary life. The participating artists employ their art as an interface to build multi-layered interpretation through audience engagement. Ravi Kumar Kashi’s work constructs organic relationships between the written word and the visual, building on significant and mundane meanings; Rajesh Pullarwar’s iconic dual imagery relooks at history while introducing an innovative approach to create ocular and bodily movement; Manohar Chiluveru’s monumental sculpture and interactive painting-acts create open ended conversations on people’s everyday experiences and concerns; and Suresh Nair explores a vast canvas of texture and form while embracing a universal language of artistic expression.

Curated by Shrishti Art Gallery

What do we associate ‘Storytelling’ with? Most people would think of fairy tales and childhood memories, time spent in fantasy and imagination. But looked at differently, every kind of history or literature is associated with storytelling of some sort. Whether it is connected to hard fact, or fiction, folklore or oral histories—a story is essentially about recording, communicating and sharing. The work of young artists exploring the concept of storytelling, using creative means to express their interpretations, is showcased.

Domes of Hyderabad
Serish Nanisetti

Hyderabad is a city of minarets. The masterly centrepiece of the city is the landmark with four minarets. Complementing the minarets are domes. But the domes rarely get a second glance except in the evening or morning hours when the sun plays hide and seek with shadows and shapes. These photographs, shot over a period of six years, try to capture the inner glory, symmetry of these architectural wonders. The word minaret has its origin in the Arabic ‘nur’ meaning light. This photo exhibition tries to capture the luminosity of the domes.

Hyderabad Heritage Education Project
Feisal Alkazi & Juhee Ahmed   

Every city has a story to tell. A story of how and why it began, how it developed and grew, what it has become today and what it hopes for its future.  Hyderabad is one of India’s earliest urban centres with a rich living heritage. It provides an ideal environment to study the impact of historical change on art, architecture and lifestyle over the last 300 years. Hyderabad’s contemporary problems as it grows in size and numbers, affords the possibility of a macro-level study on how contemporary needs pressurize and change a traditional urban environment.  

This heritage exhibition shows contributions of students across eightschools across Hyderabad who have been mentored and are working with teachers who are learning from and implementing ideas from workshops which are being run by Theatre Expert and Educationalist Feisal Alkazi and Heritage evangelist Juhee Ahmed since June 2019.

The participating schools were:
Vidyaranya High School, Focus International, LSN Foundation Start Home for Boys Residential School, Safdaria  Girls High School, Chaitanyana Vidyalaya, Princess Esin Girls High School, and Youth4Jobs – NGO

© Avani Rai

Bhopal story: 

Thirty five years ago, deadly plumes of poisonous Methyl Isocyanate gas – 500 times more toxic than cyanide – leaked from the Union Carbide factory and killed more than 8,000 immediately.

But Carbide’s poisons continued to kill – over 25,000 people have succumbed to the effects of the gas disaster in the last 34 years. In 1999 a report was released where it was found that mercury levels during gas leak increased by 20,000 to 6 million times more than expect levels. More than half a million continue to live with lingering health problems like cancer, respiratory illnesses, developmental disabilities, birth disabilities, cancer and reproductive disorders. The next generation of children in Bhopal were born with serious conditions like musculoskeletal disorders, twisted limbs and brain damage.The toxic contamination of underground water and soil in and around the abandoned factory site is one of the persistent testimonies of corporate crime and impunity. 


The story has changed. Now it’s not about the victims who inhaled less gas and dying slow death, but the next generation of children being born with distorted limbs, damaged minds and incurable disabilities. The poisons got into their drinking water, via wells, bore-pipes and underground streams. They came from a derelict pesticide factory where, in sheds open to wind and rain, lethal powders sift from rotting sacks, tars ooze from rusting oil-drums, and barge-loads of toxic sludges lie dumped in lakes whose liners perished long ago. The factory is that same one that, 34 years ago, leaked a huge quantity of poison gas over Bhopal, killing thousands in a night of horror. 


Today, 35 years later I visited Bhopal to document the third and fourth generation victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy. With almost no help or acknowledgment from the government, these children, who come from middle to lower middle class families suffer. I visited Chingari Trust (founded by Rashida Bee and Champa Devi Shukla, gas survivors and also recipient of the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2004) which has been working for the congenitally disabled children born in the same families affected by the tragedy and the subsequent water contamination. 


Rock Photo Exhibition

The Society to Save Rocks is holding a Rock Photo Exhibition at HLF 2020 from 24- 26 January. The works of theSociety’s member-photographers Vikram Kotturu, K.V.Vijay Kumar, Sangeeta Varma, Ashok Kumar, and Polepeddi Vishwanath will be a visual treat and a perfect sampling of the Deccan’s rich rock heritage. The exhibition provides viewers the opportunity to discover the 2500 million-year-old natural wealth of the region and the crucial impact of these silent sentinels on our lives and our fragile eco system. The stunning balancing rocks, humungous sheet rocks and towering granites will inspire every observerto adopt rock conservation!