10-day festival to explore the city’s art and cultural heritage | Calcutta News
Calcutta: When was the last time you had the opportunity to leaf through 18th century illustrations from Roxburgh’s Rare Collection at the Botanical Garden? Or have you walked through the remains of Awadh’s exiled kingdom in Metiabruz while exploring its enduring influence on the art and culture of Bengal? Or wander around Lal Dighi after the office workers have retired for the day? All these elements and many more were included as part of the first 10-day Art and Heritage Festival – titled “The City as a Museum” – on the occasion of Heritage Week global.
From November 19, the festival will help viewers experience Kolkata in a refreshing new light and discover new stories in familiar and unfamiliar spaces. Organized on eight historic sites, it will offer heritage walks, a historical conference on a barge exploring the traces of itinerant European painters, workshops and two musical evenings on the Ganges. While it is possible to visit Abanindranath Tagore’s Garden House in Konnagore, a ferry crossing over the Ganges to Nihar (a heritage house by the river in Panihati) for a sunset concert with Srikanta Acharya is also on the program. Another attraction is the guided tour and workshop of the Indian Museum which will trace the evolution of visual language from Mughal miniatures with artist Swarup Dutta and the head of the art section of the museum, Arnab Basu.
Sumona Chakravarty, Deputy Director of Ghare Baire, DAG Museums, said: “The connection between art and our shared history is often lost when we see it in isolation within a museum. This is why we organize unique experiences across the city and beyond to reconnect art to our past, to the living history of our city and to our present lives. By imagining the city as an extension of the museum, we hope to connect more deeply to our artistic and cultural heritage.
Jayanta Sengupta, Secretary and Curator (Director) of Victoria Memorial Hall, described it as a “stand-alone collaborative event” for VMH and DAG during World Heritage Week. “The event is designed to generate creative ‘on-site’ responses from artists and performers to a heritage space. We have partnered with DAG for several online events over the past year or so, but this time our partnership aims to generate site-specific artistic and creative responses to one of the city’s most iconic spaces, ” did he declare.
According to art historian Paula Sengupta, the Chitpur March will start from Garanhata and head towards Nakhoda Masjid. “Viewers will see the Radha Krishna mandir, known as the Bat-tala mandir, whose ‘chatal’ was the epicenter of the neighborhood from which popular literature originated. My walkthrough will introduce viewers to the culture of Bat-tala, ”Sengupta said.