Ostkreuz, The City: Becoming and Decaying - Photo Exhibition in Calcutta Celebrates India - Germany Relations

Ostkreuz, The City: Becoming and Decaying Photo Exhibition in Kolkata

Ostkreuz, The City: Becoming and Decaying Photo Exhibition in Kolkata

Kolkata, December 5, 2011(Washington Bangla Radio/ Penning Creations):  They speak volumes without words. Their silent stories take you to a world unseen. They are photographs.

An exhibition of photographs, “Ostkreuz, The City: Becoming and Decaying” was inaugurated at the Indian Culture for Cultural Relations (ICCR) by acclaimed actor-director, Mr. Suman Mukhopadhyay . Also present at the inaugural were Ms. Bharati Ray, Chairperson of ICCR and Dr. Martin Waelde, Director of Goethe Institut, Max Mueller Bhavan, Kolkata.

Ostkreuz, The City: Becoming and Decaying Photo Exhibition in Kolkata

Ostkreuz, The City: Becoming and Decaying Photo Exhibition in Kolkata

A photo exhibition that will go on till December 13, 2011, is a gesture to celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations between India and Germany and is a part of the fifteen months program series named “Germany + India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities” . This exhibition hosts photographs taken by 18 ace photographers from Ostkreuz, one of the world’s leading photographic agencies that was born in the year 1990 in Berlin.

Aiming to reveal the underbelly of urbanization, the photographs capture different moods of 22 cities across the world through shades of rise and disintegration. Portraying the human existence against the backdrop of urban settlements rendered a sort of visual imagination that spanned across continents. The Chinese steppe preparing itself for human inhabitation in stark contrast to the abandoned city of Prypjat in Ukraine, the Palestinian city of Gaza, bearing signs of constant demolition against Dubai, a city on a building spree-  are a few of the stories that these photographs unfold.

Letting the cities speak for themselves, the photos were mostly in black and white barring those of Dubai, Tokyo and Auroville (Pondicherry) which displayed an amazing play of colors. “Girl In Tokyo”, “Mona Lisas of the Suburbs”, the cities of Detroit, Liverpool, Austral (Argentina), Manila are some of the photographs exhibited.

One set of photographs that caught everybody’d attention were those of the remains of homes in Gaza strip. In this series, the tales of destruction, lost hopes and dreams were vividly portrayed by the photographer in a few well-thought-out shots (A child’s teddy bear amongst the debris). Though the photographs highlighted the destruction all around, the message of faith in the All Mighty was not left behind - a photograph with a man offering prayers in front of the remains of his ancestral home said it all.

Gracing the occasion were a few important personalities from the world of creative arts. Photographer Achinta, writer and film maker Ruchir Joshi, Kolkata based film maker Nilanjan Bhattacharya and conservation architect Manish Chakraborty were seen admiring the collection. Also, worth a mention is Dr. Martin Waelde’s patience and enthusiasm in explaining the ideas that went behind capturing the moments.

The photographers are Annette Hauschild, Maurice Weiss, Harold Hauswald, Thomas Meyer and Pepa Hristova among others. A veritable ‘anthology of visual essays’, this exhibition echoes the famous words of Blake- “Without contraries is no progression”.

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