Kumbh Mela 2010 – Photogallery

The observance of Kumbh Mela dates back many centuries in Ancient India to the Vedic period, where the river festivals first started getting organised. In Hindu mythology, its origin is found in one of the popular creation myths and the Hindu theories on evolution, the Samudra manthan episode (Churning of the ocean of milk), which finds mention in the Bhagavata Purana, Vishnu Purana, the Mahabharata, and the Ramayana

Kumbh Mela, Haridwar, 2010

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Kumbha Mela 2010 (January 14 to April 28, 2010)

The largest religious gathering in the world! According to astrologers, the ‘Kumbh Fair’ takes place when the planet Jupiter enters Aquarius and the Sun enters Aries.

Kumbha (Kumbha means pot) Mela (means fair) is a sacred Hindu pilgrimage that takes place at the following four locations of India:

Prayag, Allahabad (in the state of Uttar Pradesh) at the confluence of three holy
rivers – Ganga (Ganges), Yamuna and Saraswati
Haridwar (in the state of Uttar Pradesh) where the river Ganga enters the plains from Himalayas
Ujjain (in Madhya Pradesh), on the banks of shipra river, and
Nasik (in Maharashtra) on the banks of Godavari river.

The pilgrimage occurs four times every twelve years, once at each of the four locations. Each twelve-year cycle includes the Maha (great) Kumbha Mela at Prayag, attended by millions of people, making it the largest pilgrimage gathering around the world.

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Private promoters take Indian art to new frontiers

Durga Puja KolkataPrivate art promoters are playing a big role in pushing Indian contemporary art beyond national frontiers, pitch-forking new artists into international limelight and connecting them to the common man with quality aesthetics.

Rough estimates cite that the country has nearly 100 big and small private art foundations to promote contemporary art and culture – both in the country and abroad that fill a void precipitated by bureaucratic red-tape, legal tangles and official delays in government-sponsored art promotion drives.

In January this year, the Delhi-based Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art (FICA) helped 70 reputed Indian photographers exhibit a body of heterogeneous visual perspective of South Asia, ‘Where Three Dreams Cross: 150 Years of Photography From India, Pakistan and Bangladesh’, at the Whitechapel Gallery in London.

The exhibition curated by photographer Sunil Gupta opened in London to wide critical acclaim – and is now on its way to Zurich.

It was set up in 2006 by Arun Vadehra in an endeavour to make contemporary art accessible, promote Indian art abroad, increase greater ‘interaction among art institutions and generating art philanthrophy.’

FICA sponsors an annual emerging artists’ award, an eight-week residency programme at Montalvo Arts Centre in California, art workshops in schools across the capital, a public art grant, FICA group shows, research fellowships, group exchanges and an arts reading room in Delhi’s Defence Colony.

‘It was our dream to set up an art foundation as a philanthropic project but we wanted to segregate its activity from those of the gallery,’ FICA spokesperson Parul Vadehra told IANS.

Parul Vadehra said FICA was now ‘seeking applications from young artists for its Emerging Artists’ Award 2010′.

The Harmony Art Foundation in Mumbai, founded by Tina Ambani, has been engaged in similar activities to promote contemporary Indian art for the past 15 years.

Every year the foundation awards talented emerging artists from a countrywide list and plays host to an exhibition of contemporary art drawn from the list of submissions.

The Mumbai-based Osian’s Connoisseurs of Art Private Limited led by Neville Tuli has created one of the largest ever codified body of modern, contemporary and kitsch art in the country under one roof.

The Gurgaon-based Devi Art Foundation, set up in 2008, ‘provides a platform to contemporary artists and young curators to bring about a dynamic change in the viewership of art’, co-founder Anupam Poddar said.

The organisation works with schools, colleges and professional institutions and galleries across India by involving students and young art aficionados in curatorial exercises, workshops and exposure to different genres of art.

The Delhi-based Art Mall owned by the Jain family that awarded young artists in April is another private initiative that takes young art to the masses at an affordable price and supports new artists.

The Kolkata-based Emami Chisel Art, one of the biggest private auction houses in eastern India, ‘is currently engaged in a year-long artistic exchange with Sweden’.

‘It began with an Indian fashion show, Contemporary India, that unveiled 21st Indian fashion in smaller Swedish towns that still relate to India as a land of elephants and snake charmers,’ auction house director Vikram Bachhawat told IANS from Kolkata.

‘On Aug 10, 30 Indian artists will exhibit more than 100 art works across eight display spaces throughout Sweden, including museums and pavements. The gesture will be reciprocated by Sweden in December when Swedish artists display their art in Kolkata.’

Bachhawat said private organisations should be awarded incentives by the government to ‘institute new projects to perpetuate Indian artistic heritage.’

Observes Anmol Vellani of the Bangalore-based India Foundation for the Arts, a private art and culture promotion forum, ‘It is very hard to argue that the government’s involvement in the arts has been deleterious. But the shortcomings of government efforts to promote arts are common knowledge.

‘Public cultural institutions quickly become dysfunctional and directionless obstructed by bureaucratic immobility and political caprice.’

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Sony World Photography Awards 2011 Opens for Entries

The prestigious Sony World Photography Awards are now open for entries. The festival will expand to four major cities across the globe throughout 2010 and 2011, visiting San Francisco, Mexico City, Shanghai and London. Professional and ‘serious enthusiast’ photographers are invited to join the Professional competition and will be judged on a body of work. The 14 professional categories are arranged into three genres – Commercial, Fine Art and Photojournalism & Documentary – and new categories include Lifestyle, Still Life, and People. The Open competition, which replaces the amateur competition, has been created for the growing number of people with a love of photography. It has nine categories, and is judged on a single image. The 2011 competition closes for entries on 5 January 2011. Winners of the Professional and Open categories will each receive their trophies at the Sony World Photography Awards ceremony in London on 27 April 2011.

Website: Sony World Photography Awards

Sony Press Release

Sony World Photography Awards 2011

28 May 2010

• 2011 competition open for entries
• London to host Sony World Photography Awards ceremony
• World Photography Festival expands to Mexico, San Francisco, Shanghai and London
• Student Focus programme partners with Young Tate Online
• World Photography Organisation website re-launched – http://www.worldphoto.org

On the day that the Sony World Photography Awards opens for entries, the World Photography Organisation announces a number of exciting new changes for 2011.

Building upon the success of the annual World Photography Festival in Cannes, the festival will expand to four major cities across the globe throughout 2010 and 2011. It will visit San Francisco, Mexico, Shanghai and London, bringing the World Photography Organisation’s passion for imagery to thousands more people each year. The tour will finish in London where the Sony World Photography Awards ceremony will be hosted for the first time.

The World Photography Festival is an opportunity for photographers from around the world to meet and discuss the latest trends, challenges and innovations in photography today. Each festival will showcase the Sony World Photography Awards winners and will feature practical workshops, exhibitions, talks, portfolio reviews and a photography symposium presented by leading international industry figures.

The World Photography Organisation also announces a new competition and additional categories for the 2011 Sony World Photography Awards.

The Open competition, which replaces the amateur competition, has been created for the growing number of people with a love of photography. It has nine categories including Nature & Wildlife, Travel and After Dark, and is judged on a single image.

Professional and ‘serious enthusiast’ photographers are invited to join the Professional competition and will be judged on a body of work. The 14 professional categories are arranged into three genres – Commercial, Fine Art and Photojournalism & Documentary – and new categories include Lifestyle, Still Life, and People.

Winners of the Professional and Open categories will each receive their trophies at the Sony World Photography Awards ceremony in London on 27 April 2011. The winner of the L’Iris d’Or / Sony World Photographer of the Year will also be revealed and will be presented with $25,000 (USD) plus Sony’s Alpha digital SLR camera equipment. The overall Open competition winner will receive $5,000 plus Sony’s Alpha digital SLR camera equipment.

The World Photography Organisation strives to support and connect the next generation of photographers via Student Focus, its global education programme and competition. In an exclusive partnership with Young Tate Online, the 2011 Student Focus programme will tie in with Tate Modern’s new photography exhibition in London, Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera. Inspired by this exhibition, ‘Surveillance’ will be the theme of the 2011 Student Focus competition.

For the first time, Student Focus is open to all universities from across the world, that hold a photography programme. Ten shortlisted students and their tutors will be flown to London in April 2011 to conduct their final assignment as part of the World Photography Festival. 45,000 Euros worth of Alpha digital SLR camera equipment has been donated by Sony and the overall Student Focus winner will be announced at the Sony World Photography Awards Ceremony on 27 April alongside the Professional and Open category winners.

To coincide with the opening of the 2011 competition, the World Photography Organisation has re-launched its website – http://www.worldphoto.org. The website is a hub for the photographic community and, in addition to showcasing the entries to the Sony World Photography Awards, it will provide the latest news from the world of imaging. The website will also include exclusive interviews and podcasts with the World Photography Academy, a members section, a dedicated student section, forums, videos and blogs.

The 2011 competition closes for entries on 5 January 2011.

Full details about the World Photography Organisation and the Sony World Photography Awards can be found at http://www.worldphoto.org

Professional competition categories
For professionals and serious ‘amateurs/enthusiasts’. Submissions must be based on a body of work and contain a minimum of three images and maximum of 10. Both published and unpublished work can be considered

Commercial – photography that has primarily been commissioned for commercial intent, the purpose of which is to sell products or services

o Travel
o Lifestyle
o Still Life
o Fashion

Fine Art – photographs that are created in accordance with the creative vision of the photographer as an artist

o Architecture
o Portraiture
o Landscape
o Still Life
o Conceptual

Photojournalism & Documentary – the creation of imagery to tell a story; from capturing current news and global issues, chronicling historical and worldwide events and popular culture

o Current Affairs
o Contemporary Issues
o People
o Arts & Culture
o Sport

Open competition categories

Open to everyone and is judged on a single image.

Ø After Dark
Ø Architecture
Ø Arts & Culture
Ø Fashion
Ø Landscape
Ø Nature & Wildlife
Ø People
Ø Sport
Ø Travel