The city : Heritage, Art and Handicraft

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After the huge success of Heritage Days, 2013, in France, it is Alliance Française de Bombay’s turn to continue with the Heritage Days Programme in Mumbai for the fourth time this year. It met with reputable appreciation in its nascent stage in the past three years and now it is back, this time, bigger and better!

In France, the concept of rediscovering cities and towns that people had inhabited for so long had emerged. It was an impressive way to explore the places people called their own to discover various facets of their own townships that they were hitherto ignorant of. With a similar trajectory in India, Heritage days has incorporated several visits and walks, which will showcase an opportunity to observe and appreciate the thriving culture and heritage Mumbai has to offer, that so often go unnoticed.

Heritage Days 2013

Heritage Days 2013

This year, the focus is on the lesser known localities of the city coupled with visits to art studios. Guided visits to places like Khotachiwadi, Bandra, Bhuleshwar and Dharavi are organized. The 18th century hamlet of Khotachiwadi was declared a grade III heritage precinct in the year 1995. The Portuguese-style houses and a colonial construction go unnoticed in the fast paced lives of the city. Khotachiwadi is also where one finds the studio of the internationally renowned designer, James Ferreira, who will welcome the group of visitors in his own house where he has set up his workplace.
This year, a visit has been organized to the workplace of Maximiliano Modesti, who works at the intersection of crafts, designs and excellence. Mini-designs, embroidery, embellishments are produced here in Mahalakshmi, in this very studio, which are used by prestigious fashion-designers and brands across the globe. Visitors will discover his great work and splendid collection.

Maximilioma Modesti
Maximiliano Modesti

From the professions of Art, a turn towards the professions of artisans and craftsmen with the next visit to Dharavi, one of the largest slums in the world, which gained immense recognition after the worldwide release and success of the film, Slumdog Millionaire. Amidst the chaotic city, here flourishes a township which majorly contributes to the economy and is cosmopolitan in its true sense with churches, mosques and temples to cater to all communities and hospitals, clinics and even schools. It will be an interesting visit to a so called slum and to re-evaluate all the biases and stereotypes associated with this place.

Other guided tours include visits to Bandra, with its perfect mélange of tradition and modernity and Bhuleshwar, another less popular locality of Mumbai, in the heart of the city which boasts of numerous temples fascinating markets that stand testimony to various occupations of the city. And occupations, conventional and modern, is exactly what the theme of this 4th edition  is.

This theme has been integrated in the form of an exhibition on various occupations at Café Zoé from 25th of September. A Photography contest was organized, all over the world, for the third time and for this edition, the Alliance Française Foundation chose the theme “Professions of the World”. Its aim was to capture and depict an array of extraordinary professions men and women were involved in. This photo-report was also an opportunity to discover the strangest professions, often traditional and how they have evolved. A total of 167 Alliances Françaises from 74 countries participated in this competition and the exhibition will be on view till 5th of October.
The primary aim of heritage days was that Mumbaikars have a fresh perspective on their city. It was well achieved in the last three years and this year’s programme will certainly try to take it even further with its diverse visits and exhibitions.


And also:

Tumblr du concours “Professions of the world”

Instagram de l’Alliance Française de Bombay : pictures of the visits

Les discussions avec les étudiants sur Mumbaikar in French

En construction

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Directeur de publication : Délégation Générale de la Fondation Alliance Française en Inde et au Népal

Rédacteur en chef : Laurent Elisio Bordier

Rédacteur/Coordinateur national : Siddharth Bhatt

Rédacteurs, contributeurs : Guillaume, Abhirami, Alexandre, Chintan, Cléa, David, Eleonore, Elie, Kanika, Karine, Nita, Thomas, Malvika, Marie-Joëlle, Meera, Mayuri, Mitushi, Alice, Prutha, Romain, Ritika, Manas, Supriya ...