Bonjour India 2022: Two unique exhibitions showcasing Indo-French ties currently on display in the Capital

The exhibition aims to allow visitors to hear stories about the interactions of the people behind scientific discoveries and learn how these partnerships continue to shape our world today

Bonjour India 2022: Two unique exhibitions showcasing Indo-French ties currently on display in the Capital
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Murtaza Ali Khan

Two very interesting exhibitions focusing on the Indo-French ties over the decades are currently on display in the Capital as part of Bonjour India 2022. The exhibition titled ‘Science Beyond Borders,’ which showcases the shared scientific history of Indo-French scientific collaboration, is on display at the Visual Art Gallery and Open Palm Court at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi till 22nd April. “The exhibition celebrates the shared scientific history between France and India. It’s an invitation to discover how cooperation and exchange between the best minds of our two countries have paved the way for scientific success in our societies. This exhibition will certainly pique the interest of more professionals and students to aspire for such successes,” explains Emmanuel Lenain, Ambassador of France to India.

Some of the key attractions of the exhibition include rare snippets of the prized Tata Central Archives, a peek into Airbus’ geospatial digital platform, some illustrious records from the Institut Français de Pondichéry, a repository of international research in cultures, environments and societies in South Asia, and some insights into the experiences, memories, testimonies of many distinguished personalities from India and France. For the French teachers visiting the exhibition with their students, an education kit specifically designed for French language classes has been created. Students will have the opportunity to practice their French through playful activities and they will discover eminent Indian and French scientific figures, learn about Indo-French scientific cooperation, and also enrich their French vocabulary.

The exhibition aims to allow visitors to hear stories about the interactions of the people behind scientific discoveries, learn the historical significance of such collaboration and see how these partnerships continue to shape our world today. The exhibition sheds light on lesser-known stories such as the electrification of the Indian Railways, the first Indian to take to the skies, and the Indian space programme which kicked off in the 1960s as well as bring to the audience satellite images of Indian cities from space. It also explores the history of the Jantar Mantar, commissioned by Jai Singh, which later proved handy to overseas scholars, including the French Jesuits, in studying astronomy.

Another exhibition titled ‘A Trip to France’ will remain on view till 20th April at Taj Palace and from 21st to 30th April at Art Konsult, 1 Basement, Hauz Khas Village. After Pune, Ahmedabad and Mumbai, ‘A Trip To France’ has reached Delhi. Parmanand Dalwadi accompanied Henri Cartier Bresson on his journey to India in 1965. In return, Cartier Bresson invited him to Paris. This exhibition focuses on his journey to France in the 1970s.


The exhibition offers an opportunity to experience Dalwadi’s journey to France in the 70’s that’s beautifully traced through 50 photographs, captured with his Nikon F. He captured incongruous and unusual situations combining humour, tenderness and observations of French society which also showcase the influence of Cartier-Bresson on his art. It was in France that he met his wife Radium who can be seen in a few of his captured stills. Dalwadi also served as the President of Alliance Française d’Ahmedabad for a period of 6 years.

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