Saturday, 23 August 2014

MAYUR Newsletter, INTACH Hazaribagh Chapter

The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) is a NGO that seeks to make strategic and timely intervention in order to conserve and promote India’s natural and cultural heritage. INTACH is a nation wide network of volunteers who spread awareness about heritage, preserve acts likely to degrade their regions cultural and natural wealth and act positively to preserve and enhance local heritage. INTACH today is the nation’s foremost and largest NGO working in the field of culture.
The Tribal Women Artists Cooperative is an association of mine displaced women who have been protesting against the coal mining in North Karanpura and who in 1995 formed themselves into a group under the aegis of INTACH to give publicity through exhibitions of their art in India and abroad of their situation due to the mining and the rich cultural heritage of their art which is a continuation of the mesolithic rockart of the region threatened by coal mining

Volume 40, April-Dec, 2011
Newsletter of INTACH (Hazaribagh Chapter)

Copyright © Sanskriti, Hazaribagh
Mural painting  at  Centre Intermondes and Arts Atlantic exhibition at Espace ENCAN, organized by Espaces Congres de La Rochelle & Centre EuroIndia, La Rochelle, western France for the Arts Atlantic Festival, November, 2011

Philomina Imam, Juliet Imam and Gustav Imam, Life members of the INTACH Hazaribagh Chapter were invited by the city of La Rochelle  to represent  the tribal art and Tribal Women Artists’ Cooperative at the Arts Atlantic exhibition at Espace ENCAN through their project organized by Espaces Congres de La Rochelle & Centre EuroIndia. The team was in France from 5th to 21st November.  The Autumn Festival of Centre Intermondes at La Rochelle is an annual feature of the arts including painting, literature, theatre, documentary, music, etc was held from September to November, 2011

The TWAC artists painted four murals on canvas sized six by eight feet each on specially mud treated canvas cloth using only mud pigments and binder in the traditional method at studio in the Centre Intermondes.  The subjects included “Jungle and animals with Elephant” and “Oraon Totem” by Philomina, and “Sohrai Ghoda”  and “Dancing Peacocks” by Juliet were painted. The of Arts Atlantic  exhibition at ENCAN this year hosted two hundred artists in ten galleries represented by  artists/organizations from the trans-Atlantic and European region from 18th to 20th Nov., 2011. This was the seventh edition of the  Festival. The TWAC team was made the Guest of Honour of the Arts Atlantic Festival and the murals which they painted in traditional Sohrai designs received widest publicity through the media and French television and the trip was highly successful. The TWAC has been annually representing Jharkhand’s tribal art in exhibitions and mural painting projects in Europe and other parts of the world for over a decade and half.  The program at La Rochelle also consisted of an exhibition of standard sized Sohrai and Khovar paintings made with mud pigments and binder in the traditional method which TWAC is famous for.  The artists painted the large sized murals commissioned  at the Centre Intremonde where the artists were also accommodated. Here the artists and Gustav had daily interaction with teams of visiting students interested to study the art through organized programs. We are thankful to this organization. These artworks were widely appreciated by thousands of  visitors.  The venue was at the ENCAN-Espaces Congres La Rochelle  beside the famous quay of this renowned Atlantic port on the western coast of France at the  delta of the Loire river. The project was supported by the family of Michel Sabatier , his wife Beroze and daughter Lilya through the Euro-India Centre. The Espaces Congress de La Rochelle was represented by Ms Nathalie Durand-Deshayes and Ms.Elizabeth Beauregard. We are thankful to them and their team for all assistance. It  is important to note that the exhibition and student programs were accompanied by a large amount of literature on the traditional art-forms being made and exhibited and accompanied by constant video, presentation and still  pictures of the art and its traditional setting in Jharkhand on closed-circuit television to enlighten and educate the visitors. Through this the exposition could place before the  French public which included guests from several countries in Europe and others like Canada, Guinea, Australia, etc. the great depth and range of traditional tribal arts of Jharkhand. The residue of the exhibition is to go on exhibit at Paris through the offices of the Euro-India Centre and the organization of Michel Sabatier.

Gandhi Foundation seminar in London attended by Convener and Co-Convener

On 9th Nov. Shri Bulu Imam and Co-convener Mrs.Elizabeth Imam attended a seminar organized by the Gandhi Foundation and Amnesty International at the Amnesty International at the Old Inn Yard, London. The seminar was on the problems faced by Adivasi and tribal groups and also reflections on the Gandhi International Peace Award 2011 for which Shri Bulu Imam and Dr.Binayak Sen have been nominated.

Europe Tour- Seminars and Exhibitions, March- April, 2011

Exhibition “A Disappearing World” at the Brunei Gallery, 13th April to 25th June, 2011

 Friends from far and near in a revival reminiscent of 2008 at the Pigorini in Rome had assembled -- Susazanne Gupta from Berlin who made our film The One-Eared Elephant from Hazaribagh (who has eaten up many lettuce leaves and cabbages in Europe), Michel Sabatier, wife Beroze and daughter Lilya from La Rochelle, France ( expected to be hosting our next exhibition with the La Rochelle municipal council, in France during the coming Autumn),  The exhibition mentioned above at SOAS was organized by Robert Wallis and Jennifer Wallace of Cambridge under the expertise of gallery manager John Hollingworth. Robert's great photographs from the killing fields -- the coal mines of Jharkhand - were beautifully printed in large format and displayed beautifully. This was complemented by our specially prepared artwork on cloth and canvas by the Tribal Women Artists Collective under the INTACH  banner. Justin's wonderful film of the  puja by the Tana Bhagats to the Thethangi rockart in 1969 was shown in a specially designed room within the exhibition. Robert's film of the tribal women painting in the village was shown by closed-circuit TV with headphones for sound.  The guests were dazzling in their number and variety,  a great  many from the higher London  social circle, but one stood ouit - Bianca Jagger , who promised to visit us in Jharkhand this coming Sohrai festival at the end of October. The exhibition was titled: A Disappearing World: Ancient Traditions  under threat in Tribal India - Tradition, Continuity and Conflict in Jharkhand State. The exhibition was for 4 months. The opening was introduced by the Director of SOAS. Bulu Imam also gave a talk on the occasion We have to thank for sponsorship of the exhibition and seminars The Gandhi Foundation, INTACH, SOAS, and the Helen Hamlyn Trust and Charles Wallace Turst, UK, FIAN Heidelberg and Univ. of Rome.

Two seminars were held at SOAS on 14th April in conjunction with the Exhibition

The first seminar was from 3-5 pm and held in the SOAS seminar auditorium. The topic was art, ancestry and tribal identity and was introduced by Bulu Imam of TWAC and concerned adivasi religious beliefs and art, and their connections to their ancestral lands and the natural environment endangered presently by largescale openscale mining in the Karanpura valley which subject was explicitly treated in theompanying exhibition in the Brunei gallery of SOAS alongside which featured large format photographs of the hazardous coal mining taken by photographer Robert Wallis, with large khovar and sohrai paintings by the artists of the Tribal Women Artists Cooperative.

The second seminar was from 6.30 – 8.30 pm and was on mining, displacement and resistance in India’s tribal lands which dealt with the questions of indigenous adivasi identity, the impact of mining on these peoples  lands and on the environment, and the growing resistance to the mining from  the adivasis, and the government’s response to the resistance.

 Papers presented at  La Sapienza, University of Rome, and ISIAO

 18th and 19th April two day international seminar was held by La Sapienza, University of Rome. The first days meeting was in the grand premises of La Sapienza itself, and second days proceedings were held at ISIAO, the Italian Institute for the Study of Africa and the Orient. Here an exhibition on the Khovar and Sohrai art had been set up by Ms Daniela Bezzi using artworks from the 2008 Pigorini Museum exhibition of TWAC in Rome. The seminar was organized by Dr.Fabio Scialpi, Head of Dept. of Religion and Philosophy, La Sapienza and Dr.Tiziana Lorenzetti,

Alongside this exhibition  a working display was given by Philomina and Elizabeth Imam of a Sohrai lotus mandala painted on mud treated cloth. The proceedings of both days seminar is given below-

The first day’s seminar at La Sapienza, Univ. of Rome was on “Ancient Indian Art History and Traditions” and consisted of paper given by eminent European and Indian Scholars on Indian Art and History.

The second day’s seminar was held at ISIAO in the same way and in this seminar in the evening I presented his paper titled Tribal Culture And Oldest Artistic Tradition Of India In State Of Jharkhand
with a slide presentation which was widely accepted. Philomina and Elizabeth painted a large lotus mandala on cloth using mud acrylic.

From  Danube to Damodar, TWO RIVERS – ONE LIFE, March 22nd – 29th/Austria

 FIAN Austria hosted the delegation with Bulu Imam, Elizabeth Bara and Philomina Tirkey from March 22nd to March 29th. Two interviews were planned one for a newspaper, and one broadcast for Radio Orange, done by “Frauensolidrit├Ąt”, (Women Solidarity). The delegation proceded to Linz by train on Friday, March 25th, where a lecture was planned for participants of a college course.

First programme: On the upper Danube at the Snake Bend above Linz near Ohberndorf

Sunday, March 27th:  Event on the Danube riverbanks and on the Ship “Lilofee”
Title: TWO RIVERS – ONE LIFE, from Danube to Damodar. Eexcursion on water with ship “Lilofee” ( ). Water from the Damodar is given to the Danube, water from the Danube is taken for being given to Damodar. Press, TV and Public on the ship, accompanied with music by Veronika and Franz Falkinger.Symbol: there are many rivers but one water, there are many humans but one life….. Public event in the marquee (tent) at the riverbank. Public Event for the support of the resistance against open cast coal mining in the Karanpura Valley in Jharkhand. Philomina Tirkey and Elizabeth Bara will paint live for the public. Bulu Imam informs about Karanpura Valley and resistence against mining.  Option: to initiate a partnership between the inhabitants of the Damodar dwellers and the inhabitants of the Danube dwellers. Inculturell exchange, meeting, alliance. Initiate public support for planned FIAN campaign Kusum Tola/Karanpura.

Second programme: On the Damodar river at Ramgarh
On 17 May the ceremony of pouring the Danube water brought from the upper Danube at the Snake Bend upstream of Linz near Ohberndorf in Austria was performed on the left bank of the Damodar at Ramgarh. The day 17th April was chosen for this sacred event as it was sacred to the Buddha which is marked on the full moon of mid-May called Buddh-Purnima. The group of us consisted of Philomina, Elizabeth and Bulu, our eldest son Justin and his wife Alka, and two women of our cooperative. The ceremony was a ritual one and a round wooden plate was decorated with flowers (pagoda flower, goldmohur, marigold) , and five lights in clay diyas  in the middle of which was kept the ceramic jar of water from the Danube. The jar had been made near the Danube in Ohberndorf by the brother of Elizabeth Koeltringer named Peter. It thus had a special significance. The site chosen was beside a rocky bed where the Damodar is deep and at its widest in Ramgarh a little to the east side of the N.H.33 bridge between Ramgarh and Hazaribagh, and in view of the temple on the opposite bank. The women read the prayer to the Damodar to receive the waters brought from the Danube river in Austria by the women for immersion in the Damodar. After this the water in the jar was poured in the Damodar waters. Then in the traditional Indian custom the wooden plaque decorated with flowers on which the jar of water had been kept was put in the river and floated downstream.

Teaching Tree Hugging (Chipko) in Sumava Mountains, Czech Republic, 28th March, 2011

Convener was invited by Thomas Engleder and Andreas Prammer ( to visit with Elizabeth Imam the Sumava National Park in the Czech Republic and explain  the significance of Chipko to the members. Convener also spoke about the displacement to tribals and damage to environment in the Karanpura region of upper Damodar valley in Jharkhand. They visited the erstwhile Iron Curtain line along the border with Austria and the Moldova river.

Exhibition of paintings at Bad Honnef (near Bonn), Germany

An exhibition of the Khovar and Sohrai paintings on paper (30”x22”) by TWAC (Tribal Women Artists Cooperatve) artists was organized at Bad Honnef (near Bonn) by FIAN –Austria. TWAC artists Philomina Tirkey and Elizabeth Bara painted a Sohrai mural of large size in the FIAN office in the presence of about seventy invited guests. The exhibition was followed by a talk on the art and the coal mining in the upper Damodar valley which is destroying the villages and natural environment of the region. The project was coordinated by Sabine Pabst, Mohan Damotheran, and Dr Pollyana Thomas of FIAN.

Exhibition at Milan

An Exhibition of Khovar and Sohrai paintings was organized in Milan by Ms.Daniela Bezzi who also organized the exhibition earlier at the ISIAO at Rome and who was also the organizer of the mural painting and exhibition at Udine in 2008 in Italy and the  exhibition at the Pigorini Museum in Rome that was four months..

Visit of Smt.Vimla Pradhan, State Tourism Minister
Sanskriti was visited on 8th Dec. by the State Tourism Minister Ms.Vimla Pradhan, Secretary Tourism, Mrs.Sushila Kerketta, the Director tourism, Shri.Trepathy, press and photographers. They were given a guided tour of the Sanskriti Museum and Art Gallery and the Sanskriti Office and Archives by Shri Bulu Imam and were very much impressed by the tourist potential of the Hazaribagh rockart and Sohrai painting.Later they were taken by Justin Imam to the tourist complex which he is building near Bhelwara with the government. The Bhelwara village adjoining the complex is famous for its Kurmi Sohrai wall paintings.

Dainik Jagran Award for Convener
The Governor of Jharkhand Dr.Syed Ahmed present the Convener with the award on 12th February for his work in promoting Tribal Art and protecting environment. The Award was given at a function in Ranchi.

Projected Art Project
A project similar to the art programme in La Rochelle has been offered to the TWAC in Aug.-Sept.2012 by the Reitberg Museum in Zurich, Switzerland. Three persons have been nominated for the project. More details will be given in the next newsletter.

The Gandhi International Peace Award 2011, UK
The Gandhi International Peace Award 2011 presentation to Dr.Binayak Sen and Bulu Imam will be held at  The House of Lords on  12th June, 2012. The award is given for their humanitarian work and practice of Non –violence. The award will be presented by  Lord Bikhu Parekh, President of the Gandhi Foundation.

Tree Cutting Campaign
Down with trees. Let’s build roads!

The National Highway Authority of India is on a rampage across the country. Bulu Imam, Regional Convener, INTACH,  who lives in Jharkhand and has been protecting nature for decades wrote to Sanctuary asking us to help unite the nation to resist the felling of lakhs of trees to make way for roads. A very quick scan of pending projects threw up some really scary facts....


Contact details: Bulu Imam, Convener INTACH, Hazaribagh Chapter
“Sanskriti”, Dipugarha, P.O.Hazaribagh 825 301, Jharkhand, India, Tel: 06546-264820; Fax: 06546-270815
Campaign website:

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