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Grant Watson on his research on Tagore and the resulting exhibitions

Grant Watson talks about the genesis of his exhibition projects on Tagore’s legacy, Tagore Centre, London, March.

Grant Watson shows Exhibition Catalog, Tagore Centre, London

Grant Watson shows Exhibition Catalogue, Tagore Centre, London

Anjalika Sagar – Home and the World

Anjalika Sagar talks about Tagore’s ‘Home and the World’ in contrast with notions of global, nation and international. Bringing Leela Gandhi’s Ahimsaic Historiography (non-violence historiography) as a tool to construct an ethical practice in the arts.

Ahimsaic historiography, quoting Leela Gandhi, turns to the colonial encounter not for evidence of violence or conflict or exotic mistakes, but rather in search for small-subjugated narratives of cross- cultural collaboration between oppressors and oppressed. Concerned with a visionary commitment to the end of institutionalized suffering.


Adrian Rifkin powerpoint presentation

Tagore seen seated: some others standing, a short speculation in composing the past-imperfect of the ‘post-colonial’, Powerpoint presentation for Fragmenting Tagore, NGBK Berlin

Slide from Adrian's powerpoint presentation

Slide from Adrian Rifkin’s powerpoint presentation, NGBK Berlin

Slide from Adrian Rifkin's powerpoint presentation, NGBK Berlin

Slide from Adrian Rifkin’s powerpoint presentation, NGBK Berlin

Anshuman Dasgupta and Sanchayan Ghosh – talk/performance

public talk/performance by Anshuman Dasgupta and Sanchayan Ghosh for ‘fragmenting Tagore’, 12 April, NGBK Berlin.

Anshuman Dasgupta and Sanchayan Ghosh

Anshuman Dasgupta and Sanchayan Ghosh

Elzbieta Walter – public talk

Public talk by Elzbieta Walter introduced and chaired by Landings (Natasha Ginwala and Vivian Ziherl)

Despite the fact that Tagore never visited Poland, he is no doubt the only Indian writer whose writings have been extensively translated into Polish.  The play Dakghar (The Post Office) has been translated into Polish five times by different translators. It was also staged several times. One of the most significant staging was conducted during the Second World War in Poland in Jewish Orphans’ Home in the Warsaw ghetto run by Janusz Korczak. Janusz Korczak was the pen name of Henryk Goldszmit (1878/79-1942), a Polish-Jewish educator, physician, children’s author and essayist. He organized a staging of Dakghar with the children of the orphanage just few weeks before several of them and he were deported to the concentration camp of Treblinka.

Elzbieta Walter is a Tagore scholar and literary theorist based in Poland, and an alumnus of Santiniketan.

Tagore in conversation with Einstein

This conversation was the element of departure for Ansuman Biswas performance in Berlin.
Rabindranath Tagore met Albert Einstein on July 14, 1930, in his home in Kaputh, on the outskirts of Berlin.

Excerpt from Conversations And Interviews, by Rabindranath Tagore, Rupa 2006.

EINSTEIN: Do you believe in the Divine as isolated from the world?

TAGORE: Not isolated. The infinite personality of Man comprehends the Universe. There cannot be anything that cannot be subsumed by the human personality, and this proves that the Truth of the Universe is human Truth.

I have taken a scientific fact to explain this — Matter is composed of protons and electrons, with gaps between them; but matter may seem to be solid. Similarly humanity is composed of individuals, yet they have their interconnection of human relationship, which gives living unity to man’s world. The entire universe is linked up with us in a similar manner, it is a human universe. I have pursued this thought through art, literature and the religious consciousness of man.

EINSTEIN: There are two different conceptions about the nature of the universe: (1) The world as a unity dependent on humanity. (2) The world as a reality independent of the human factor.

TAGORE: When our universe is in harmony with Man, the eternal, we know it as Truth, we feel it as beauty.

EINSTEIN: This is the purely human conception of the universe.

TAGORE: There can be no other conception. This world is a human world — the scientific view of it is also that of the scientific man. There is some standard of reason and enjoyment which gives it Truth, the standard of the Eternal Man whose experiences are through our experiences.

EINSTEIN: This is a realization of the human entity.

TAGORE: Yes, one eternal entity. We have to realize it through our emotions and activities. We realized the Supreme Man who has no individual limitations through our limitations. Science is concerned with that which is not confined to individuals; it is the impersonal human world of Truths. Religion realizes these Truths and links them up with our deeper needs; our individual consciousness of Truth gains universal significance. Religion applies values to Truth, and we know this Truth as good through our own harmony with it.

EINSTEIN: Truth, then, or Beauty is not independent of Man?


EINSTEIN: If there would be no human beings any more, the Apollo of Belvedere would no longer be beautiful.


EINSTEIN: I agree with regard to this conception of Beauty, but not with regard to Truth.

TAGORE: Why not? Truth is realized through man.

Ansuman Biswas and Magda Meyer

Ansuman Biswas and Magda Meyer, NGBK, Berlin

Otolith Group: Mural

Otolith Group, NGBK, Berlin

Otolith Group’s ‘A Century Before Us’, NGBK, Berlin, photo by Winfried Mateyka

Otolith Group mural detail

Otolith Group’s ‘A Century Before Us’ mural detail, photo by Carla Cruz

Otolith Group, NGBK, Berlin

Otolith Group’s ‘A Century Before Us’, NGBK, Berlin, photo by Winfried Mateyka

See more photos of Otolith Group’s ‘A Century Before Us’ piece by Winfried Mateyka here