Year of Germany in India
Numerous events were held from September 2011 to February 2013 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Germany and India. Under the slogan “Germany and India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities”, they were devoted to urbanisation and its opportunities and challenges.
Germany and India
2011 was an important year for Germany and India, marking the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. An event series entitled “Germany and India – Infinite Opportunities” was launched in the autumn of 2011 to intensify and expand the German-Indian partnership. The thematic focus of the 15-month series of events, held within the context of the Year of Germany in India, was “StadtRäume – CitySpaces”. All facets of urban development were explored, including mobility, migration, water, energy, sustainable development, architecture, building technology, education, cultural infrastructures, as well as social issues.
In India, Germany presented innovative and creative solutions designed to meet future challenges. A key element was the touring exhibition “Urban Mela”, on view in the Indian metropolises of Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Neu Delhi, und Pune.
In addition to the “Urban Mela”, the Year of Germany in India was highlighted in other events. At the beginning of 2012, the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg gave concerts in five Indian cities. In October, a German House of Science and Innovation was inaugurated in New Delhi. The goal of this institution, one of six worldwide, is to showcase all foreign-based German research and scientific organisations and unite them under one roof. In addition, representatives of German-Asian business met at the 13th Asia-Pacific Conference in New Delhi, held in early November 2012.
The Year of Germany in India was initiated by the German Federal Foreign Office, the Goethe Institute, the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business, and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
As the centrepiece of the Year of Germany in India 2012, the traveling exhibition “Urban Mela” informed visitors in the Indian metropolises of Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, New Delhi, and Pune about the core theme of “StadtRäume-CitySpaces”. Over ten days in each of the five cities, pavilions hosted interactive presentations by German corporations and organisations. The pavilions - which were colourful, easy to set up, robust, and reminiscent of a gem when seen from above – offered a stage on which representatives of German culture, business, science and research, the Federal German Government, German Federal States, and German municipalities could present various topics and solutions related to urbanisation. In addition, visitors were treated to a multifaceted programme dedicated to culture, science, and the media, and could attend open-air concerts and workshops.
The German artist Markus Heinsdorff, who had designed the pavilions for the Year of Germany in China, also conceptualized the “Urban Mela”. For the tour of India, he combined a wide range of Indian fabrics with traditional Indian tent-building techniques and sustainable architectural solutions to create mobile exhibition spaces devoted to the topic of “Textile Buildings of the Future”. The pavilions were at once an art object and a functional architectural space for the companies participating. Moreover, they served as inspiration for new forms of innovative architecture and technology. With a view to sustainability, the pavilions were constructed by Indian companies in Mumbai and Delhi using environmentally friendly materials.
Further information can be found in an interview with the artist Markus Heinsdorff.