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Come and experience the Indo-German Urban Mela

The much-awaited centrepiece of the Year of Germany and India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities, the Indo-German Urban Mela, is around the corner. It will be held from June 22nd to July 1st, from 10.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. Mark your calendars!

The Palace Grounds next to the Bangalore Palace will play host to 16 specially-designed pavilions that will come to life with an interactive series of presentation that explore how we can improve life within our cities. Designed by internationally renowned German artist Markus Heinsdorff, these striking pavilions unite India’s rich textile legacy with state of the art technology.

Try your hand at running a city with Siemens digital planning game; it’s a race against the clock to see how long you can keep your city going. Share your vision for the future on Deutsche Bank’s Dream: in Tree; watch live scientific demonstrations and see particle traces in a cloud chamber with the Federal Ministry of Education & Research; and get hands on with the Smart Grid from SAP and explore how cities of the future will use energy to function.

The idea of ‘StadtRäume – CitySpaces’ and the challenges that both countries face is the main focus of the Urban Mela which lies at the heart of the continuing year of celebrations between the two countries, “Germany and India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities”. Programmes and performances address issues such as urban planning, public transportation, sustainability, education and urban culture in a unique, innovative and engaging way.

With a wide range of activities like concerts, shows, exhibitions, creative workshops, dance performances and much more, there is something for everyone every day at the Indo-German Urban Mela. The Beergarden will provide a delicious selection of traditional German and Indian cuisine; the fresh Pretzels are a must!

A sensational palette of cultural programmes and projects is on the cards and several artists have already arrived in town to get the ball rolling… 

Click on the pavilions to see what is inside



Here’s a sneak preview of the cultural highlights:

Algerian-French-German choreographer Samir AkikaMASALA FX, a collaborative work between Samir Akika, Attakkalari and Bangalore dancers, is the opening act at the Urban Mela. Arising out of Healthy Chaos, aka Bangalore, the piece explores ordinary, yet unexpected moments in life, brewing up a steamy Masala effect. In Bangalore with Samir Akika, and adding spice to MASALA FX are Nora Ronge (choreographer), Gabor Doleviczenyi  (artist/graffiti writer) and DJ Martin Basman. Samir, Nora and Gabor are no strangers to Bangalore. Recently, all three were in the City, in February 2012, as part of the Urban Avantgarde/ Malleswaram Moves project, which left a unique and indelible mark on the Malleswaram Railway Station, 18th Cross Bus Stand, stadia and compound walls across the area, as also on five made-over BMTC buses. Bang Bang, choreographed by Samir Akika, left Bangaloreans awe-struck with its sometimes irreverent, yet always vibrant and exciting, take on street life in the City.

Bamboo Motifs at the Urban Mela: Berlin-based product designer and artist Steffi Silbermann is currently the Goethe-Institut’s Artist-in Residence at 1 Shanti Road. Her goal is to encapsulate the beauty and sustainability of the humble bamboo in aesthetic sculptures that will serve not only as works of art but allow the visitors a hands-on, direct interaction with the natural material - bringing people closer to bamboo in an unpretentious manner. Steffi’s art could also be viewed as a response to the eyesores that currently, with much horsing around, decorate public space in Bangalore.

We Are Here: It is a project that explores the relation between virtual presence and physical presence and its influence on collective, community and place within cities in a global world and involves a series of laboratories, the outcomes of which are shared in a site?specific participatory intervention or exhibition at the Indo-German Urban Mela. Artistic Directors Vera Maeder and Archana Prasad, together with selected Indian artists from backgrounds of journalism, dance, multimedia, visual arts, design and technology research will embark on an exploration of mediated presence and physical presence in the context of Bangalore and the arrival of the Urban Mela in its centre. For more information, visit http://we-are-here.in/.

Veera Maeder, the Director of hello!earth, is trained in dance and theatre. She works as a performer, director/choreographer and concept maker and has constantly been testing the limits of the theatrical. Recently, she was the driving force in developing The World in Technicolour, a working approach for participatory site specific performances, which became the base for hello!earth’s works. 

Archana Prasad, an artist from Bangalore, describes her work as a particular conjunction of visual art, technology and urban community-based art, steeped in design and research methodologies. As Co-Founder & Director of Jaaga, Archana has a unique artist-activist role. She has a keen interest in documentation and creating public awareness on Bangalore’s socio-cultural heritage.



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