On the occasion of completing 60 years of Indo-German diplomatic relations, a collaborative celebration titled “Germany and India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities” was being held in India. The programme started in September 2011 and continued until early 2013.
With a thematic focus on “StadtRäume – CitySpaces”, this programme series across India broached the implications of rapid urbanisation and challenges posed by the pace of change in German and Indian cities today. Issues like mobility, energy, sustainable urban development, architecture, cultural space, education and urban art were prominently featured, touching genres such as the performing and visual arts, science, education, technology and business.
The centrepiece of the year of Germany in India was the “Indo-German Urban Mela”, a set of modern multi-purpose pavilions, designed by renowned German artist Markus Heinsdorff. The concept behind the “Urban Mela” combined elements of design from both countries with state-of-the-art textile technology, thus creating a symbiosis of art, architecture and technology.
The “Urban Mela” toured Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi and Pune and was set up for ten days in the heart of each city. The set of pavilions consisted of six differently shaped modules. They were arranged and adapted to local conditions to create a unique temporary venue for the festival. The pavilions host interactive presentations by various German corporations and organisations on topics and solutions related to “StadtRäume – CitySpaces”. A wide-ranging programme, which included cultural performances and conferences, was also held at the venue. Furthermore, visitors had the opportunity to savour some typical German cuisine in the Beergarden.
The project was being initiated by the following partners: The German Federal Foreign Office, the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business (APA), the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Goethe-Institut. The project was managed by the Goethe-Institut/ Max Mueller Bhavan New Delhi. The corporate partners of the project included companies such as Bajaj Allianz, BASF, Bosch, Deutsche Bank and Siemens.