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Can an art exhibit clean the filthy Yamuna river?

The fetid, sewage-filled Yamuna River is an unlikely setting for a large-scale art installation.

But organizers of Project Y are hoping their works will attract art lovers who rarely venture onto its filthy banks and draw attention to the chronic pollution of a river worshiped as holy by Hindus.

The public art initiative, with works by four Indian artists and five Germans, aims to raise awareness of the sad state of the Yamuna by linking it with Germany’s far cleaner Elbe — where a similar exhibition is being mounted.

More @ Source: First Post India, November 20, 2011

River Sutra

By Vandana Kalra

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Art by the dying Yamuna.

Art has come to the rescue of ­Yamuna, at least temporarily, in the form of an exhibition of ­diverse artwork, espousing the cause of cleaning up the river. Eight artists — four Indian, and the rest German— have come ­together under the Yamuna-Elbe Public Art Project to highlight issues the ­Yamuna and the Elbe river (in Hamburg, ­Germany) face.

Gigi Scaria has made a five-storey, 24-feet-tall aluminium tower that ­collects water from the Yamuna, filters it and flows it back in the manner of a fountain. “It is a symbolic gesture to ­purify the river,” says the Delhi-based artist, who has named his installation “fountain of purification”.

More @ Source: The Indian Express, November 20, 2011

Uncomfortable art

By Sukalp Sharma

From the outside, the river bank across the old Yamuna bridge in Delhi seems to be just a patch of depleting floodplain complete with tall river grass and moist and sandy earth, with a panoramic view of the almost 150-year-old bridge built by the British in the background. The stench is overpowering and filth and muck that have sadly become an indispensable part of the river’s identity in Delhi is visible in abundance at a short distance.

More @ Source: The Financial Express, November 20, 2011

Watery statement

Art can heal, but four Indian artists and five Germans are hoping art can cleanse, too.

In New Delhi, Project Y organised an art exhibition on the banks of the fetid and garbage-clogged Yamuna River. Their goal: to bring attention to an important river in a sorry state.

The Yamuna, used by Hindus to cleanse the soul, is so stinky and polluted even the most devout might hold their noses. Ungrateful worshippers litter the river with plastic bottles and marigold garlands, not to mention cow carcasses, industrial waste and whatever else New Delhi spits out.

More @ Source: The National Editorial, November 20, 2011

Art exhibition on New Delhi river draws attention to pollution

NEW DELHI — The fetid, sewage-filled Yamuna River is an unlikely setting for a large-scale art installation. But organizers of Project Y are hoping their works will attract art lovers who rarely venture onto its filthy banks and draw attention to the chronic pollution of a river worshiped as holy by Hindus.

The public art initiative, with works by four Indian artists and five Germans, aims to raise awareness of the sad state of the Yamuna by linking it with Germany’s far cleaner Elbe — where a similar exhibition is being mounted.

More @ Source: Washington Post, November 18, 2011

The fragrance of smell

By Shailaja Tripathi

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Perhaps only an artist could think of charting into unknown territory because, free-spirited souls as they are, artists thrive on newer and complex possibilities. Ines Lechleitner is one from the tribe. The German artist, who is part of “The Yamuna-Elbe: Public, Art and Outreach Project” currently on in the city, is now collaborating with a professional perfumer, Yogesh Kumar, who is based in Vienna, to develop a perfume inspired by the sights and smells of both Yamuna and Elbe rivers. Ines and Yogesh will begin working on the perfume, which will be called ‘Imagine two rivers: Elbe Yamuna Project' after they return home post their research on the Yamuna. The fragrance is likely to be launched next year.

More @ Source: The Hindu (Features > Metro Plus), November 17, 2011

'Progress has not answered the question of ecology'

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The 'Yamuna-Elbe Public Art Outreach' project aims to create a vibrant synergy between the two rivers that flow through India and Germany. Through multimedia art and cross-cultural public events, the project seeks to create awareness about the incredible ecological entity rivers are - and how modern ideas of progress might just be missing their very essence. As the Yamuna end of the project begins in Delhi now, Ravi Agarwal , its co-curator, spoke with Romain Maitra on the ideas behind 'Yamuna-Elbe' and ways to engage an urban public with an extraordinary river in their midst:

More @ Source: Times of India, November 16, 2011

Yamuna in Delhi and Elbe in Hamburg connect through art

A small part of Yamuna bank in Delhi is aglitter with beauty in the dark. The river is dotted with a string of over 1,000 bottles lit with fluorescent LED sticks drew light patterns across the water.

This is the ‘Yamuna-Elbe Public Art and Outreach Program’ that is an initiative to connect the river Elbe in Hamburg, Germany, to the Yamuna in Delhi.

More @ Source: Northern Voices Online, November 14, 2011

Lit up with art, music, behold the Yamuna

In the dark, a small stretch of the bank along the otherwise polluted Yamuna resembled an oasis of light. Dotted with installations of objects connected to the river and its fragile ecology, a string of over 1,000 bottles lit with fluorescent LED sticks drew light patterns across the water.

Welcome to the 'Yamuna-Elbe Public Art and Outreach Program', an initiative to connect the river Elbe in Hamburg, Germany, to the Yamuna in Delhi.

More @ Source: Daily News & Analysis (DNA), November 14, 2011

Art Project on the Yamuna riverscape

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A twin project, organised by Goethe-Institute in the capital and Delhi government, has Indian and German artists coming together to hold a multi-media art exhibition at the Golden Jubilee Park near Old Yamuna Bridge in Delhi till 23 November. A similar programme has been held on the banks of the Elbe in Hamburg from 16 to 23 October. The project also coincides with the India Week in Hamburg.

Source: The Sunday Guardian (The Sunday Guardian 20), November 13, 2011

A tale of two rivers

By Shreya Ray

Dirty-grey, garbage-littered and foul-smelling, the Yamuna is now a muse for art. Even stranger, it is being coupled with Germany’s squeaky-clean Elbe river for a public art project. Not the likeliest of muses—or pairings—to someone carrying a south Delhi lens, but the idea is exactly that: Change the way you see the Yamuna.

The Yamuna-Elbe: Public Art and Outreach Project, a part of the “Germany and India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities” celebrations, is premised on the idea of creating ecological rivers in cities and have people “experience the rivers”.

More @ Source: Live Mint, November 11, 2011

Art’s cleaning the Yamuna

Aakriti SawhneyBy

Imagine a 24-feet installation cleaning the filthy waters of the Yamuna. A Delhi-based artist, Gigi Scaria has created a Leaning Tower of Pisa-like structure by the river to purify its waters and serve as a fountain.

Made out of aluminum and supported by a 10-feet iron rod, the installation, titled The Fountain of Purification, is part of the Yamuna-Elbe: Public.Art.Outreach project at the Golden Jubilee Park near the Old Yamuna Bridge. Launched on Wednesday, the project, centred on the idea of creating ecologically sustainable rivers, displays functional artworks by Indian and German artists.

More @ Source: Hindustan Times, New Delhi, November 10, 2011

2 rivers captured in public art to prick conscience

By Shreya Roy Chowdhury

People in the city are getting the whiff of two different worlds: one that lives along the Yamuna; the other, which is enlivened by the Elbe. Visitors to 'The Yamuna-Elbe - Public.Art.Outreach Project' on Wednesday were actually offered two bowls that had water from both these rivers. They were asked to smell the water and then share their feelings with a German artist, who later put them down on the canvas.

More @ Source: Times of India (City), November 10, 2011

Spotted on the Yamuna’s Banks: Art

The Yamuna may conjure up images of brownish green water with garbage on its banks and a few people doing laundry on its edges. Scattered efforts at preserving the once-mighty river have been tried over the past few years. Now, it is art’s turn to try to raise awareness.

The Yamuna-Elbe Art Project is a part of “Germany and India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities,” a 14-month program celebrating 60 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The Yamuna exhibition begins today on the river’s banks and continues until Nov. 20. The exhibit comprises sculptures, multimedia and other public art pieces.

More @ Source: The Wall Street Journal, November 09, 2011


By Vandana Kalra

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New Delhi, Nov 08 2011: It’s not a sight those driving by the Yamuna would expect to see. It’s perhaps a makeover, although a short-lived one. For a fortnight, the banks of the sacred river will turn into an art gallery. Its water will be the medium for a group of artists, who will centre their work around it, calling for attention to save the Yamuna. While Gigi Scaria will pump water from Yamuna into a drinking-water fountain, Sheba Chhachhi will discuss its fate through a video projection.

“I’ll use text from Yamunastakam that praises the river. Not much is being done to clean the water. It’s unfortunate that people near the banks, who share a living relationship with the river, are being moved away,” says Chhachhi.

More @ Source: Indian Express November 08, 2011

Stream of consciousness

For all those stay on the two sides of 'Jamna' - the local lingo for the river Yamuna in the Capital - it has long ceased to be a river. It is at best a huge drain that carries the muck of an ever-expanding city. Once or twice a year during the monsoons, it swells up and behaves like a real river and then everyone suddenly talks about it being a river. While we sit and crib about its state, there are some who are using innovative ways to make the public (who still continue to throw non-degradable waste in plastic packets into the river without any remorse) aware of its existence. The Yamuna-Elbe Public Art Project is one such effort. Surprising though it may sound, the banks of the river will soon be a venue for art installations, music concerts, open air theatre, photography workshops etc. A similar project was undertaken in Hamburg through which the Elbe flows, though the situation there was quite different.

More @ Source: Hindustan Times, November 07, 2011

Artists narrate tale of two rivers

By Moushumi Sharma

Delhi is all set to witness the coming together of passionate environmentalists and artists, who are putting up a combined effort to save and create awareness about the city’s most revered and equally defiled water body — the Yamuna.

As part of the “Germany-India 2011-12: Infinite Opportunities” initiative, the city of Hamburg in Germany and the Goethe Institute/Max Mueller Bhavan in New Delhi, have come together to organise the Yamuna-Elbe Public Art Outreach project. This programme will be organised along the banks of the Yamuna for citizens of the capital city.

More @ Source: The Asian Age, November 07, 2011

'Delhi has forgotten about the Yamuna. It’s time to wake up’

By Shreya Sethuraman

A Chinese philosopher once said, “The mark of a successful man is one who has spent an entire day on the bank of a river without feeling guilty about it.” Imagine saying that for Yamuna, considered one of the most polluted rivers in the world. To sensitise Delhi citizens, an outreach project Yamuna-Elbe: public art outreach is being organised by the Max Mueller Bhavan, in association with the Delhi government and the Goethe-Institut in Hamburg, Germany. Incidentally, this year marks the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between India and Germany.

More @ Source: Hindustan Times, New Delhi, November 5, 2011

Reconnecting with the river

By Angshukanta Chakraborty

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We like to conveniently forget the fact that we are a city by a river. A river called Yamuna, whose melancholic murmurs get drowned in the din of fast-tracking Delhi. For most of us, it's an incorrigibly malarial drain that stinks up the neighbourhood and breeds disease.

To wrench us out of our collective apathy and re-establish our lost connection with the Yamuna, German and Indian artists and activists are coming together from November 9 to 23 to stage a multi-media experience at the Golden Jubilee Park by the Old Yamuna Bridge.

Source: Mail Today, November 04, 2011

Save the river: The Yamuna-Elbe Project

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A Yamuna-Elbe public art exhibition-part of the "Year of Germany in India" programme - will open in the Capital on Wednesday. On display will be works by artists Nana Petzet, Jochen Lampert and Clegg and Guttmann from Germany, and Gigi Scaria and Atul Bhalla from India. Ravi Agarwal, artist and director of activist organisation Toxics Link, is the curator for the show's New Delhi segment. A series of events, including debates and walks, are planned at different venues. 5:15pm (Wednesday), Golden Jubuilee Park, Yamuna bank. For details, visit

Source: Mint, November 04, 2011.jpg

Art By The River

By Supriya Sharma

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You know it is winter in Delhi when the early morning mist smudges sunbeams tickle you out of bed. Who wants to be locked up indoors when things are so nice and sunny outside? A family picnic, a leisurely alfresco meal or an open-air art amble might just be the right way to spend a warm November afternoon in Delhi... especially with public art getting grander in the city.

Source: Times of India (What's Hot), November 04, 2011

Yamuna Meets Elbe

The Yamuna River takes centrestage, at the Yamuna-Elbe Art Project, a twin-city (Hamburg and Delhi) public art festival centered on making rivers in cities ecoloically sustainable. Savour a 'river experience' with concerts, walks, films, and an art show by Indian and German artists. Curated by Ravi Agarwall and Till Krause, the event walks the talk - it will run on solar power and use recyclable material for the art show. Nov 9-23, Golden Jubilee Park

Source: Outlook, November 04, 2011

The Sound of the Yamuna

By Vaishali Bhambri

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Ever wondered what the music of the river Yamuna sounds like? Here's your chance with a first-of-its-kind initiative, project Yamuna Elbe to be held in Delhi and Hamburg, Germany, which will be holding cultural events, such as myusic concerts and an art exhibits, along the banks of Yamuna.

Source: Hindustan Times (HT City) November 02, 2011

Project Y

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FC2, part of the motley crew on the river front (comprising cormorants, free-wheelin' water boys, amidst uninterrupted blue), discussing the 'why' inherent to Project Y, the ambitious public art project on view this month, at the banks of the river.

Source: First City (Magazine), November 2011

Bankable ideas

Two years ago, the Golden Jubilee Park was the site of a redevelopment programme for an excitable, pre-CWG Delhi government. It wanted to create a biodiversity park there after shun­ting out four lakh people from the Yamuna Pushta colony. Post-CWG, it has fallen off the map of Delhi’s popular consciousness.

The Park will now be the loc­ation of the Yamuna-Elbe project, a public art exhibition, to be held sim­ul­taneously in Delhi and Hamburg. The project is a joint initiative of the Government of Delhi, the City of Hamburg, the Year of Germany in India and the Goethe Institut. It brings together artists from both countries: Germans Nana Petzet and Jochen Lampert Clegg, and Indians Gigi Scaria, Sheba Chhachhi, Asim Waqif and Atul Bhalla. All of the Indian artists have been chosen for their long engagement with the city in general, and the Yamuna in particular. The festival is curated by artist and Toxics Link director Ravi Agarwal in Delhi, and artist-curator Till Krause in Hamburg.

More @ Time Out Delhi (Magazine), October 28-November 10, 2011

The agony of Yama's sister

By Rocky Thongam

River Yamuna is fed up with human apathy. In these 'media -savvy times' the tormented river teams up with her counterpart Elbe in Germany to lodge her protest with the citizens of the Capital.

Yami or Yamuna, sister of Yama, the God of death, has been dying for long excruciatingly. The river takes care of 70% of Delhi's water demands and keeps alive around 57 million people who depend on her for various reasons. Not to mention the millions whose souls it frees from the torments of death on its banks. In return the city dumps almost 58% of its waste into the highly venerated river.

More @ Source: Mid Day, New Delhi, November 03, 2011

A cultural extravaganza on the banks of Yamuna

By Vaishali Bhambri

The public art and outreach project with the Yamuna as its muse is being organised in collaboration with Hamburg city, the Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan in the Capital, and the Delhi Government and is part of the “Germany and India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities” project.

The exhibition is being co-curated by artists Ravi Agarwal and Till Krause on the banks of the Yamuna in the Capital and hopes to give viewers a true “river experience”, through an extensive education programme by inviting schools, youth and the people of Delhi to the river and to encourage artistic exchange between top Indian and German artists.

More @ Source: The Hindu, New Delhi, November 1, 2011

Art exhibition on Yamuna from Nov 9

This programme is meant to bring Delhiites closer to the Yamuna, literally. The Yamuna-Elbe : Public.Art.Outreach project plans to organize an art exhibition at Golden Jubilee Park on the Yamuna, and have a number of other programmes, including concerts, running parallel at other venues in the city.

More @ Source: The Times of India, New Delhi, October 29, 2011

Gradual and spatial

By Shailaja Tripathi

So, what do we have in the name of public art? A few murals adorning State-owned structures, sculptures in the compounds of a few ministry offices and statues of politicians in public spaces, which can be easily counted on the fingers. Whatever happened to the recommendation made by former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru that one per cent of the construction cost of every building should be reserved for art?

More @ Source: The Hindu Friday Review, September 16, 2011