The SOAS South Asia Institute in London is hosting a series of activities related to Bengal celebrating the popular festival of Durga Puja. The five-day event, Cultural Connects: Durga Utsav, is taking place from 2 till 7 October and will celebrate the religious and cultural diversity of Bengal and the city of Kolkata.
The main feature of this week will be centred around idol-making. Potters from the artistic district of Kumartuli, Bengal, will demonstrate the living art that is central to Kolkata's massive city-wide annual Durga Puja festival.
Renowned artists Kaushik Ghosh and Sudarshan Das will create and demonstrate the traditional and highly skilled process of clay idol-making over five days. Visitors are invited to watch the in-situ artists creating and displaying their own brand of clay and shola works. The completed idol will later be displayed in the Paul Webley Wing on 19-20 October, as part of the Bloomsbury Festival.
The Kolkata British Council has also joined the partnership of the organisers, SOAS and London Sharad Utsav, and will be displaying their interactive digital music platform ‘Mix the City’. The online platform invites people all around the world to discover the sights and sounds of a different region and create their own mix.
In addition, a rich ensemble of heritage textiles, jewellery and other artefacts showcasing historical connections in the UK-India Year of Culture 2017, as well as talks, dance and music performances, will also be taking place.
The week-long celebration will be followed by three international art and photographic exhibitions in the SOAS Brunei Gallery.