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Tagore for today's dotcom generation

German photographer Jenner Zimmermann has created a multimedia exhibition on Rabindranath Tagore to celebrate the bard's 150th birth centenary. The work traces Tagore's effective communication in Germany and the influence he had on the world

To celebrate the 150th birth year of the great poet Rabindranath Tagore, a large number of presentations and performances were held throughout Germany. "Young people performed on stage. There were celebrations in embassies. His compositions were translated into music and performed live," shares Jenner Zimmermann, who has captured all this on a film, which will be showcased at the exhibition that opened yesterday at the Max Mueller Bhavan.


A photograph taken at the multimedia exhibition

After studying Tagore, his life and his teachings for almost two years, Zimmermann has put together this multimedia presentation that includes display boards, the screening of the film Impressions and Memories and interactive questionnaires. "The exhibition has three aspects -- the celebrations in Germany for Tagore's birth year, Tagore's communication in Germany and the changing face of communication," explains Zimmermann.

"The questionnaire will ask people about the use of communication like Internet and mobile phones and the expectations from it," he says. The exhibition looks at the changing face of communication from the time when Tagore used it effectively to a time when the Internet and mobile phones are being used to stir protests and bring about changes in society.



"Tagore visited Germany thrice -- in 1921, 1926 and 1930," informs Zimmermann. "He came at a time when Germany had just lost the First World War. He was able to offer a new, different way of life, that of spirituality. His personality was very convincing. He was invited by Dukes and Counts and he spoke about music and philosophy. His success in Germany was phenomenal. He was the first best-selling author in Germany to have sold a million copies of his books," he adds.

According to Zimmermann, it was Tagore's broad approach to life that made him a popular figure. "He was a humanist. He was willing to go out of his way to be compassionate and he worked for the betterment of society," he says. Ask him whether studying Tagore for two years influenced him, and he replies, "It has been a discovery learning about this multi-talented man. He had a broad outlook to life even at that time and age. It is definitely worthwhile to read and understand his message," he concludes.

Till: April 23 At Galerie Max Mueller, K Dubash Marg, Kala Ghoda.

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