Enriching the ties between Egyptian and Indian cultures comes through capturing the similarities between both of countries’ inherited legacy —something that Mona Abdel Karim, an Egyptian photographer, aimed to document through her showcased portraits in the “Colours of India” exhibition.
“Colours of India” is the photographer’s first photography exhibition organised by Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture’s Foreign Cultural Relations sector.
Through a set of photographs captured by Abdel Karim in her journey to document common cultural rituals between both countries, the exhibition showcases a series of photographs depicting the holy festival celebrations in Egypt with similar ones in India, imbued with classical and contemporary art forms like dancing and group singing, and a variety of emotions captured on canvas.
“Literally, India is the land of colours,” Abdel Karim said. “You might not find such shades of colours anywhere in the world. Those amazing colours infatuated every artist who set foot on the land of India.”
From her point of view, the colours of India represent the artistic and cultural mosaic of the rich Indian life palette. Further, those colours interact to form a cultural bridge through which Indian heritage moved to other countries of the world through what is called “cultural diplomacy”.
The exhibition kicks off Monday at the Indian Embassy’s Maulana Azad Centre in Zamalek.
The exhibition showcases India’s rich cultural diversity, as someone from a similar cultural background sees it.
From his side, Indian Ambassador to Egypt Sanjay Bhattacharyya said the “Colours of India” exhibition connects India and Egypt, explores the social and cultural similarities, and highlights the joys of the people.
Mona Abdel Karim is the editor of “Sawtulhind” (The Voice of India) magazine, the flagship Arabic language magazine published by the Embassy of India for the last six decades.
Abdel Karim started photography as a hobby that developed over time, and completed her post graduate diploma in cultural development.
Before launching her first exhibition, her photographs had been showcased in various exhibitions and featured in numerous newspapers and magazines. She is also the official photographer of the India by the Nile festival, the annual cultural bonanza organised by the Embassy of India in Cairo.
On the sidelines of the exhibition, a seminar titled “Colours of India” will be held on 10 January with the participation of three prominent award-winning photographers who travelled to India: Ashraf Talaat, Ahmed Hayman, and Ayman Gamal Eldin, the founder of “ViewFinders Group”, in addition to Mona Abdel Karim. The artists will be sharing their experiences of photo shooting in India.