Bonjour India: An Indo-French moment at India Gate

'The Experience': A digital journey with France


November 24, 2017

/ By / New Delhi

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French links with India are largely unknown and sharply under-estimated. As part of a plethora of events curated for Bonjour India, yesterday evening saw the launch of ‘The Experience’- an exhibition housing high-end digital equipment demonstrating the Indo-French journey by highlighting cultural and technological collaborations between artists, writers and industry of the two countries.

Bonjour India is an extravaganza spanning over four months of celebrating the Indo-French association through hundreds of events across India. One of first events is the ‘The Experience’, a public exhibition unveiled at India Gate lawns, in presence of Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France, Dr Bertrand de Hartingh, Director of French Institute in India (IFI- cultural wing of French Embassy) and M J Akbar, Indian Minister of State for External Affairs.

Inspired by the keywords of Bonjour India – innovation, creativity and partnership, the custom-built structure is a creation of modern urban architecture and the exhibits within are an expression of long-term innovative cooperation between the two nations in the past, present and future. The installation offers an interactive and immersive multimedia experience of 45 minutes encompassing art, cinema, literature, performing arts, fashion and technology, curated by IFI and implemented by SpaceMatters – a leading design firm in India.


Navigating MIG through the exhibition, De Hartingh shared, “The response till now and during the preparations has been extremely positive. Bonjour India is not just a cultural festival anymore. It is about engaging and sharing on a large scale in various fields. As Prime Minister Modi and President Macron mentioned earlier, we are looking at something more than a partnership between India and France, it is the Indo-French friendship for the world. Because together, we could create a lot of things that the world needs – in domains of food, water management, renewable energy, IT, education, schools, etc.”

The third edition of Bonjour India has been organised on a much grander scale than before and is aiming to take its events to the common people. Interacting with the media on the occasion, Ziegler added, “France and India are facing the same challenges (that of terrorism, piracy and security of Indian Ocean) and share the same values in terms of how we feel the world should be. Our relations are excellent. The idea of this exhibition is to reach the masses, especially to address the youth, by showcasing our long history of the partnership through artistic creation, augmented reality and digital technology. I would like for as many people as possible to visit this pavilion and learn about our shared past and feel motivated to build from this history, the future of our relations in various domains including education, environment, climate change, human exchange, smart cities, and defence.”

The pavilion opens to the public today and can be visited till November 28.

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