Mumbai in the 1950s was a city alive with new currents in the arts and culture. Among the visionary figures who shaped the city’s cultural life as institution-builders, impresarios, and catalysts were crafts activist and cultural administrator Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay; scientist and arts patron Homi Bhabha; novelist and editor Mulk Raj Anand; novelist and cultural thinker Raja Rao; art gallerist and impresario Kekoo Gandhy; collector and historian Karl Khandalavala; patron of the arts, Sir Cowasji Jehangir; the Central European émigré connoisseurs and collectors Rudolf von Leyden, Walter Langhammer, and Emmanuel Schlesinger; poet and art critic Nissim Ezekiel; and polymathic theatre-maker, artist, collector, gallerist and archivist Ebrahim Alkazi. At our Online Talk #GlobalCosmopolis, cultural theorist and poet Ranjit Hoskote will talk about their role in the cultural life of Bombay/Mumbai in the 1950s, as it evolved into a vibrant cosmopolis in the first decade after World War II and Independence/Partition.
About the speaker
Ranjit Hoskote has been acclaimed as a seminal contributor to Indian art criticism and curatorial practice, and is also a leading Indian poet. He is the author of more than 30 books, including, most recently, Hunchprose (Penguin/Hamish Hamilton 2018). He has translated the poetry of a 14th-century Kashmiri woman mystic as I, Lalla: The Poems of Lal Ded (Penguin Classics 2011). Hoskote was curator of India’s first-ever national pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2011) and co-curated the 7th Gwangju Biennale with Okwui Enwezor and Hyunjin Kim (2008). He is Research and Curatorial Consultant to the Mathaf Museum, Doha.