When Chaplin Met Gandhi educational workshop at Mulberry Youth Conference

Mulberry Youth Conference

Mulberry Youth Conference

Mulberry School for Girls invited Jim Kenworth to run a When Chaplin Met Gandhi drama workshop at their prestigious Mulberry Youth Conference recently.

Over a decade ago, a group of students concerned about growing tensions around the world and in Britain following September 11th, launched our Youth Conference. The conference has gained a reputation for its challenging discussion and powerful speakers through which students consider the means of becoming active in their communities. We have received the Philip Lawrence Award for excellence in citizenship and a prize in the highly commended category in the Anne Frank Awards. This year’s topic was ‘The Power of Voice’. Alan Rusbridger, Editor of The Guardian, and Lucy-Anne Holmes, founder of the No More Page 3 campaign, were confirmed as speakers.

For more information visit: http://www.mulyouth.org/

The play When Gandhi Met Chaplin by Jim Kenworth was performed in Kingsley Hall (where Gandhi stayed in 1931) and other venues in East London in 2012. The participants were both professional actors and young people from schools in the East End of London. An Education Resource Pack inspired by the meeting of the two famous figures has been produced by Jim Kenworth and the Royal Docks Trust, with some help from the Gandhi Foundation.

You can read more details and access further resources by clicking: http://gandhifoundation.org/2013/11/04/when-chaplin-met-gandhi-school-resource-pack/

Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi

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The death of Nelson Mandela at the age of 95 has moved people all over the world. The outpouring of grief is similar to the one when Mahatma Gandhi died. It is one of those inexplicable quirks of history that both these giants who shaped the modern world started their long march for justice in South Africa. As a young man looking for a better future Gandhi could have found any of the many countries of South and East Africa that he could have settled in as did many Indians in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe. But it seems some divine force brought Gandhi to South Africa which at the time epitomized the oppression of a people in their own country in the form of apartheid. It is in South Africa that Gandhi started a struggle against injustice and his experiences there were of immense importance in his strategy to confront the British Raj in India. Gandhiʼs nascent movement for justice in South Africa inspired and galvanized a whole generation of South African freedom fighters like Walter Sisulu, Oliver Tambo, Desmond Tutu and many others. After Gandhi departed for India he left his son Manilal back in South Africa to continue the struggle. Manilal was present at a crucial meeting of the ANC in 1949, where he pressed the party to unconditionally adopt nonviolence but with little success. The attitude of the party toward the Gandhian ideal of nonviolence was in subsequent years best summarized by Desmond Tutu. He said: “Gandhi was to influence greatly Martin Luther King Jr., the leading light in the American Civil Rights Movement, as well as the South African National Congress of Nelson Mandela. So many, many people expected our country to go up in flames, enveloped by a catastrophe, a racial bloodbath. It never happened. It never happened because in the struggle against an evil of injustice, ultimately it did not take recourse to violence, and because you and so many others in the international community supported the struggle.” Nelson Mandela wrote a wonderful article for the 3rd January 2000 issue of TIME magazine. The issue celebrated People of the Century. Mandela wrote about one of his teachers: Gandhi. His story was called The Sacred Warrior and shows some of the ways Gandhi influenced him. This is what he wrote: Gandhi dared to exhort nonviolence in a time when the violence of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had exploded on us; he exhorted morality when science, technology and the capitalist order had made it redundant; he replaced self-interest with group interest without minimizing the importance of self. India is Gandhi’s country of birth; South Africa his country of adoption. He was both an Indian and a South African citizen. Both countries contributed to his intellectual and moral genius, and he shaped the liberation movements in both colonial theatres. He was the archetypal anticolonial revolutionary. His strategy of noncooperation, his assertion that we can be dominated only if we cooperate with our dominators and his nonviolent resistance inspired anticolonial and antiracist movements internationally and in our century. Both Gandhi and I suffered colonial oppression and both of us mobilized our respective peoples against governments that violated our freedoms. The Gandhian influence dominated freedom struggles on the African continent right up to the 1960s because of the power it generated and the unity it forged amongst the apparently powerless. Nonviolence was the official stance of all major African coalitions, and the South African ANC remained implacably opposed to violence for most of its existence. Gandhi remained committed to nonviolence; I followed the Gandhian strategy for as long as I could but then there came a point in our struggle when the brute force of the oppressor could no longer be countered through passive resistance alone. We founded Unkhonto we Sizwe and added a military dimension to our struggle. Even then we chose sabotage because it did not involve the loss of life and it offered the best hope for future race relations. Militant action became part of the African agenda officially supported by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) following my address to the Pan-African Freedom Movement of East and Central Africa (PAFMECA) in 1962, in which I stated, “Force is the only language the imperialists can hear, and no country became free without some sort of violence.” Gandhi himself never ruled out violence absolutely and unreservedly. He conceded the necessity of arms in certain situations. He said, “Where choice is set between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence… I prefer to use arms in defense of honour rather than remain the vile witness of dishonour …” Violence and nonviolence are not mutually exclusive; it is the predominance of the one or the other that labels a struggle.

Nelson Mandela was indeed a great soul as even though his people suffered so much under the apartheid regime and he himself spent 27 years in jail in conditions that could destroy most people, he was able to forgive the oppressors and establish a rainbow nation of peace and harmony. It is the small and often many insignificant episodes in the lives of great souls that separates them from the rest and here is one such moving incident in the life of Nelson Mandela. In around June 1961 Mandela spent some time in a farm at Liliesleaf in Rivonia a suburb of Johannesburg. His then wife Winnie brought him an old rifle for target practice. One day he shot a sparrow with it and was mortified when the five year old son of a friend rounded on him saying: “Why did you kill that bird? Its mother will be sad”. Mandela said, “My mood immediately shifted from one of pride to shame. I felt this small boy had far greater humanity than I did.” It was an odd sensation for a man who was the leader of a nascent guerilla army. That regret he felt at his action and his willingness to learn from a five year old is the making of a great man. It is a matter of great pride for Indians that Mahatma Gandhi has had such a enormous impact on so many people all over the world. Mahatma Gandhi was able to articulate the glorious heritage of India which had been stifled by invading armies for around a thousand years. Newly independent India also played an active role in bringing freedom to other numerous colonized countries.

Nitin Mehta
8th December 2013
 
 

Father Alec Reid – 2008 Gandhi Foundation International Peace Award recipient

Father Alec Reid

Father Alec Reid

Sadly Father Alec Reid, who received The Gandhi Foundation International Peace Award in 2008 along with Rev. Harold Good, died on 22nd November 2013 aged 82 years. His role in the disarmament process in Northern Ireland, the victory of non-violence over violence, and the bringing together of the Catholic and Protestant communities with Rev. Harold Good were significant milestones on the road to peace. You can read an account of the 2008 award and speeches by clicking:

http://gandhifoundation.org/2008/10/30/2008-peace-award-annual-lecture-harold-good-alec-reid/

The Daily Telegraph obituary can be read here:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/10468267/Father-Alec-Reid-Obituary.html

When Chaplin Met Gandhi School Resource Pack

When Chaplin Met Gandhi School Resource Pack

Chaplin and Gandhi in London 1931

Chaplin and Gandhi in London 1931

The play When Gandhi Met Chaplin by Jim Kenworth has been performed in Kingsley Hall and other venues in East London. The participants were both professional actors and young people from schools in the East End. Now an Education Resource Pack inspired by the meeting of the two famous figures has been produced by the Royal Docks Trust, with some help from the Gandhi Foundation.

The Pack consists of material to be used in six Workshops and has already been successfully used in some London schools.

The six workshops are:

1. An Introduction to the characters
2. The East End in 1931
3. Gandhi’s Philosophy of Nonviolence
4. Chaplin and Gandhi meet and debate – Materialism Vs Spirituality
5. Territory/ Post Code wars, gangs
6. Hopes and Dreams of the Future for East London

You can explore more details about the Educational Resource pack here: When Chaplin Met Gandhi Resource Pack

For further details: www.jimkenworth.co.uk

New Book – M.K.Gandhi, Attorney at Law: The Man before the Mahatma By Charles DiSalvo

9780520280151_DiSalvoThe new book, M.K. Gandhi, Attorney at Law: The Man before the Mahatma, is the first Gandhi biography of its kind. The author, Charles DiSalvo, uses previously unearthed archival materials to illuminate Gandhi’s unsuccessful court battles to defend Indian rights, his turn to civil disobedience, and his transformation from a shy youth into the confident public person who would lead India to freedom.

 - University of California Press

Here is a link to a feature about the author and what compelled him to write the book: http://law.wvu.edu/disalvo-feature

 

Listen to a lecture on Gandhi by our President, Lord Bhikhu Parekh

Creative Connections: Gandhi in London

© Mahatma Gandhi by Elliott & Fry 1931 NPG x82218

Mahatma Gandhi
by Elliott & Fry 1931
© NPG x82218

Listen to the lecture given by Lord Bhikhu Parekh at the National Portrait Gallery on Thursday 20th June 2013

Lord Bhikhu Parekh, President of the Gandhi Foundation, focuses on Gandhi’s time spent in London, both as a student and again in 1931, as a delegate of the Round Table conference at Kingsley Hall.

To listen to the lecture click below:


Publications available from The Gandhi Foundation

Books:

‘The Happiness Manual’ Gandhian Ways of Living
by Prof. Narinder Kapur, £5 + £1 p+p

click on the link for further information about this publication:
http://gandhifoundation.org/2012/08/15/new-happiness-manual-by-professor-narinder-kapur/

Simply Gandhi by Mark Hoda, 17pp £1.50

Muriel Lester, Gandhi and Kingsley Hall by David Maxwell, 16pp £3.50

Frontier Gandhi: Abdul Ghaffar Khan by Shireen Shah, 28pp £3

The Life of Abdul Ghaffar Khan, 49pp £2

The Conquest of Violence by Bart de Ligt, £5

All Men Are Brothers by M K Gandhi, 251pp £4

The Mind of Mahatma Gandhi ed. by Prabhu & Rao, 589 pp HB £7

Quotes of Gandhi ed. by S Bhalla, 224pp HB £7

My Religion by M K Gandhi, 166pp £3

Truth is God by M K Gandhi, 159pp £3

My Nonviolence by M K Gandhi, 373pp £5

Gandhi in Anecdotes by Ravindra Varma, 188pp HB £5

Mahatma Gandhi: A Biography by B R Nanda, 542pp £12

Gandhi the Man by Eknath Easwaran (illustrated), 184pp £10

Gandhi Wields the Weapon of Moral Power by Gene Sharp, 316pp £5

Sonja Schlesin: Gandhi’s South African Secretary by G Paxton, 101pp £7.50

Meditations on Gandhi: A Ravindra Varma Festschrift, 227pp HB £15

The United Nations and its Future edited by Vijay Mehta, 274pp £10

Gandhi’s Outstanding Leadership by P A Nazareth £12

Gandhi and the Contemporary World (Collection of essays), 421pp PB £5, HB £7 – special offer

Please add 25% for postage within UK.

For postage overseas, please contact George Paxton at the e-mail address below.

If you would like to order any of the above, please contact:

George Paxton at (books@gandhifoundation.org)

87 Barrington Drive, Glasgow G4 9ES, Scotland

Cheques should be made payable to The Gandhi Foundation or payment can be made through paypal via the Donate button.

Documentary Films – ‘Globalized Soul’ and ‘The Hero’s Journey of Mahatma Gandhi’

Globalized Soul

Mahatma Gandhi

The one hour documentary, “Globalized Soul,” chronicles the world-wide phenomenon of “interreligious or interfaith dialogue,” the distinctive spiritual journey of the 21st century. More and more, spiritual leaders and activists are coming together in search of unity and harmony in addressing the crises facing humanity and the earth. Dozens of nations now host international interfaith conferences, and they are held in virtually every state and major city in the US.

Filmed in Australia, India, Israel, Morocco, Mexico, Turkey and the US, “Globalized Soul” explores the oneness at the center of the colorful diversity of the world’s religions. The cornerstone of the film is its coverage of one of the largest interfaith gatherings in history: “The Parliament of the World’s Religions” held in Melbourne, Australia in December, 2009.

Onscreen commentators include The Dalai Lama, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Roshi Joan Halifax, Rev. James Trapp, Sister Joan Chittister, humanitarian Asha Mehta, and Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukhari, co-founder of The Jerusalem Peacemakers. Music is provided by Enya, Philip Glass, Ravi Shankar and Harold Moses.

THE HERO’S JOURNEY OF MAHATMA GANDHI is an historic documentary. Chronologically, the film will follow the last ten years of his life, when his devotion to truth and the nonviolent means to live truth were assailed from all directions. At no other time was Gandhi’s gift to the world greater. We hope our global audience will be inspired and strengthened to cling to love and compassion during these current days of planetary challenges.

To help tell the whole of Gandhi’s story the documentary will go back in time to his moments of testing and greatness from South Africa to the Salt March. Perhaps most importantly, we will move forward in time to show the ways Gandhian principles are answering the critical needs of today and the future

For further information:  http://www.heavenearth.net/gandhi.html

A link to mid production video :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umw_MD_VlVU&feature=plcp

Gloomy Thoughts on India Today By Antony Copley

Gloomy Thoughts on India Today by Antony Copley

These reflections are prompted by attending the Gandhi Foundation Award ceremony in the House of Lords of the Gandhi International Peace Award for 2011 to Binayak Sen and Bulu Iman and a seminar given by two very bright graduate students of the University of Kent on the writings and film making of Arundhati Roy. Biographical details on the two recipients can be seen in the Gandhi Foundation Peace Award article on this website and their two acceptance speeches will also be published shortly, so this is no attempt to summarise what they had to say. But it filled me with a real sense of gloom about where India today is heading.

It was very moving to find oneself in the same room as Binayak Sen. It was something of a miracle that he was present at all to receive his prize, only by being let out of prison on bail and having his passport returned at a very late stage. Binayak Sen is a doctor and specialist paediatrician and he began by telling us that surveys on malnutrition, based on body mass indices, show that India is in fact in the grip of famine. Sen’s struggle for civil rights is well known. He ended his talk by telling us the Indian government is currently drawing up legislation in which almost all forms of dissent will now be branded as sedition. Such was the charge brought against him for his own active engagement in the struggle for adivasi rights and one that led to a sentence of life imprisonment.

Bulu Iman delivered a searing indictment against the current economic development of India with its rampant capitalism riding rough shod over the economic and cultural life of the tribal population. He opened up an apocalyptic vision of India’s own economic self destruction. All this ties into the consequences of climate change. None has done more than Bulu Iman to memorialise the remarkable culture of the forest people. We were recently provided with a brilliant photographic record of this culture at an exhibition of photographs by Robert Wallis in the Brunei Gallery at SOAS, conveying a horrifying sense of the threat from the coal-mining and mining of other minerals to the very survival of this culture. Talking to Bulu Iman afterwards he left me with a disturbing sense that, in fact, the battle for survival has been lost. He sees the materials in his Sanskriti Museum, Hazaribagh as time capsules. How can any culture of this fragile kind survive the destruction of its village life, with huge roads ploughing through the forest destroying all in their way? At least a third of the tribal population in the forest areas of eastern and central India have already been dispossessed and driven into urban slums.

Felix Padel, historian of the tribal struggle and vital intermediary between The Gandhi Foundation and the two recipients, endorsed their findings. If anything, he sees the situation as even more dire.

No-one has more vividly described this human catastrophe overwhelming the forest population than Arundhati Roy. I learnt that her imagery always refers back to the holocaust of the partition. Initially, I could see how this imagery would work for the disaster that has struck Kashmir and the horrors of communal violence in Gujerat in 2003 but I was less certain of its relevance to the tribal tragedy. But then it was explained to me that their forced dispossession precisely echoes those images of long lines of migrants on the move during the massive migrations of the partition years.

Has the India of its founding fathers really come to this? Was there some fatal flaw in Nehru’s vision for change, a paternalist concern towards the vulnerable in Indian society that could turn dictatorial? Did that visionary sense of rapid development with its power stations and dams in fact presage the rampant capitalism on view today? It was Nehru himself who laid the foundation stone 5 April 1961 of the Sardar Sarovar, the scheme for some 3000 dams on the River Narmada. The forest people were drawn into a Nehruvian development project. Of course it is tempting to place the blame for the exploitation of the forests on the Raj and its Forest laws of 1878 and it is true that much of its timber was set aside for exploitation- think of the amount of wood needed fort the Indian railways. But the colonial regime did set aside protected areas and sought to shore up the way of life of the forest people. It is also worth recalling that originally these were plains people but driven into the forest by aggressive agrarian castes. But independence seemed to release even great depredation of the tribal economies. In the eight provinces of Bihar that were in 2000 to become the state of  Jharkand, far more mineral wealth was being extracted and exported than development aid was being invested. Did it only need Narisimha Rao’s Congress government’s liberalisation of state controls over the economy in 1993 to release globalisation in all its exploitative greed? For decades India was the world’s most exciting prospect of a developing economy and yet did we foresee Shining India as its outcome? Bulu Imam for one was sceptical if there be any life left in any earlier visionary outlook.

Of course it is distastefully possible to be dismissive of the chances for survival in today’s economic imperatives of such vulnerable communities as the forest peoples. If you adopt a historically determinist approach, then so called primitive or backward communities simply have to give way to `progress’. At best, you offer the communities some share in the profits of the mining revolution. It was argued in that seminar on Arundhati Roy that the newly enriched Indian middle class have no sense that the forest people are worth protecting-they simply stand in the way of the making of wealth. It helps to understand such indifference if we realise the staggering profits that will be made from the mining of minerals in the forests. Maybe the forest people are themselves –or so it is sometimes argued- morally obliged to accept that they have no option but to share this wealth.

But of course there are very strong counter arguments. In the tribal way of life we are given an example of a sustainable economy, one that respects nature, and is just the example of sustainability we need if we are to stave off the disastrous consequences of climate change. Bianca Jagger, inter alia Council of Europe Goodwill Ambassador and Trustee of the Amazon Charitable Trust, in her intervention at the Award ceremony pleaded for new paradigm on development. There has to be a development plan that accommodates the needs of such vulnerable societies. Not everyone knows that Parliament now has an All Party Parliamentary Group for Tribal Peoples. The LibDem MP, Martin Forwood, its founder and Chairman, attended the ceremony. He reminded us of the threat from the Maoists. And clearly there are alternatives models for development than industrial capitalism. More radically, we need to abandon the concept of growth for one of sustainability.

So is there any prospect of checking this invasion of the tribal lands in its track? We have to live in hope. Ilina Sen agreed with me as we said farewell in the corridors of the House of Lords. Without hope we are lost. I do not myself give up hope that the progressive ideals incarnated in the Indian Constitution, the democratic political vision of Nehru, the role of a free press in independent India, have wholly disappeared. At least one Minister of Forests tried to rein in the corporation, Vedanta and delay the mining of bauxite in Chhattisgarh. If the political class are too hand in glove with the capitalists then we have to fall back on dissent from India’s intelligentsia. Aruna Roy, distinguished journalist of the Times of India, put faith in such dissent. Admittedly, if Binayak Sen’s fears over changing the laws on sedition are accurate, then there is a momentous struggle to be waged. Will university students, amongst others, stand up for Civil Rights?

Where does this leave the Gandhians? In an earlier struggle, the Narmada Bachao Andolan (Save the Narmada Movement), under the inspired leadership of Medha Petkar, a Gandhian movement went some way to check the flooding of the river by the dams and the destruction of its riverside tribal culture. And it may well be asked, why did this cultural vandalism not cause as much shock as that of the vandalism of the Babri Masjid mosque in 1992? In 1993 the World Bank withdrew funding, embarrassed by the wonderfully named Monsoon satyagrahas, with Gandhian activists ready to expose themselves to the rising waters, in the practice of jal samparan, sacrifice in water. The whole issue was referred to the Supreme Court. But it has to be acknowledged that in the end it came out on the side of the dam. In its judgement, `it became necessary to harvest the river for the larger good.’ There was to be rather more good fortune in a Gandhian protest against the Maheshwar Hydroelectric Scheme in Madya Pradesh, a protest linked to the NAPM, the National Advancement of People’s Movement, set up in 1996.Yet we were told at the award ceremony when the women of Tamil Nadu protested against a nuclear power station all 5000 were arrested. Has the iron entered the soul in current Indian policy making?

So can a Gandhian protest influence the outcome in the current struggle in eastern and central India? Few people are aware of the scale of the conflict today. Has the freedom of the press been stifled? Are people just indifferent? To deal with the conflict both the police and increasingly the Indian army are heavily engaged. Quite who carries out reprisals against the tribal villages is unclear to me though I was told in the seminar that Hindu communal nationalists are heavily involved. They hold the tribal peoples, who of course lie outside the caste system, in contempt. Many tribals have joined the Maoist led revolt, driven out of their villages, outraged at the violation of their women. But what do the Maoists,or Naxalites as they are alternatively known, want? Have they a vision which in the long run saves the economies of the forest peoples? It does not fit with Marxist notions of economic development. Admittedly Marx, at the end of his life, came to see in such simple communities the very ideal of the communist society he was envisioning. Might today’s Indian Maoists do the same? It seems far more probable that the Maoists see themselves as engaged in a power struggle with the Indian state and have but opportunistically seized on this social unrest. The majority of the forest people find themselves in the crossfire of a civil war between the Indian army and the Maoists. Is there scope for non-violent satyagraha? So Bhikhu Parekh argued for at the end of the Award ceremony. Arundhati Roy feels that up against the violence of the State there is little prospect for a Gandhian solution and wonders if there is a non-violent alternative to the violence of the Maoists. Bulu Iman, a committed Gandhian, is equally pessimistic. In his view a satyagraha can only impact if your opponent has a moral susceptibility to injustice and he feels that such receptivity, one that existed with the likes of a Christian Lord Irwin of the British Raj or a Smuts in South Africa, does not exist in to today’s India. It makes one fear that a committed Gandhian like Binayak Sen may yet be disappointed in his life’s struggle. But again, one must not give up hope.

Eastern and Central India is not the only locale for struggles by tribal people. It also rages in North East India, Kerala, and on every other continent. These are not saintly movements. Up against the threat from globalisation several have retreated into exclusivist and xenophobic autonomous movements .Their political future would be better served were they to seek out more pluralist solutions. Such tribal people are at risk world wide. In the Award ceremony much was made of the role of international capital, the City of London, host to most of the Corporations financing the mining of tribal areas, a particular villain. The threat to the forest economies is clearly a part of globalisation. The tribal people stand in its way. Their communitarian values and ideals of a sustainable economy may yet be the inspiration to save us all from the consequences of unchecked growth. Their struggle is one that concerns us all.

 Antony Copley
Honorary Senior Research Fellow, University of Kent and Trustee of The Gandhi Foundation

Books consulted, Alf Gunvald Nilsen Dispossession and Resistance in India : The river and the rage Routledge 2010, Ed Daniel J Rycoft and Sangeeta Dasgupta The Politics of Belonging in India: Becoming Adivasi Routledge 2011,Arundhati Roy Broken Republic Hamish Hamilton 2011

The Gandhi Foundation AGM Lecture 2012

The AGM Lecture 2012 by Brijesh Patel

Photographer Brijesh Patel giving the 2012 AGM Lecture

Photographer Brijesh Patel delivered a post AGM presentation on his “Salt: Land & People” project inspired by Gandhi’s 1930 Satyagraha campaign.

Brijesh opened his presentation by talking about his background, and what first drew him to photography. His parents had to flee Idi Amin’s Uganda in 1972. Brijesh was born in India and moved to England when he was six years old. This family history, its connection and relationship to India, is what inspired him to explore it with a camera.

Before talking more about his work, Brijesh discussed the arrival of photography in India and showed some photos of landscapes and architecture of North and West India in the 1860s.

Brijesh then discussed his work in the UK and India; “Photography is not an objective medium and my view is a subjective and personal view point of a country that is constantly in flux and which is open to analysis with multiple standards of what is right and what is wrong…”

He first presented portraits of former athletes who competed in the 1948 London Olympics and armed forces musicians; “I often carry out projects in the UK which allow me to explore techniques, equipments, ideas and compositional narratives on projects before going to India to shoot”.

Brijesh’s photography in India reflects his view of the country as “A democratic, capitalist, society where feudalism casts it shadow over the ever widening disparity between those in the center and those on the edges of the new social order framed by the desires and attitudes of the middle class”.

Brijesh said he has become increasingly aware of the distance that lies between the ‘idea of India’ and being Indian today in the post colonial landscape and resulting intertwining stories of the ordinary Indians is what interests him at the core of this. His photography aims to “raise questions about the transformation of the society, its people and the landscape”.

Brijesh presented photos of his landscape and portrait projects on Gujarati middle class families, tribal areas and untouchables before turning to his Salt project. Its aim is to retrace the journey of Gandhi and seek out modern elements of his philosophy. By exploring the land and the people along the route, Brijesh was seeking modern elements and inheritors of his philosophy. He wanted to isolate themes and ideas from Gandhi’s work and seek images that place them in the 21st Century context.

This series of Land and People images of the “Salt” project are an emblematic as well as a factual representation of what today’s India stands for me. In India, and along my route, modernity and tradition battle for prominence, creating multiple narratives, which highlight the contradictions. There are two parallel lives being lived by India, and the two have not successfully crossed over. The economic gains are concentrated within the middle classes and the negative spill-over of uncontrolled developments and financial corruption is deeply felt by the lower classes”.

Brijesh will be exhibiting Salt: Land & People at the Gandhi Foundation’s Kingsley Hall East London HQ during the Olympic and Paralympic games. There are also plans to publish a book of photographs from the project.

For further information contact Brijesh Patel at: www.brijesh-patel.com
Salt: Land & People and his other fine art photography go to: www.parchai.com

To view the Gandhi Foundation Annual Report click on the link below:
The Gandhi Foundation Annual Report 2011 – 2012

Mark Hoda – Trustee and Chair of The Gandhi Foundation

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