Hoping to deepen the understanding and goodwill between India and the European Union, which is set to be the guest country next year at the World Book Fair, is showcasing an exhibition of photographs featuring Indians settled across the 21 states of the EU.
Titled, "New Homelands: The Indian Diaspora in the European Union" the exhibition has on display photographs by three Indian photographers – Paroma Mukherjee, Shome Basu and Kounteya Sinha.
"For people of Indian origin now living in Europe the reasons for their choice are as diverse and intriguing as the paths that took them to their new homes. How did they make the transition to Europe, learning new customs, a new profession perhaps, and often, a new language? How do they see the society they live in and now call home? What happens when their children are born in Europe developing new identities?
"At the invitation of the EU delegation to India, three Indian photo-journalists have just spent a month meeting people of Indian origin who have made their home in the EU. Through their lenses in the cultural project, explores the myriad journeys of this diaspora, and their contributions to the countries of the EU," writes Tomasz Kozlowski, ambassador of the EU to India, in the foreword to the exhibition.
The three photographers have followed their own unique whims while capturing Indian lives across the Pacific, and offer viewers overwhelming stories of migration.
"The Indian subject was viewed through the gaze of the Indian photographer, thus bringing in an outside in and an inside out hypothesis of both the photographer and the subject.
"What emerges is a strong sense of acculturation, a kind of assimilation by the migrant community, an acceptance by the host country sometimes easily and sometimes not so easily," says Alka Pande who has curated the show.
The set of photographs on display are an outcome of the intense travels undertaken by Mukherjee, Basu and Sinha.
One of them features Prakash Chaudhury who came to Slovakia nearly two decades ago with his uncle to do trading and stayed back. Tooday, he is one of the largest suppliers of Indian goods there, besides owing an Indian restaurant.
Kounteya Sinha has narrated the journey of Rajinder Kumar Chaudhury, from being a boy of 8 in Rawalpindi to becoming India's Honorary consul to Lithuania and opening a chain of restaurants.
One of the richest Indians in Poland, Harish Lalwani came to Warsaw as an employee of a textile company and turned to business in 1995.
The exhibition that can be viewed at the Foreign Pavilion at the book fair underway at Pragati Maidan here, is set to continue till January 15.