The past one year saw Mumbai’s already packed cultural calendar buzzing with newer and more exciting events. Here are eight highlights:
1. Focus Festival
It was hailed as Mumbai’s first festival dedicated exclusively to the work of young and established photographers from India and abroad. The event was held across multiple locations in the city and brought together several local artistes to produce an expansive program of exciting exhibitions and events.
2. BMW cultural lab
After visiting cities like Berlin and New York, the BMW Guggenheim Lab came to Mumbai for six weeks. This project, which was launched in New York last year, acts as a mobile laboratory that travels across the world to inspire innovative ideas for urban life. The Mumbai chapter addressed challenges and opportunities related to public spaces.
3. Oz festival
From October to January, the city hosted a series of Australian gigs, film screenings, art exhibitions and cultural events as part of Oz Fest, a festival aimed at promoting trade and diplomatic ties between India and Australia.
4. NCPA Zest!
The National Centre for Performing Arts started a cultural platform for youth theatre this year, called Zest!. On a Tuesday every month, winners of intercollegiate drama competitions or amateur youth productions are showcased at the Godrej Theatre.
5. Maiden concerts by global performers
Legendary rock band, Gun N’ Roses opened to a packed show in Mumbai while multiple Grammy-winning singer Norah Jones too mesmerised audiences at A Summer’s Day festival. EDM giants Swedish House Mafia too made a stopover in the city as part of their One Last Tour performances.
6. Egyptian mummy exhibit at the CSMVS
Till March 24, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) was the resting spot of a 3,000-year-old mummy brought on loan from the British museum. However, the highlight of the exhibit was a 3D movie — Mummy: The Inside Story — that lets visitors don the garb of an investigator and decode Egyptian hieroglyphs.
7. NGMA gets a revamp
The National Gallery of Modert Art (NGMA), which has been an off-shoot of its parent gallery in Delhi, finally achieved autonomous status this year. That means more funds and heavy restoration. The authorities have been demanding higher budgets which will be utilised to give the gallery a facelift and host new collections, workshops and curatives.
8. India Design Forum
The second edition of India Design Forum (IDF) started with a Design Week — a week-long schedule of cutting-edge design exhibitions, workshops and curated events. This year, IDF featured eminent speakers like Christian Louboutin, Abraham Thomas and Sabyasachi Mukherjee.