Google Arts & Culture joins India’s celebration of 75 years of Independence with interactive virtual exhibition titled ‘India ki Udaan’

By making Indian arts, crafts and museums accessible across the globe, Google Arts & Culture continues its journey to bridge the gap between arts and people.

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This year, the digital platform turns 10 and joins India’s celebration of 75 years of independence by digitising India’s rich history and heritage. (File/Reuters)

Among a few inspirational firsts, it was Bhanu Athaiya, who won best costume design and became the first ever Indian person to win an Oscar for the film, Gandhi. Or Savitribai Phule, the woman who opened the first school for girls are a few inspiring stories about women changing the world. Such stories with ground breaking conventions and movements form part of ‘India ki Udaan’, an interactive virtual exhibition by Google Arts & Culture.

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It’s an immersive storytelling online show that takes the user through digital crosswords, illustrative and interactive photo essays and archival content to depict the winning moments from the history of India with some of the iconic personalities, scientific and sporting achievements, giving a glimpse of India from the freedom movement.

By making Indian arts, crafts and museums accessible across the globe, Google Arts & Culture continues its journey to bridge the gap between arts and people. This year, the digital platform turns 10 and joins India’s celebration of 75 years of independence by digitising India’s rich history and heritage. Google pays tribute to the Government’s year-long ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ programme.

“We see India through the eyes of young artists, who have captured the history and culture of the country. People can travel back in time and live these moments, take a closer look at paintings, works, culture or learn more about different aspects of Indian heritage through interactivities, puzzles, illustrations, photo essays accentuated by AR and VR,” says Simon Rein, senior programme manager, Google Arts and Culture (GA&C).

Published in English and Hindi, the collection is an ideal source of reference to be used in classrooms or parents to teach kids and families about the history and culture of India in schools, colleges and homes. “The collectibles are accessible to all ages and groups across the world where they can explore more than 120 illustrations and 21 stories created by 10 talented artists, alongside exhibitions from various institutions across India — including the Ministry of Tourism, Museum of Art & Photography, Heritage Directorate of the Indian Railways, the Indian Academy of Sciences and Dastkari Haat Samiti,” adds Rein.

Also Read | 75 years of Independence: Looking backward, looking forward at the educational journey of Independent India

Despite cultural audiences disappearing during the pandemic with closure of physical museums, GA&C has worked with institutions and organisations to make powerful renditions and storytelling sessions via AR and VR to make knowledge sharing interactive and fun. “There’s value in sharing. With digitisation at its peak, the online collection always helps to explain the context better and create a narrative and know what the culture is about,” Rein tells FE.

The exhibition will run throughout the year on the GA&C. The platform plans to add new editions, museums and archival foundations as the exhibition embraces digital technology and contributes in achieving its goal of transformation into a world-leading digital economy.

At Google Arts & Culture one can explore 2,100 exhibitions provided by over 100 partners in India. This year, Google also announced its popular Doodle4Google contest for 2022 themed on ‘In the next 25 years, my India will…’ is open for entries to students of Grade 1-10.

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