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This exhibition includes a series of portraits and scenes during the twenty years spent by Alain Daniélou and Raymond Burnier (1935-1955) in India. Musicians, boatmen, sumptuous palaces and poverty are the protagonists of a fascinating and epic journey back through time to tells us something of the past of today’s India. The exhibition catalogue in French was published by Fayard with the title “L’Inde Traditionelle” and the exhibition toured various Alliance Française centres in India in 2005 and later, continued in other venues in France, Belgium, Spain and Italy. Alain Daniélou discovered India almost by chance, his mind free from any spiritual or social preconceptions.
It was the sheer beauty of the countryside, its people and its artefacts that convinced him to spend more than twenty years in that country with the sole aim of loving and understanding that extraordinary universe that was unveiled before him. The exhibition is testimony of a journey of one of the most renowned musicologist and Indologists that the West has produced, rendered memorable through the sensitive and alert lens of his trusted travel companion, the Swiss photographer Raymond Burnier. The photographs are divided into sections according to their location: Benares, Himalaya, Orissa, Rajputana, Central, and South India are presented together with a brief, autobiographical note by Daniélou. The visitor is accompanied along this timeless and anachronistic voyage: a trip back in time through a country which, despite its dizzying transformation, still maintains solid ties to its traditions, religion, yoga and music. These images offer the viewer a highly personal view of a past that exists no more.


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