Mahatma Gandhi’s life in colour, now at Perth airport

By Our Reporter
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Borderless Gandhi Founders Nilesh and Lene Makwana

Public can visit the exhibition at Parliament House, Perth Airport T1 and the Pan Pacific Hotel in Perth’s CBD through to 9 November

A Perth based organisation, Borderless Gandhi, together with the State Government of Western Australia, Perth Airport, the Pan Pacific Hotel, and a host of local businesses, have teamed up to present Gandhi’s life in colour to the people of Western Australia.

‘Borderless Gandhi Presents Mahatma in Colour’ is an exhibition of handpicked, digitally restored photographs taken throughout Gandhi’s life, and now coloured to give a true historical representation of the events captured. Perth is the first Australian city to host a unique collection of colour photographs of Mahatma Gandhi.

The exhibition will launch on 2 October to coincide with Gandhi’s birthday and the United Nations International Day of Nonviolence and will be the first time these photos are on display in Australia.

Former Foreign Minister, Proffessor Steven Smith

The public can visit the exhibition at Parliament House, Perth Airport T1 and the Pan Pacific Hotel in Perth’s CBD through to 9 November.

Founders Nilesh and Lene Makwana, both migrants to Perth, started Borderless Gandhi in 2014 with the intention of contributing to the city, which they have come to call home and to promote Gandhi’s values of peace, equality and nonviolence through artistic reflections of his life.

Both Lene and Nilesh are extremely happy with this year’s exhibition while also feeling proud and humbled to have received so much support from the Western Australian State Government, local organisations, businesses and communities to make the 2018 exhibition happen.

L-R: Harsh Grover, AIBC commitee member | Borderless Gounder co-founder, Nilesh Makwana | Western Australia State Premier, Mark McGowan | Yaz Mubrakai, MLA

“When we first started Borderless Gandhi, we could never have imagined how fast we would grow and just how much support the State Government and local businesses would offer,” Nilesh said.

“This year we are hosting the exhibition in three amazing locations and so many local businesses have come on board to enable us to further our mission of spreading Gandhi’s values and promote engagement with the community,” he said.

Lene Makwana, co-founder and curator of this year’s exhibition is excited about the prospect of reaching such a wide and varied audience. “The photographs present Mahatma Gandhi, and the relevance of his values of peace, equality and nonviolence in a way that allows audiences of all ages and nationalities to connect with the messages inherent in them,’’ Lene said.

Perth Airport staff pose with a quote from Gandhi

“However, it’s not enough to just show people a photo, we want people to engage with the messages within and to reflect on what Gandhi’s values might mean to them.”

Several engagement activities are planned alongside this year’s exhibition.

School groups visiting Parliament House will be given a selection of drawings and designs to colour and a series of inspirational quotes from Gandhi for them to reflect on. The school children will also be asked ‘What would you tell your leader?’ and given the chance to write their messages in a book that will be made available to all members of WA Parliament.

The public is invited to engage through a social media competition, by taking photos of themselves at the exhibition or with a quote from Gandhi and sharing it. Flights to India, tickets to the upcoming India v Australia test match, two nights stay in the Pan Pacific and two tickets to WA museums are all up for grabs.

WA Minister for Culture and the Arts, David Alan Templeman, praised the exhibition. “It is an exciting opportunity for school children, community groups and visitors to engage with important historical content through digitally-restored and artistically-coloured photos of Mahatma Gandhi,” Mr Templeman said. The Minister also reaffirmed his belief in the important role of art in individual, community and State identities.

The exhibition comes at a time of celebration in India as the country prepares for Gandhi’s 150th anniversary in 2019. It also comes at a time of increased efforts from the State Government to build upon relations with India. Premier of Western Australia, Mark McGowan, has given his support for Borderless Gandhi and its efforts to promote Australia and India relations. “While Western Australia works to build stronger ties with India, including through direct flights between India and Perth, WA’s Indian communities continue to facilitate and enhance our relationship through projects such as this thought-provoking exhibition,” Mr McGowan said.

WA Minister for Tourism, Paul Papalia, also gave his support for the exhibition and the Indian community. “Western Australian Indian communities are a thriving, growing and are a vigorous part of our multicultural State’s remarkable cultural diversity. They have made significant contributions to the development of this State on every level, not the least of which is their contributions to the arts,” Mr Papalia said.

‘Borderless Gandhi Presents Mahatma in Colour’ is a collaboration between Borderless Gandhi, WA Parliament House, Perth Airport, the Pan Pacific Hotel and is supported by Tourism WA and the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.

 

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