Twin city project co-curated by Ravi Agarwal and Till Krause

City of Hamburg, Goethe Institute New Delhi, City of Delhi
PROJECT Y: A Yamuna-Elbe Public Art and Outreach Project

Organised by:
“Germany and India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities”
Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, New Delhi
& The City of Hamburg

Delhi: 10th – 20th November 2011

Opening Timing: 10am – 7pm everyday.

A Public Art Project at the Yamuna in Delhi and the Elbe in Hamburg

Curated by Ravi Agarwal (Delhi) and Till Krause with Nina Kalenbach (Hamburg)


Project Y is a public art and outreach project initiated by the Ministry of Culture, Hamburg, and carried out in the framework of “Germany and India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities”. It will be held in the cities of Delhi and Hamburg between October 16th and November 23rd, 2011, almost in parallel.

The collaborative project is centered on the idea of creating ecological sustainable rivers in cities. Both the Elbe and the Yamuna are central to Hamburg’s and Delhi’s futures and there are various, very involved discussions around them, intensified by current challenges facing water issues. There is great public interest in the subject, even though the dialogues may be different in each place. It is expected to be one of the prime and most visible public projects during the project series “Germany and India 2011-2012”, and also coincides with the India week in Hamburg, celebrating Hamburg having been nominated as the European Green Capital 2011.

The Project

The key component of the project will be public art projects on the banks of the river Yamuna in Delhi and the river Elbe in Hamburg.


Two curators, Ravi Agarwal from Delhi and Till Krause with Nina Kalenbach from Hamburg, have been invited to co-curate the project. Ravi Agarwal is a well-acclaimed Indian artist and also a practicing environmentalist. Till Krause is a well know land artist from Hamburg who also runs an art-space.

The Artists

Acclaimed Indian and German artists have been invited to participate in producing on-site installations, which will be on show for two weeks in each city. They will deal with the discourse around the river. Each artist has conceptualized a work that highlights important issues related to the rivers – be they ecological, developmental, socio-cultural, or religious.
In Delhi, the participating artists are Asim WaqifAtul BhallaGigi Scaria, and Sheba Chhachhi from India and Nana Petzet and Jochen Lempert from Germany, with contributions by Vivan Sundaram and Till Krause.

In Hamburg, the participating artists are Atul Bhalla, Navjot Altaf, Ravi Agarwal, Sheba Chhachhi, and Vivan Sundaram from India and from Germany, Anna MöllerJochen LempertInes Lechleitner and many more artists from Germany and other countries.

There will also be a Elbe/Yamuna show within an art exhibition at both places.

The Site for Project Y in Delhi

  • DDA Silver Jubilee Park
  • Geeta Colony (across Silver Jubilee Park)

The site has been carefully chosen as it gives an easy access to the river Yamuna, thus allowing maximum engagement with the river as well as both its banks.

400 site.jpg

An Eco-friendly Project

The power requirements of the project will be met by use of solar energy and eco-friendly fuel. All the material used by the artists to produce their works will be eco-friendly and most of it is also recycled material.

Outreach & Educational Activities

  • School Outreach Programme: This will include
    – Art installation making from collected trash
    – Interschool poster-making competition
    – Interschool debate on urban development and sustainability
    – Eco-walks
    Participating schools will include NDMC, MCD schools, private schools, NGO organizations for children such as Deepalaya, Kendriya / Sarvodaya Vidyalaya as well as schools from the German PASCH-network.
  • River Walks: Historians such as Sohail Hasmi and environmentalists such as Vimlendu Jha will conduct walks around the Yamuna as well as Delhi’s water systems to sensitize the general public as well as school children to their natural heritage and the impact of urban development on it.
  • Public Discussions on subjects related to the river and the environment will also take place.
  • Films and Musical Concerts: Films on the water and the Yamuna will be screened. A classical musical event will be organized by the river Yamuna.
  • Writing workshops

Project partners for the outreach and educational activities include:
Toxics Link, World Wildlife Fund, Swechha, Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art, A Wall is a Screen, and several important historians and environmentalists in their individual capacity.

Overall Significance of the Project

  • Cultural exchange at an international level
  • A project that will build awareness about the importance of the river as an urban entity as well as specifically of the River Yamuna
  • A project that involves the youth of the city
  • A project that involves important cultural and ecological thinkers and intellectuals from the city
  • Experience of the river in interesting yet educational ways
  • An eco-friendly project
  • A well documented project which will have a combined website, a manifesto and maps of the River Yamuna
Ravi Agarwal