It was a moment of immense pride and matter of joy for the fraternity at the University of Hyderabad when The École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux (EBABX), France invited five students; Sangeeta Kodimyala, Harun Al Rashid Mollah, Kandukuri Selavu, Mothe Mahesh, Hippalgaonkar Mahesh; and one faculty member from the Department of Fine Arts, Sarojini Naidu School of Arts and Communication to participate in a workshop held from 23 October 2023 to 3 November 2023 as a part of the academic exchange program.

The UoH group received a warm welcome from the students and faculty of the host institution on their arrival on 22 October 2023. Ms. Anne Colomes and Mr. Tanmay Santra initiated a session which was exploratory and open-ended in nature. Six students of EBABX, who had visited University of Hyderabad in January 2023, were part the workshop that took place at EBABX with the UoH group. All the students from two institutions started interacting and sharing ideas about their area of interest, culture, and their experiences of trip etc. After this the group walked around St. Michel in the vicinity of the school, capturing images of the mediaeval architectures and sights around the city.

On their second day, UoH students got the opportunity to meet faculty members, technicians, and students at the institute. The UoH group was amazed seeing their well-structured and advanced studio labs. The staff at the studios happily ensured to provide their technical help during the workshop. A demonstration and introductory session by the photography technician was arranged on the second day at the well-equipped photography studio. The next day started with an introduction to the video lab where the technician gave an overview of their equipment and discussed on effective video recording. By the afternoon they went to the river side and Hermitage Park to experience and record the minute hustling sounds from the surrounding environment.

On the fifth day, the whole group visited the CAPC Musée d’art Contemporain de Bordeaux, a museum of modern art established in 1973. In the late evening they attended an opening at St. Remy which was a display of the works made by recently graduated students of EBABX. The first half of the next day was spent at the Museum of Fine Arts, which was a wonderful experience to the UoH group. On tenth day, all Indian students and the faculty coordinator did presentations on their works and discussed about their practice to the audience at EBABX. The presentations were well received and responses were very positive.

Next day, the groups went to a village named ‘Soussac’, and were mesmerized by the scenic beauty of the French countryside. The group was hosted by one of the French student’s family.

The next days were followed by discussing and working towards materializing the exhibition at Galerie Ebabx. Some of them created their artwork with photographs of architecture, some with objects collected from flea market and some with videos and text. The students got various technical help from Ebabx-technicians and finally have come up with a meaningful display of their works. The responses from the visitors, including students, faculty members of the host institution and representatives from the funding partner Bordeaux Métropole were very positive and inspiring for the students.

The trip ended with a sense of good memories, gratitude and enriching experience in many ways.

Edited by Priyanka Sil, Guest Faculty in Art History and Visual Studies, with inputs from Mr. Tanmay Santra and Hippalgaonkar Mahesh.