It was a moment of immense pride and joy for the fraternity at the University of Hyderabad when The Ecole Superieure Des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux (EBABX), France invited five students and one faculty member from the Department of Fine Arts, SN School of Arts and Communication to participate in a workshop held from 03 May 2022 to 12 May 2022 as a part of the academic exchange program.

The delegation received a warm welcome from the students and faculty at EBABX on their arrival. Prof B.V. Suresh and Ms. Anne Colomes initiated an ice-breaking session between the participants and introduced them to each other. Each student from EBABX proposed places of interest which were associated with their areas of practice. Our students with the students at EBABX embarked on their journey to experience the art, architecture, food, and culture of Bordeaux.

On their second day, the students got the opportunity to meet faculty members, technicians, and students at the institute. They were astonished to see the elements of medieval architecture and the advanced studio labs. The staff at the studios happily agreed to assist them with work during the workshop. They were also presented with welcome goodies from Rachel Helvadjian. In the evening they took a stroll across the city forest park and recorded the minute hustling sounds of the dandelions and the maple leaves. There was a starking conversation on the culture of India and Bordeaux between the students.

The next morning the students started their day by visiting the holy Basilique St -Michel. They then headed to Place de Bir Hakeim – the popular flea market of the city of Bordeaux. The market is a house of old antique pieces along with fancy jewellery, books, cassettes, postcards, clothes, and ceramics, from different places and was a perfect place to start the ideation for the workshop. One of our students even managed to get hold of a letter as old as 1973. Later, they visited St. Andre Cathedral, Place de la Bourse, Grand Theatre and Monument aux Girondin and were mesmerised by the architecture and the stories about their inception.

On their fourth day in the city, the students attended a marvellous performance by Lukas Hofmann titled ‘Let it Go’ at CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art. The materials used in the construction of the performance in its true nature were a cry for intimacy.

The next days were followed by running all around the place and experimenting with the new techniques and equipment to bring out the best display. Some were working with seashells, some with photographs of architecture, some with objects from flea markets and some with food & drinks. Amidst the hustle of the work they also got a chance to visit the beautiful Atlantic Ocean and made some cheerful and fun memories.

Their last day in Bordeaux was their Display day as well. The team worked on the layout and display and visitors started coming in by evening. Students talked about their works and received suggestions and feedback. After the exhibition, they went to a local library to witness a performance on Ecology and Feminism.

The trip ended on an amazing note with goodbye hugs, hearts filled with gratitude and memories, and an enriching experience to take back home.

Edited by Ms. Hemlata Rawat, Department of Communication (Media Studies) with inputs from Anshuka Mahapatra,  Deepti Gaur,  Rituparna Roy,  Sudheesh Velayudhan and  Swarnendu Chakarborty