Science Museum to celebrate global impact of India’s scientists and photographers

This autumn the Science Museum will present an international perspective on the remarkable contributions of the Indian subcontinent to global science and culture over the last 5000 years.

Illuminating India is a season of two major exhibitions, specially commissioned artworks and a high-profile events series opening during the British Council’s UK/India 2017 season: a celebration of the long-standing relationship between the UK and India which will see cultural events, exhibitions and activities taking place in both countries. It will tell the stories of the Indian innovators and thinkers who have often been overlooked or written out of Western narratives of history.

One exhibition, Illuminating India: 5000 Years of Science and Innovation, will celebrate India’s central role in the history of science and technology by exploring its influential contributions to subjects as diverse as space exploration, mathematics, communication and engineering.

As the Survey of India celebrates its 250th anniversary, the Science Museum will share the inspiring stories of scientists, technologists and thinkers, introducing visitors to a strong tradition of scientific thought in India from the ancient past to the present day.

Objects on display will range from the earliest standardised weights originating from the Indus Valley Civilisation in 3000–2500 BCE to a payload developed for launch this year as part of India’s flourishing space programme. Using these objects and the stories of the people behind them, the exhibition will explore the country’s expertise in observation, calculation and innovation and emphasise the long-standing importance of science in India for understanding the world and creating a better society.

Another exhibition, Illuminating India: Photography 1857 –2017, will be an ambitious and unprecedented survey of the technological and cultural development of the medium in India, examining photography’s changing role in charting the recent history of the country.

This exhibition is the first to trace an arc from the beginnings of photography in India in the mid-19th century to the present day, and pivots around 1857 and 1947: two key dates in India’s recent history.

Looking at those photographers who have been inspired by their own experience of the country, the exhibition explores evocative works from a roster of eminent international practitioners, from India’s first known photographer, Ahmad Ali Khan, to award-winning contemporary photographer Vasantha Yogananthan.

Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum Group, said:

India’s history and culture are built on a rich tradition of scientific thought and innovation. The stories we will be showcasing through this vibrant season not only shaped India but had global significance. By taking a global perspective on the development of science, technology and photography, we hope to engage new audiences and strengthen international relationships between British and Indian scholars and cultural institutions.

For more information on the season, please Click Here.

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