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New Delhi: Historic Trail of Khirki Village is likely to be back in focus

The artists are part of the exchange programme between Khoj workshop and the A-I-R Laboratory, Centre for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw

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Tomb & mosque near Khirki. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

The historic significance of Khirki village will be back in focus on Wednesday, July 20, with a triple treat of art, poetry, and food at the Khoj Studios.

The highlight of the evening will be an architectural walk through Khirki village by artists, giving a glimpse of its historicity, which used to be the crown of the Tughlaq city of Jahanpanah in the 14th century.

The ‘Decoding Khirki’ walkthrough will be conducted by Polish artists Simone De Iacobis and Malgorzata Kuciewicz, collaborators, and fellows at Khoj studio.

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“Khirki is a sample of reality, a village among other villages, a fluid urban context. It contains an array of well-known, formal, informal and formalized solutions that are representative of Delhi as a whole. Once you get past the visual spectacle, it offers ‘jugaad’ and the aesthetics of urban decay, the district offers room for a thorough observation of pure architectural elements,” said Kuciewicz.

“Jaali panels, space frame structures, chaajja roofs and ‘shade step tectonics’ are just some of the features we are going to explore in an hour-long tour over the low rise-high density structure of Khirki”, added De Iacobis, a member of the Centrala design group.

The artists are part of the exchange programme between Khoj workshop and the A-I-R Laboratory, Centre for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw.

Khoj Studio. Image source: khojworkshop.org
Khoj Studio. Image source: khojworkshop.org

While the walkthrough will take place between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., the evening will also host an exhibition by Iranian artist Hoora Soleimani and Indian-Iranian artist Soghra Khurasani, which will highlight issues of human and individual freedom.

“I’m working on three projects during my residency. First is about what I’ve been doing in Iran about absurd weights, I’m going to go through people’s mental weights in a video-based approach. Second is a photography-based cultural and religious comparison of women’s freedom in the two countries. The third one will be a drawing and interview-based study of labourers in Delhi”, said Soleimani.

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For Khurasani, her work brings memories from Iran. “Young Iranians are not eager to remember their recent past. The country has gone through the revolution, war, and a religious takeover, because of which today’s youth faces restrictions from their own government in many circumstances. I am working on some objects and memories I brought from Iran; by showing them in my own ideology I will try to decode present situations by reading the past”, she said.

The third element of the evening, not but the least, will be a poetry reading session by upcoming poet Akhil Katyal. Brought together by Rustom’s Cafe and Bakery, it will bring poetry and food together for the aficionados. (IANS)

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Small UK Village Celebrates Centenary of Its Part in Aviation History

On its outward journey in 1919, the 193-meter-long R34 airship flew from Scotland to New York

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UK, Village, Aviation History
Pulham in Norfolk became the return point in the first ever return flight across the Atlantic Ocean by an airship. Pixabay

A village in the UK with a population of less than 1,000 was marking on Saturday the centenary of its part in aviation history.

Pulham in Norfolk became the return point in the first ever return flight across the Atlantic Ocean by an airship, the Xinhua news agency reported.

On its outward journey in 1919, the 193-meter-long R34 airship flew from Scotland to New York, but on the return leg it unexpectedly redirected to Pulham where its arrival was greeted by thousands of people. It became the first airship that made the East-West crossing of the Atlantic by air.

Sheila Moss King, who has organised the centenary event, said the arrival of the airship on July 13, 1919 had earned Pulham its place in aviation history.

UK, Village, Aviation History
A village in the UK with a population of less than 1,000 was marking on Saturday the centenary of its part in aviation history. Pixabay

The crew’s 75-hour return flight to Britain was a little less eventful than the 108-hour outbound journey from East Lothian in Scotland to Long Island, she said.

“They weren’t sure if they were on the right course and they flew through the most terrible storms with the airship tipping up and down,” Moss King noted.

A band struck up the song “See the Conquering Hero Comes” as the crowd gave the crew a heroes welcome in Norfolk and got an absolute drenching when the water used as ballast was released.

“It was in the news, it was on the radio – people all around the world would have heard of Pulham,” she said, adding it took 500 people to land the airship.

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Records show that in New York the crew was showered with gifts and were greeted by US President Woodrow Wilson.

There was even an offer of $1,000 for the airship’s cat, named Wopsie, but it was turned down, and the cat returned to England.

Descendants of the airship crew and airfield workers gathered in the village on Saturday at the start of a two-day centenary celebration. In the nearby town of Diss, an R34 memorabilia exhibition has opened.

The outline of the airship has also been marked close to where it landed a century ago. (IANS)