World’s oldest known cave painting (a wild pig image) found in Indonesia
News: Archaeologists have discovered the world’s oldest known animal cave painting in Indonesia – a wild pig – believed to be drawn 45,500 years ago.
Source: Indian Express
- About Cave Painting: The cave painting uncovered in South Sulawesi in Indonesia consists of a figurative depiction of a warty pig, a wild boar that is endemic to this Indonesian island.
- Technique used: The researchers used a technique called uranium-series dating to analyse a mineral formation that overlapped part of the image and that must have formed after the cave art was produced. The mineral formation is at least 45,500 years old suggesting the artwork itself could be much older.
- Significance: The painting provides the earliest evidence of human settlement of the region.
- Is it the oldest human produced art? The painting may be the world’s oldest art depicting a figure, but it is not the oldest human-produced art. In South Africa, a hashtag-like doodle created 73,000 years ago is believed to be the oldest known drawing.
The proposal to demolish the Louis Kahn’s IIMA building is an act of cultural vandalism
Synopsis- IIMA decision to demolish historic dormitories designed by architect Louis Khan, this would constitute an act of cultural vandalism.
- Louis Kahn, a world-famous architect, called in 1960s to Ahmedabad to design various buildings, and the IIMA was one of the iconic structures built by him.
- Works of this excellence belong to both national and universal heritage.
- However, the administration of the Indian Institute of Management decided to demolish 14 dormitories on the IIMA campus as they turn unsafe.
- It led to the protests in the campus and reconsideration of the decision.
Why the proposal to demolish the dorms of IIMA represent as cultural vandalism?
Having supported the restoration of the entire campus for years, the administration claimed that as this work was not ‘satisfactory’ the whole lot should be pulled down, which is an act of cultural vandalism against an architectural masterpiece which is not only of great importance to India but to the world.
- Current laws in India provide national heritage protection only to buildings and sites more than 100 years old. This leaves Kahn’s IIM- Ahmedabad in extremely vulnerable positions.
- capitalism, political corruption and land speculation pose threats to ancient and modern works of quality.
Fortunately, many organizations and individuals both within the country and abroad have written to the institute, urging the management to reconsider the decision.
What is the significance of Louis Kahn IIMA Architecture?
Kahn built two projects on the Indian subcontinent, the Assembly Complex in Dhaka, Bangladesh and the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad (IIMA). Both reflect his response to the cultures, climates and traditions of their respective places.
Significance of IIMA building-
- The complex is built mainly in brick, with some interventions of concrete for lateral bracing and tie bars.
- With its interweaving of space and form, light and shade, orthogonal and diagonal geometries, the dormitory complex is a virtuoso demonstration of Kahn’s immense skill as a designer.
- A citadel of learning, replete with cylindrical towers, shaded streets and squares, it is not unlike a tight-knit Indian fortified town.
- First, there is a need to reshape national heritage laws to protect 20th-century buildings.
- Heritage should be assessed on the basis of long-term quality rather than the cut-off date of a hundred years.
- Second, IIMA Director and Board need to live up to their responsibilities by restoring and protecting Kahn’s work in its totality, so that the future generations may be inspired by it.
Thus, the leaders of IIMA should be persuaded to complete the restoration of Kahn’s buildings at the highest possible level, and perhaps attain the same World Heritage status
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The signature of Kahn and other foreign architects on Indian cities
Source: The Indian Express
News: A controversy has erupted over a decision by the Indian Institute of Management(IIM), Ahmedabad to bring down 18 dormitories built by legendary American architect Louis Kahn on the old campus and replace them with a new building.In this Context, let us look at the contributions of different architects on Indian Cities,
- Antonin Raymond & George Nakashima: Golconde, India’s first reinforced concrete buildings built between 1937 and 1945 in Puducherry was designed and completed by them.
- Otto Königsberger: He was the chief architect and planner of Mysore State between 1939 and 1948.Later, he was commissioned by Tata & Sons to develop the industrial township of Jamshedpur in the early 1940s.He also later designed the master plan for Bhubaneswar(1948) and Faridabad(1949).
- Albert Mayer and Mathew Nowicki: They designed the city of Chandigarh.
- Le Corbusier: He was a Swiss-French architect.He designed many of Chandigarh’s civic buildings from courts to housing.He is often called the “father of modern Indian architecture”.
- Patrick Geddes: He wrote town planning reports from 1915 to 1919, for 18 Indian cities including Bombay and Indore.
- Frank Lloyd Wright: He was an American architect.He never built a structure in India but his influence was unmistakable.His students, Gautam and Gira Sarabhai were the founders of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.
- Buckminster Fuller: He is known for his geodesic domes – large-span structures made of a network of triangles. Gautam Sarabhai inspired by Fuller designed the Calico Dome in 1962 in Ahmedabad, Gujarat at the same site that served as a mill shop.
- Joseph Allen Stein: He was an American architect.He is known for designing important buildings in India most notably in Lodhi Estate in Delhi nicknamed Steinabad after him.He is also famous for being the architect of the scenic Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode’s campus.
- Louis Kahn: He was an American architect.He designed the old campus of IIM Ahmedabad.The plan’s most distinctive features are the numerous arches, and square brick structures with circles carved out in the façade.
Who are the Tharu tribals?
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Uttar Pradesh government has embarked upon a scheme to take the unique culture of its ethnic Tharu tribe across the world.The intention is to put Tharu villages on the tourism map and to create jobs and bring economic independence to the tribal population.
- Tharu: They are an ethnic group indigenous to the Terai in southern Nepal and northern India.
- Origin: The word tharu is believed to be derived from sthavir, meaning followers of Theravada Buddhism.
- Worship: They worship Lord Shiva as Mahadev, and call their supreme being “Narayan”, who they believe is the provider of sunshine, rain, and harvests.
- Occupation: Most of them are forest dwellers and some practice agriculture.
- Language: They speak various dialects of Tharu, a language of the Indo-Aryan subgroup, and variants of Hindi, Urdu and Awadhi. In central Nepal, they speak a variant of Bhojpuri, while in eastern Nepal, they speak a variant of Maithili.
- Theravada Buddhism: The name means ‘the doctrine of the elders’ – the elders being the senior Buddhist monks.It is strongest in Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Myanmar. It is sometimes called ‘Southern Buddhism’.