Circus exhibition in Delhi showcases Pune-based writer's collection
TNN | Feb 3, 2013,
PUNE: A week-long exhibition of rare and archival photographs of the Indian circus at the Nehru memorial museum and library in New Delhi that concluded last week, also showcased some of city-based Marathi writer Shyamala Shirolkar's contribution to this form of performing arts.
The exhibition was organised as part of the conference on labour and social change in India. It was inaugurated by the library's director Mahesh Rangarajan and eminent historian Chitra Joshi.
Curator Nisha P R, a Delhi University research scholar, who is working on a Ph.D on the history of Indian circus and circus performances in 20th century Kerala, appealed for efforts to keep the circus alive through the 31 photographs on display.
They were drawn from collections from Kerala and Maharashtra, which have a rich circus tradition. Nisha will take the exhibition to Pune, Mumbai and Thalaserry in Kerala, soon.
Shirolkar spent three decades researching the subject. Her book in Marathi called 'Circus Circus' traces its history, geography, culture and ethos from the Vedic period to its growth in several countries and reasons for decline.
She collected written material, photographs, posters, leaflets and recorded interviews of people associated with the circus. Much of her material has been preserved by her daughter Janaki Morey, who gave it as reference material to Nisha.
"The exhibition was a step towards integrating circus people into the mainstream. The community has been neglected even though their contribution to entertainment has remained unmatched," Morey said.