A Fantastic State of Ruin: The Painted Towns of Rajasthan


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When: Aug 22 2019 - 12:00pm until Aug 22 2019 - 1:00pm
Where: John A. Burns Hall, 1601 East-West Road, Room 3121 (3rd Floor)

In the 18th and 19th centuries, wealthy traders in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan in India commissioned artists to decorate their buildings with extraordinary murals depicting local life and society. When they left the region for India’s burgeoning cities, they abandoned their opulent structures. Some were left in the charge of caretakers; squatters took up residence in many; most simply remain vacant. The buildings have slowly deteriorated over time and lie scattered among the desert settlements as an elegiac collection of beautiful living ruins – a crumbling open-air gallery set amid the affairs of small-town life in rural India.

David Zurick is an academically trained geographer (PhD, University of Hawaii; East-West Center Degree Fellow) and an award-winning photographer and author. He writes and photographs extensively about Asia and the Pacific region, with a special focus on the cultural landscapes of South Asia and the Himalaya. His books and photography have won numerous awards and acclaimed reviews, including the Nautilus Award, National Outdoor Book Award, Banff International Mountain Book Award Finalist (twice), and Kentucky Arts Council Al Smith Visual Artist Fellowship Award (twice). His geographical studies and photography have been supported by research grants from the National Science Foundation, American Geographical Society, Banff Centre, and other major international funding organizations. In 2009 he received the “Mt Everest Award” for his lifetime achievement in Himalaya studies. David is a Fellow of The Explorers Club. He lectures at academic and film arts organizations worldwide, including most recently at The Royal Geographical Society, the India International Centre, and India-China Institute/The New School (NYC). His photography books include  Himalaya: Encounters with the Roof of the World, Southern Crossings, Land of Pure Vision, and A Fantastic State of Ruin.

Open to the public

Limited Seating

Please RSVP by Wednesday, August 21: 944-7111 or ewcinfo@eastwestcenter.org

Paid parking is available on UHM campus

Primary Contact Info:
Phone: 944-7111