The sight of a zebra laughing – with its eyes clenched shut and mouth wide open will stop anybody in their tracks. As will the vista of unbroken grassy plains at Masai Mara,with a cheetah curled lazily under the morning skies. But the real attention-grabber here,is the Great Migration,the annual migration of thousands of zebras,wildebeests and gazelles from the Serengeti plains in Tanzania to the Masai Mara plains in Kenya.
Ten amateur photographers bring these scenes to the city,straight from their travels in Kenya,in an exhibition titled ‘Untamed Africa’. Between October 24 to 28 and November 2 to 4,the exhibition will feature 110 photographs by these artistes,including shots of vast landscapes and the teeming wildlife there,along with some candid snapshots of indigenous fauna such as African elephants,chimpanzees and rhinos.
Africa is a dream destination for every wildlife enthusiast and you can see why from the pictures in this exhibition, says one of the photographers,Devendra Gogate. Africa has a very different eco-system and the amount of wildlife there is unbelievable, he adds.
The exhibition features pictures taken at large game reserves such as Amboselli,Sweetwaters and Samburu,along with scenes near Lake Nakuru which is visited by lakhs of flamingos. Incidentally,Amboselli is the only place in Kenya where chimpanzees can be viewed. Chimpanzees are amongst our closest biological relatives and they actually have very complex actions and expressions. But to us,sometimes they just look funny. So we have a lot of shots which give insight into their lives and there are also shots which will simply make you smile, says Gogate.
The collection boasts of several candid captures,such as the laughing zebra. I’m not sure whether it was actually laughing; it just looks exactly like that and it was such a funny sight, says Gogate,who took the picture. There are photos of lion cubs gambolling and of a mother cheetah with her cubs scenes only the most fortunate of travellers can claim to have seen.
The exhibition’s highlight,however,will have to be the series on the Great Migration. The Great Migration is the holy grail of all wildlife enthusiasts and it has long been considered as a must-see experience. Gaurav Purohit’s shot of wildebeests leaping majestically into River Mara captures the timeless beauty and wonder of the migration.
Organised by Foliage Outdoors,a wildlife travel and exploration firm,the exhibition will also provide viewers with an opportunity to take a slice of Kenyan wildlife home with them as all photographs will be available for sale and 50 per cent of the proceeds will go to a local NGO,Nisarg Sevak to assist them with their tree-plantation projects.
(The exhibition will first appear at Pt. Bhimsen Joshi Art Gallery at Sahakar Nagar from October 24 to 28 and subsequently at Ishanya Mall Art Gallery at Yerwada,from November 2 to 4)