Celebrate Madras Week with books, heritage walks and art exhibitions. Here is a quick guide

Chennai is planning to celebrate its anniversary with a host of events starting this weekend. Follow this short guide to celebrate 383 years of Madras

Chennai is planning to celebrate its anniversary with a host of events starting this weekend. Follow this short guide to celebrate 383 years of Madras

Madras in writing

The Madras Literary Society will hold a series of events throughout the month to train the focus on Madras-related literature. The Spirit of Madras, a storytelling session by Geeta Ramanujam and Vikram Sridhar, organized by the All Tamil Nadu Storytelling Chapter, will be accompanied by an exhibition on domestic heritage by architect and conservation professional Sivagamasundari T, on August 20 , from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Serving the Raj, an exhibition on mercenaries in Colonial Madras by author Venkatesh Ramakrishnan will be on view August 22-29 from 11am-3:30pm. And, Madras Inked, a book talk and discussion by author Sujata Sankar and artist and author Manohar Devadoss will take place on August 27 at 11 a.m.

Three centuries and more

The Chennai Photo Biennale seeks to celebrate this Madras week with a month full of photographic events. Photo Kadai, a one-day pop-up photo fair on August 19, which is also World Photography Day, lets us peek at photo prints and merchandise, and take part in a photography workshop. cyanotype. The fair gives you the chance to win prizes through a raffle. Participating photographers, artists and initiatives include Amar Ramesh, Dwarakesh Iyengar, Manieesha Sambandam, Nam Veedu and many more. Photo walks for children will also take place at Mylapore Temple and Besant Nagar Beach on August 20 from 6:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. and August 21 from 6:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. respectively. The entry cost is ₹300. Contact contact@chennaiphotobiennale.com.

Testify to the past

An exhibition on kings and queens of past ages will be organized by the Indological Research Institute of the CPR from August 20-27 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Shakunthala Art Gallery, CP Art Centre, Eldams Road. A lecture on the kings and queens that dot the history of Madras by writer Venkatesh Ramakrishnan will be held in conjunction with the exhibition on August 20 between 11am and 12pm at the CP Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation, Eldams Road.

With over 30 vintage bikes, including a custom Raleigh bike incorporating 1980s Tour de France specifications, contemporary and vintage bike enthusiasts will enjoy a field day viewing the popular mode of transport in Madras times. This will take place on August 21 between 08:00 and 12:00 at the Tamil Nadu Hotel, Island Grounds (opposite the Victory War Memorial).

Luz House in Mylapore will hold old photographs of the Buchi Babu cricketing family who were involved in the development of the game in the late 1800s. Contributions from the royal family of Vizianagaram will also be found in this Madras collection. This will take place on August 20 between 10am and 6pm at Luz House, Luz Church Road, Mylapore.

Join Madras Musings, Madras Book Club and Ashvita’s in a talk featuring writer Dilip Kumar and Prabha Sridevan, retired Madras High Court Judge for Dilip Kumar: Signboards to Stories, A Journey. The lecture will take us on a journey through the stories of the past that tell Madras as it was. This will take place on August 22 at 6.30pm at Ashvita’s, Mylapore. Contact sonam@ashvitas.com to RSVP.

One of the prints that will be exhibited at CPB's Photo Kadai

One of the prints that will be exhibited at CPB’s Photo Kadai | Photo credit: Maneesha Sambandam

A walk through history

Looking to shape and awaken your inner historian? Heritage walks are the ideal way. Here are some of the walks you can lace up your shoes for:

Alleys of Aminjikarai: Stroll through the streets of Aminijikarai as Madras social history group Nam veedu, Nam Ooru, Nam Kadhai give us a history lesson about the surroundings. It will take place on August 21 from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. Email annanagarshg@gmail.com for details and registration enquiries.

Fort St. George: Take a look at one of Madras’ most iconic landmarks on this heritage walk led by Vincent D’Souza. No registration is necessary, join the walk by presenting yourself at the parking lot in front of the main gate of the Fort, at 6:45 am. This will take place on August 21 between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m.

George Town: Discover more of Chennai’s past with organizer Storycorner in Bookmine through this walk led by Sudha Umashanker. The walk starts outside Dare House, Parry’s Corner and covers the boundary marker outside Dare House, past the High Court, Statue of King George V, Pachaiyappa Hall, YMCA Building, Armenian Church , St. Mary’s Cathedral, Binny Site and Gokhale Hall. It will take place on August 21 from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. To register, contact 9840247624 with your name and contact details.

Triplicance: Madras Inherited with Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC) showcases the architecture, culture and cuisines of Triplicane in this heritage food walk. The event will take place on August 21 from 4 to 6 p.m. Find the registration link on themadrasday.in.

William E. Bennett