Dstories: A global amalgamation of designers, government officials, and scholars responsible for creating cultural destinations

Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], March 21: The three-day D-Stories Museum biennale – Creating Cultural Destinations, was organized by Design Factory India (DFI) and supported by the government of Gujarat. It aimed to bring together experts and enthusiasts from across the country and the world to celebrate design, art, museums, and storytelling. The event was held at the magnificent Smritivan Earthquake Memorial and Museum in the heart of Bhuj, Gujarat.

The event kicked off with a series of captivating talks and discussions, along with the inauguration of an exhibition curated as a part of the celebration of 10 years of DFI – ‘Creating Cultural Destinations’ by Padma Bhushan Shri Rajeev Sethi. The inaugural session was graced by esteemed guests such as Chief Justice of Chhattisgarh High Court – Arup Goswami, Commissioner of Relief and Ex-officio Secretary- of Revenue Dept, Gujarat – Harshad Kumar Patel IAS, Collector and District Magistrate, Kachchh – Dilip Rana IAS and Director of Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Gujarat Dr. Pankaj Sharma, set the tone for the rest of the event.

The day featured a range of enlightening talks and curated tours by the DFI team, with highlights including talks by Ms. Marieke Muller from Kossmanndejong, Dr.Pankaj Sharma – Director of Directorate and Archaeology and Museums Gujarat, Sandeep Virmani from Hunnarshala Foundation, and the founder of Design Factory India –  Siddharth Bathla’s presentation on the making of the Smritivan Museum along with the launch of the stunning coffee table book for the Smritivan Earthquake Museum. The day concluded with an energetic performance by the Kabir Cafe.

Day two of the event started with talks and presentations on topics such as the “Roots of scenography” by Rajeev Sethi -Padma Bhushan awardee and notable Indian Designer; panel discussion on “How to keep museums alive” with Dr. Jayanta Sengupta – Former Secretary & Curator Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata & Mr. Advaita Charan Garnayank – Director General, National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, among many others. The event also saw the participation of government organizations from across the country, including states like Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Gujarat, Karnataka, and more. The day ended with a presentation by Ms. Prashasti Chandra from DFI followed by a guided tour of the Veer Balak Smarak in Anjar and a cultural night featuring remarkable performances by Kartikeya and Makrand.

The final day of the biennale saw a diverse range of topics being discussed, such as dramatizing storytelling in museums by Atul Tiwari – Actor and Writer, & Rajendra Gupta – Actor, live narratives in museums by Ysk Prerna from Conflictorium, and sculpting destinations by Mukul Goyal. The event concluded with a grand closing ceremony at the White Rann of Kutch by the local artisans who celebrated the rich cultural heritage of the Kutch region.

The biennale successfully showcased the theme of creating cultural destinations, the power of museums, and storytelling to connect people and communities leading to meaningful dialogues and reflections.

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