Kochi-Muziris Biennale: how an art festival can boost creativity and the local economy

In our second photo essay on India’s longest art festival, we feature more creative works on display, along with insights on broader economic impacts of such art and culture events.

PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 315 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festivaltelecom expomillets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.

The fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale is wrapping up next week, and features creative works by 95 artists exhibited in 10 locations around the heritage Fort Kochi district. See Part I of our photo essay here, as well as our coverage of the Bangkok Biennale.

There are around 210 biennale festivals held around the world, according to the Biennale Foundation. The third edition of the Kochi festival attracted an estimated 600,000 visitors. An impact study by KPMG covers a range of outcomes of the third Kochi biennale, including socio-cultural and economic dimensions.

The report is based on surveys conducted on visitors, volunteers, artists, business owners, and local residents. Survey parameters include exposure to local art and culture, production jobs created, souvenir sales, and bookings for hotels, homestays and travel.


According to the survey, many visitors have expressed interest in coming back to the city, local residents are happy with the event, and state tourism increased right from the first Biennale onwards. A number of abandoned building spaces have been rejuvenated, and several art exchange programmes have been initiated during the event. The exhibition has also enlightened and inspired youth visitors and volunteers, and opened up new career options for them.

In this photo essay, we share more of the inspiring art works from the Biennale, featuring artists from India, France, Indonesia and Australia. They convey messages of environmental awareness, participatory expression, and multi-faceted interpretation.

Featured artists at the Biennale include Bapi Das, Chandan Gomes, Temsuyanger Longkumer, Song Dong, Marzia Farhana, Chitra Ganesh, Shubigi Rao, Martha Rosler, Julie Gough, Vivian Caccuri, Aqui Thami, Rana Hamadeh, John Barker, Tania Bruguera, and Aernout Mik. In future essays, we will share insights from these artists on their messages and journeys.

Now, what have you done today to appreciate the tangible and intangible power of art, and feed your own creative urges?

Got a creative photograph to share? Email us at PhotoSparks@YourStory.com!

See also the YourStory pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups,’ accessible as apps for Apple and Android devices.


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