Photographer's Note

Since the 1990's public art exhibitions known as "Cow Parades" have been arranged in a number of cities around the world. Sculptures of cows, usually made of fiberglass, have been painted by local artists and displayed in places like major streets or public parks.

But this photo is from India, where there would be no need to use fiberglass since there are so many real cows available. But the decorations on this white cow seem to indicate somebody's artistic ambitions.

I took this photo in Bhopal, capital of Madhya Pradesh state in central India in November 1991. That autumn I travelled across the interior of India, starting in Bombay on the west coast and ending in Calcutta in the north-east.

Bhopal is probably one of the major Indian state capitals to receive the lowest number of foreign visitors. I got an impression that it was almost totally off the tourist tracks. I stayed there for almost three days and hardly saw any other foreign looking tourist.

There are three pages of photos registered as Bhopal on TE, but only a handful of pictures clearly taken in the city.

Internationally Bhopal is probably best known for the disaster of early December 1984. Thousands of people died and tens of thousands were affected when poisonous gas leaked from a pesticide plant owned by Union Carbide India Limited. Possibly this gave the city such a bad reputation that most tourists avoid it.

In my diary I described my first impressions of Bhopal as "incredibly decrepit, paltry and dirty". I partly changed my opinion during my stay, because it was not such a bad place after all, even though there were few sights to attract foreign visitors.

But there was one major exception. My main reason for visiting Bhopal was to see the city's museum for contemporary Indian art, probably the best of its kind in the country and host of a famous biennale. I enjoyed my visit there and found it worth the efforts of going to Bhopal. I was very disappointed to find it closed the following days because of a major holiday.

Maybe this cow had used the opportunity to take a day off from the museum's section of modern sculptures and installations. Who knows?

Two very ordinary street views from Bhopal, featuring no cows at all, can be found in the WS. All photos were scanned from Kodachrome slides.

Photo Information
  • Copyright: Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10804 W: 536 N: 20970] (91818)
  • Genre: Lugares
  • Medium: Cor
  • Date Taken: 1991-11-00
  • Versão da Foto: Versão Original, Workshop
  • Date Submitted: 2020-10-07 0:31
Viewed: 0
Points: 62
Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10804 W: 536 N: 20970] (91818)
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