From January to February 2001, tens of millions of pilgrims assembled in Allahabad, North India for the month-long Maha Kumbh Mela festival, held only once every one hundred forty-four years. This, the largest gathering of human beings on earth—so big, in fact, that the crowd was visible from space—was composed of devotees of all ages, castes, and classes from every corner of India. Photographer Hannes Schmid was there as these pilgrims gathered by the banks of the sacred Ganges River, capturing this massive act of faith on film, both still and moving. Schmid’s large, color photographs and aerial-angled movie bring to life the claustrophobic crowds, myriad colors, and energy of this greatest of Hindu pilgrimages.
Curated by Becky Bloom and Beth Citron
Human Currents is supported, in part, by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia
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The Road that Teaches
A conversation series exploring the nature of faith and pilgrimage between two people from different walks of life, differing spiritual experiences. Speakers include: Gloria Steinem, Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, Andrew Cohen, Howard Bloom, and many more.