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Life with Le Corbusier

Families stroll through the well-tended park, street merchants offer their goods for sale, at the university a frenzy of activity prevails and the buildings of the capitol city Chandigarh, a city with the highest quality of life in India and also endearingly referred to as “City Beautiful”, are enthroned like sculptures on the horizon. The city experiment began after India gained its independence. With the planning of the new capital city of the state of Punjab, a long-cherished plan came to fulfilment for the internationally renowned French architect Le Corbusier. Here, in 1951, he was able to realise the “functional city” which had until then remained confined to the drawing board: he separated residential areas from places of work and located green zones between an austere network of street grids. In addition, important monumental structures belonging to his late works were developed in the administrative district.

The urban portrait of the photographer and ethnologist Bärbel Högner shows how spirited Indian everyday life has found its place among the architectures of modernity marked as they are by concrete facades and angular forms.

The picture series was developed in analogue, in middle-format and comprises seventy photographs. Text panels and charts elucidate the emergence of Chandigarh. A volume of photographic work is currently in planning.