Street Art in Varanasi: The Stage Setting of the Cremations
Street art in Varanasi is very big. But not only the art itself makes it special. One must understand the background of the city and the meaning of death in Hinduism.
Varanasi is the city, where dead people are cremated and merge with the Ganges in form of ashes. For a Hindu there is nothing bigger than to find his last station of life in Varanasi to be burned and united with the holy river.
But Varanasi is everything else than a dead city. You will feel no dead atmosphere, on the contrary it is a very vivid and happy city. There a happy dances and songs next to the cremations. People converse, laugh and express happiness. This is also because in Hinduism, death is no final state. It is just a transition to something new.
And like the holy river, which can be never the same, also the ghats (the steps next to the river) are always in the change. Street artists make a colourful open air exhibition out of these old steps and walls.
Street art in Varanasi is a very matching form of art to symbolise the whole understandment of death in Hinduism. Thus the artworks of the local and also international artists always bloom just for a while along the ghats until they vanish and something new takes the place.
For this reason it is interesting to use another form of art to capture these time limited artworks on the walls. The colours on the walls will fade and the structures will be invisible. But the colours and structures on my photos will be there a long, long time. Still what I could capture is only an impression of Varanasi in February 2017.
It was a lot of fun to make long walks along the ghats over and over again and to discover always some new artworks. This city is always in the move, so you better be as well!
Lust-4-Life Highlight: A street art tour is a unique way to discover a city. A walk is always for free and healthy! You don`t need a guide or a map. Just go around with your eyes wide open and explore the city and its art treasures. Have fun discovering!