Photographer and programme mentor Ripan Biswas poses with the 15 – 17-year-old group of participants at Victoria Memorial Hall.

Read later


During Beta testing articles may only be saved for seven days.

Announcing Young Minds for a Compassionate World exhibition in India

The Natural History Museum, London, Victoria Memorial Hall Kolkata, and British Council are thrilled to announce the opening of an exhibition titled Young Minds for a Compassionate World, as part of the ongoing India/UK Together, a Season of Culture. 

The exhibition is the celebration of a free series of workshops for young participants that took place earlier this year in West Bengal, India. The programme aimed to connect young people with nature in their local communities, teach them how to tell stories through nature photography, and empower them to become advocates for people and planet.  

Aged between 15-22 years, the 38 students were selected from 18 local schools and universities. Led by awarded photographers from the Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, conservationists, and filmmakers, the sessions ranged from nature observation skills and fieldcraft to the basics of wildlife photography and conservation storytelling. 

A collection of 115 photographs taken by the workshop participants will be on display during the two-month exhibition which opens at the Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata on 17 November. The exhibition also includes 15 photographs from the mentors awarded in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. 

Gemma Ward, Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition manager, said, ‘We wanted to create a platform for young people where they would work closely with our awarded photographers and learn from some of the best artistic minds. Wildlife Photographer of the Year goes far beyond an annual competition. It is a growing, global community working to inspire and engage young photographers, and connect them to local nature through wildlife photography. We are honoured to partner with the Victoria Memorial Hall to create this unique showcase and to be a part of British Council’s India/UK Together, a Season of Culture.’

Scott McDonald, Chief Executive, British Council, said, ‘In this critical time of climate change, biodiversity loss, habitat destruction and disease outbreak, it has never been more important to work together internationally to find solutions that work for all. As part of the India/UK Together Season of Culture, this project brought together young artists and museums to join a vital global conversation. This collaboration is a prime example of how the British Council enables young people and artists globally, empowering them to conserve and protect people and planet. My congratulations to the participants, the Natural History Museum in London, Victoria Memorial Hall in Kolkata and the wonderful expert trainers – the leading lights in conservation and wildlife photography.’

Dr Jayanta Sengupta, Secretary and Curator, Victoria Memorial Hall, said, ‘Our idea behind the programme was to train young people as climate ambassadors. It is more crucial than ever that we collaborate internationally to discover answers that benefit everyone in this period of climate change, biodiversity loss, habitat devastation, and disease epidemic. And there is no one better equipped to effect long lasting change than the youth. We are happy that the Natural History Museum and British Council have enabled us to equip young people with both awareness and techniques.’

A complimentary series of online events, hosted on the Natural History Museum’s YouTube channel, will take place between December 2022 - March 2023. The events will dive into the world of nature photography and the ways we can harness photography as part of our solutions to protect the natural world.

Notes to editors:

For access to high-resolution images of the programme or exhibition or to arrange interviews, please contact Josephine Higgins at the Natural History Museum Press Office.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 5106, Mobile: +44 (0) 7799 690151, Email:

Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum is both a world-leading science research centre and the most-visited indoor attraction in the UK last year. With a vision of a future in which both people and the planet thrive, it is uniquely positioned to be a powerful champion for balancing humanity’s needs with those of the natural world. It is custodian of one of the world’s most important scientific collections comprising over 80 million specimens accessed by researchers from all over the world both in person and via over 50 billion digital data downloads to date. The Museum’s 350 scientists are finding solutions to the planetary emergency from biodiversity loss through to the sustainable extraction of natural resources. The Museum uses its global reach and influence to meet its mission to create advocates for the planet - to inform, inspire and empower everyone to make a difference for nature. We welcome millions of visitors through our doors each year, our website has had 17 million visits in the last year and our touring exhibitions have been seen by around 20 million people in the last 10 years.  

Wildlife Photographer of the Year was founded in 1965 by BBC Wildlife Magazine, then called Animals. The Natural History Museum joined forces in 1984 to create Wildlife Photographer of the Year as it is known today.

About the Victoria Memorial Hall

The Victoria Memorial Hall is India’s largest museum of modern South Asian history, and its most-visited museum, with nearly 4 million visitors each year. The collection, ranging across paintings in oil and watercolour, photographs, rare manuscripts, coins and medals, arms and armour, costumes, and historic personal relics, encapsulates the history of the South Asian subcontinent over the past three and a half centuries. It organizes several temporary exhibitions each year, including internationally. It also regularly organizes lectures, seminars, and workshops - both on-site and on the virtual platform – on art, culture, history, heritage, and the environment. Its 57 acres of well-maintained gardens – which earned it the ‘Cleanest Monument in India’ Award in 2015 – sustains a rich biodiversity and is one of the most-photographed places in Kolkata.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We build connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education, and the English language. In 2019-2020 we reached over 75 million people directly and 758 million people overall including online broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive a 14.5 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.

About India/UK Together, a Season of Culture

India/UK Together, a Season of Culture, is a year-long celebration of the long-standing relationship between India and the UK. Marking India’s 75th anniversary, it will see a vast programme of creative collaboration, education and cultural exchange take place online, and in cities across both countries. Working with a number of partners and institutions in the field of Arts, Education and English, the British Council is developing a programme of cultural activity which will bring together people in both countries, raise awareness around key real-world issues, and strengthen and celebrate the UK and India’s educational and cultural ties. For more information on India/UK Together, a Season of Culture, please visit