The ‘Slum’?

Last week I visited Dharavi as a way to engage with my city as a  real conglomeration of living,laboring people, and because I thought it would be a cool thing to do.The urban architecture praxis  group called Urbanology has an office in Dharavi, where they study and conduct activities with it’s residents.

‘www.urbz.net functions as a virtual office for projects in cities including New York, Tokyo, Mumbai, Goa and Geneva. In addition to maintaining its website and providing support to partner organizations and initiatives, URBZ members organize workshops where ideas and visions about localities are expressed and shared. URBZ believes that the encounter of local actors and global contributors unleashes new potentials at all levels.’

urbanology.org

Urbz has a project called The Shelter which is an open space for practices and where they conduct various activities from art class to Copoiera.This vibrant way of looking at living in the city away from the idea of development with a capital ‘D’ reeking of de-humanising and alienating concrete towers is cathartic and refreshing.I hope to get involved!

This takes me back to the Shivajinagar Signs project and the work that Namita Malhotra and I did in documenting visual culture in Shivajinagar, Bangalore.

Shivajinagar Signs Flickr Page

Shivajinagar Signs Group Photo Pool( open to all)

Shivajinagar Signs on Picasa

We spoke a lot about public art interventions in the project.Ways of  looking at, participating and inscribing the place with ourselves and our ideas.

Photo reworked and out up on the street as part of our art.
Shivajinagar, Bangalore.

This one, in the posh Commercial Street is a classic case of state centered development.

Mumbai fascinates me with its Indo Saracenic Imperial facades and it’s majestic churches, this city is a real life relic of the Raj.

But since the real heart-beat of the city lies in its quotidian spaces, peopled by people you tend to not see, we have a lot to learn.

For more urbanology go to the Airoots/Eirut Blog by Rahul Srivastava and Matthias Echanove.

 

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