• Strengthening Community Media
  • Democratising Public Spaces
  • Politicising Artistic Practice

Maraa: a Media & Arts Collective

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arts // culture // media // public space

About Maraa

We are a media and arts collective based in Bangalore and Delhi. Founded as a charitable public trust, our work is centred around a political yet creative practice across three domains - strengthening people-centric media platforms, democratising usage of urban public spaces and deepening rights based campaigns. For us, the dimensions of labour, gender and sexuality, caste and class cut not only across but also deeply inform and shape all the work that we do.


We’re structured horizontally as a collective. All our members are free, even encouraged, to debate and disagree with others, but ultimately, we try and work towards consensus on key decisions. While we work toward these together, members within the collective also have the space to nurture individual practice and areas of interest.


Our work is not strictly linear, nor is it entirely project-based or donor-dependent. Instead, our work has developed based on the political, economic and cultural ecology in which we situate ourselves. We collaborate with organisations and individuals across disciplines to expand our own practice and build spaces of collective ownership and creation.


Cultures and histories, politics and economics are often downplayed and instead the oppressed are held responsible for their own situation. We remain attentive to, and highlight the various ways in which oppression continues. At the same time, we are sensitive to people’s creativity in resisting their oppression.

What we do

Our work is centred around freedom of speech and expression across three domains - strengthening community media platforms, democratizing usage of urban public spaces through creative practice and deepening rights based campaigns. Our work is diverse and inter-sectional. We are committed and keen to focus on practice and process with a strong culture of dialogue and mutual sharing of knowledge with all those we work with.


Through its curatorial practice, maraa collaborates with a variety of artists working with different forms like visual arts, performances, aurality, and cinema. We not only hosts artists but also develop creative ways of presenting their works. Our curatorial intent is guided by the need to make arts relevant to the contemporary moment. We encourage new and alternative voices, work in everyday public spaces, and diversify the audience that receives these curated works. Apart from traditional galleries, we curate presentations in parks, playgrounds, sidewalks, bars, and bookshops.


Maraa has been involved in training and setting up some of the first community radio stations in India. We have trained community radio stations in the areas of policy and regulation, programming, editing, management and research. Apart from these, Maraa has special competence and experience in facilitating participatory learning programmes around community health, especially relevant to women and youth. 


maraa produces creative content dealing with a diverse range of issues for a variety of platforms. We have produced documentary films on migration and labour that have won national and international acclaim. Our radio documentaries and podcasts have explored a variety of formats like interviews, readings, storytelling, and songs and themes like adolescent sexuality, reproductive health, media censorship, art and literature. We also occasionally undertake documentation for other civil society institutions depending on the subject and process involved.


Maraa undertakes research on media and communications related issues. We have experience and competence to undertake and deploy a mix of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies that are especially suited for media and communication initiatives. These range from simple questionnaires to semiotics and ethnography. We also undertake baseline, end-line, monitoring and evaluation and other kinds of research for civil society institutions and/or media initiatives. 


We are interested in working on anything that pertains to creative practice or use of arts, urban experience, public spaces, community media, public service media and media (for) development. We are interested in long term collaborations and partnerships. 

  • Developing capacities of media institutions that advance public interest.
  • Using the arts to strengthen democratic usage and access to public spaces.
  • Using creative practices to diversify and broaden justice based campaigns.
  • Developing a critical pedagogy of gender in education.

Over the years, we continue to retain active working relationships with almost all our partners. Maraa prefers to work with like minded organisations in a spirit of open collaboration. We strongly believe in putting our work in the public domain and for public consumption. While we are a small team, we have a large network of experts and consultants who work with us on specific activities or projects. 

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Creative Practices in Public Space

At the core of our arts programme are two ideas - resistance and play. Our creative practices are located in and informed by the everyday public spaces of the city. Through walks, projections, installations, and performances we grapple with questions of exclusion, access, and privilege in this rapidly transforming city. Our annual arts festival – October Jam aims to create sensuous spaces which provoke new imaginations and reflections. The festival brings together people from various backgrounds and disciplines. We also curate, facilitate and write about the arts to push its boundaries and find new and dynamic expressions.

aata aadu: let’s play

The Imaginarium this year (2016-17) unfolds as a playful and creative learning process through the arts. Artists and facilitators are working with students of six educational institutions with forms like photography, shadow puppetry, mural, performance, storytelling etc. to present a refreshing perspective on the city and it's public spaces.


Through our work, we seek to dislocate frameworks that reduce gender to women’s issues, health, biology, and oppressive men-women interaction. Our work addresses the interplay between discursive and material realities that impact gender roles/stereotypes, manifestations of sexual violence, access to health and we emphasize intersections between sexual orientations, caste, class, religion, age, labor. Gender, we believe is a lens that cuts across all our work: a way of looking at the world.


In the age of complex societies, media has assumed significance since it mediates both political economy and culture, structure and agency. Asymmetries in ownership of media and communication platforms is not only reflective of an unequal society but also helps to reproduce and entrench inequality further. Our efforts are to promote independent community owned and managed media towards a resilient, diverse and pluralistic media landscape.

Participatory Learning

A rigorous method where grassroots communities are involved from planning to evaluation. It includes formative research, building on local partnerships, designing content, integrating mobile phones with face to face communication. We facilitate high quality participatory learning programmes geared towards behaviour change.

Gender Training

Through our facilitation with various groups, we intend to look at gender as a lens across home, school, college, work place, public space. Our modules are playful, interactive and personal. We wish to move away from binaries and instead create spaces for diverse expressions of gender and sexuality.


We have in-house expertise on designing and executing both qualitative and quantitative research projects related to media and communications. These could be related to baseline and endline studies, impact assessment, monitoring and evaluation, comparative research, policy and position papers.

Creative Programming

Community radio often struggle to retain their audience within development paradigms that limit the scope of imagination in content development production. We encourage reporters to approach reporting, recording, presenting, and editing programmes creatively.

Resilience through creative practice

  • Films
  • Audio
  • Theatre
  • Storytelling
  • Photography

01 Sound Installation

Emergency Control Room is an attempt to look closely at the sights and sounds that permeate our daily senses and shape our opinions via the media.

02 Film-making

In Bangalore alone there are over 600,000 garment workers toiling for global brands. Mallige is a short film about the lives of garment workers inside and outside the factory space.

03 Projections

We screen films as protest, to protest and for protests. We screen, share and distribute films so that it can reach a diverse audience.

04 Storytelling

We devised this form to tell stories, to find connections and departures. We have performed in the context of moral policing, gender and public space.

05 Play

We host artists that break away from traditional representations of performance. Performances that must be seen, heard and told of obscure, perverse and invisible figures in society.

06 Photography

Where horror, grief and violence is consumed via sensationalism, these images images appear as fermatas, musical notation indicating that the note should be prolonged beyond its normal duration.

Our Team

Our team consists of young people with a background in alternative/community media, arts and public spaces. We have a very small, full time core team of five people spread across Bangalore and Delhi. We also work with a wide range of media professionals, like camera persons, editors, designers, publishers etc for specific activities. Get in touch if you want to work with us for specific projects, full time or even if you want to intern or volunteer with us.

Our Trustees

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You can contact us through this form or via our social media accounts.
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New Delhi