We are a small core team, and work often with our networks in the city and across the country for specific projects. Our work is divided into two programmatic areas titled:
Spaces for Diverse Publics
As inhabitants of urban spaces and experiences, we recognise that public space in the city is in a constant state of flux – alternating between constant erosion and construction. We aim to engage with these complex dynamics along with the challenges and nuances that mark them. One of the primary quests for this program is to understand who exactly constitutes the public at which points in time? What are the various mechanisms and processes by which actors (like the State) invoke different kinds of public and for what purposes? We hope for the program to become a fertile ground for dialogue and interaction with different actors bringing to the fore multiplicity of uses, lived experiences and their intersections with academia, urban planning and cultural policy in urban spaces. Questions of gender, inter-class relationship and socio-economic inclusion/exclusion therefore become fundamental elements of investigation. Our approach would be to use a layer of creative practice to deal with the discomfort of a changing public sphere. Rather than delve into nostalgia for a “lost” public sphere and the abject accounts it tends to produce, we prefer to look at flux and instability as productive sites, as sites which are simultaneously sensitive to the violence of urban restructuring and attentive to the creativity of everyday practices of survival in the city. We will use a mix of media and artistic approach to engage with these concepts, with our material in the public and common domain for future use by others interested in similar journeys.
Media for Freedom of Expression and Learning
Over the years we have come to believe that Media is not an adjunct to politics, but a central site of politics. If presence is critical for social, political, cultural and economic experience, and what happens when certain classes and sections of society are “missing” from these realms. Can their presence be mediated? This program hopes to put this process of mediating presence under the scanner. This struggle of mediating presence for under or non represented communities is one of the key objectives of this program, through work on Freedom of Expression. Our belief in the centrality of media in mediating socio-political realities finds proof in research that states that areas where platforms for free expression are missing, the overall quality of life is also low, and this comes out in various ways – lack of education, health infrastructure, governance, gender issues and so on. Promoting the use of media towards participatory learning within the community related to issues linked with quality of life is another key objective of this programme. The programme, to achieve these dual objectives, has three core areas of work.
- Policy Advocacy