Here, the price of things depends on the colour of your skin.
Whether you get a house depends on the colour of your skin.
How people speak to you depends on the colour of your skin.
Conversations with students and young people revealed the many contestations that shape experiences in the city. These contestations play out differently for each of us, depending on the colour of our skin, the languages we speak, the religion we believe in, our surnames, who we choose to love, the work we do, and where we live. These collisions give shape and form to our identities: how we define ourselves in relation to others, where our identities are situated, how they are historically constructed, and how they shift in subtle and explicit ways.
The map of India is wrong.
The only part of my identity I am sure of is that of being Kashmiri.
I grew up with an Indian flag in my room.
It’s still there, I keep trying to take it off, but it is stuck.
I Live Here is a creative lab for questions and perspectives on identity and difference with young people in Bangalore. Together, we hope to produce versions of identity that are attentive to its inherent flux and yet, conscious of its histories. We hope to learn to listen more closely to what we hear. The silence within the clamor, the noise in our own heads, the residues in our communication. We hope to deepen our own politics, of practice and of being to acknowledge difference in understanding ourselves in relation to the other. We are facilitating this process through sound, cinema, performance and other creative practices. So far, we have curated concerts and listening rooms in the city, probing the relationship between sound and identity.
We imagine I Live Here as a dynamic process that can enable young people to reflect critically on their own lives, interactions with other and their surroundings. A space large enough to accommodate many renditions of ‘Here’, yet quiet enough to pay attention to each particularity and contradiction. A proliferation of voice, not as a token of diversity but a political imperative, to tussle with multiple expressions and experiences of identity.
My identity is a dot.
I start somewhere, and then I find other dots, moving outward from me, in concentric circles.
Sometimes these dots overlap and intersect to form venn diagrams.
We are always located somewhere in between our individual and collective identities..