If you love to take a stroll around cities, neighbourhoods and colonies, chances are you have closely tried to establish a relationship with public spaces that cities have to offer. We all, in fact, do share a known/ unknown relationship with our spaces. The panel had some of the most incredible artists who took a leap of faith in an attempt to change the paradigm of public spaces. These artists used spaces in Indian urban cities as mediums of expression, dissent, connection and dialogue. Their larger aim is to make art accessible to individuals and break the rather elitist notion of art galleries and museums.
The panel had Kamya Ramachandran who is actively involved in the urban space through the Jaaga venture; Appupen, an artist who uses comics, murals and other mediums to express his thoughts and ideas on ongoing socio-political commentary; Giulia Ambrogi is the founder of St+art which heavily works to change the urban space narrative by using art as a tool. The final panellist was Rouble Nagi who has a foundation and through her Misaal Mumbai initiative is bringing a difference to the slums of Mumbai with every wall she paints.
The discussion touched upon their personal stories and experiences of how they got to where they are now. Appupen had interesting anecdotes of how his initial art assignments were mainly viewed as sources of bread and butter and very candidly spoke about researching on ghetto art which he later recreated for a Mumbai based café. Ambrogi through her initiative wanted to connect with the urban fabric of India and address urban phenomena such as migration. She thinks art can be a great equalizing factor and can unconsciously stimulate humanity within individuals, for her this endeavour is more than just beautification. Rouble believes in the motto of ‘do good and be good’ which she proves through her social work along with art.
The panel dwelled upon questions like who is the public and what is the wisdom that they have and how they can contribute to urban spaces. Surely the audience will begin to view their city landscape in a different light henceforth.
About the Author: Monica Kamath is a curious being who strongly believes that a right time, right place, and a right person can create wonders. True blue Bangalorean, a multilinguist who can speak more than five Indian languages, loves to understand people, dialects, and cultures. Largely an introvert but can masquerade as someone otherwise if she chooses to. Literature and poetry keep her grounded and sane in this ever busy, technologized society. She has a bad habit of getting herself involved in at least three or more pursuits at a given point of time. Blog link – https://medium.com/@monicskamath. She currently writes for Bookstalkist.