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Radical Housing and Socially-Engaged Art

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11 June 2014

Paradsinga is a village on Maharashtra Madhya Pradesh border. The village being situated at the border has a very interesting cultural geography, the variations in its contours are formed due to social diversity. This diversity can be observed in communities that live in the village, their social and cultural lives. The best examples of this are the cuisines and language dialects which have a composite nature, of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. Thus the venue of the Gram Project itself becomes an interesting site where the political borders of the Indian map.

On the very first day of the residency the artists went around the village door to door inviting the people KabirSandhya, a session which would bring together the local people, local singers and artists. This gesture of inviting door to door was in itself a gesture from the artist side to initiate a bond that would flower in coming days of the residency.

It is interesting to notice the relevance of KabirSandhya in Paradsinga village as it is composed of various hierarchical communities. The houses of these people are planned in smaller community groups based on their profession like dhummakar, kumbi, kalharchamar, dhangar, muslims and hindus this arrangement of houses forms an interesting demography of the village. There could have been no better way of initiation of a secular community based art project but KabirSandhya. Any community based project that is carried out in such a varied cultural zone must be aware of such existing variations in culture.

At such a place, drifting away from the capital centric art activities which are narrations of problems the Gram Project’s endeavor this time is to initiate solution based community interactive art projects. The artists are working towards developing projects which will be models to be carried out further by the villagers much after the artists leave. Also the models which will be designed here will have potentials to operate in the respective places from where the artists hail.  A promising project extending the horizons of visual art: the project which will continue at different time and in different parts of the world in its own form.

The questionnaire prepared for the survey would be used as a key to every villagers house and then to every villagers heart.  Some of the artists started the survey early in the morning while the rest of them prepared for their respective activities that were to be carried out in Gram.