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Radical Housing and Socially-Engaged Art

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Sanitation= health of people & soil.

In other words health of people and health of soil=sanitation

what we are doing even in urban set up is disposal not sanitation

Under the Gram Residency June 2014 we are introducing philosophy a new way of life ‘Eco Sani Irri’. While toilets are the products of this philosophy, art is the means by which we are attempting to disseminate our ideas to proliferate further. This project explores the inter relations and interdependency of ecology, sanitation and irrigation. And hence this project becomes an inter disciplinary phenomena engaging with biology, hygiene, sociology, psychology, agriculture, art, literature, history, music, dance and several other disciplines.

We must know that water is our real asset. We are facing severe water scarcity world over. How we deal with this real asset will determine where we lead the society to. Peace of the society depends on sound economy. In this residency the idea is to survey, study, search and initiate dialogue on this philosophy further.

Whenever any social change or a new way of life is introduced to a society it takes its own time to germinate in that soil.  Organic proliferation and constant nurturing is the only answer to such projects. Success of such community projects are not immediate changes that can be introduced through social awareness or developing mere infrastructure etc. and seen instantly. Rather these projects when taken by the artists attempt to develop new culture design and its support system from within the local population which will be able to accept and carry forward these new ideas.

One needs to understand the local wisdom, culture and mannerism that make life possible sometimes even in harsh natural conditions.  How the people and civilizations respond to ecology. It is this wisdom that leads to better knowledge which helps us transform a piece of land into habitat. When one takes up community work projects this wisdom, culture, mannerism and knowledge need to be understood first by entering the work field.

In recent years the community art projects have become a trend and a lot of young contemporary artists are taking up such works. This Gram residency focuses on an issue about which people hardly talk and here we have ten artists who have collect from different cities states and nations to talk on the interrelations of ecology sanitation and irrigation. This varied location of the applicants to the residency also reflects that these ‘Eco-Sani- Irri’ (ecological sanitation irrigation) problems are equally urban as they are rural and not only the third world countries but even the most progressed nations are struggling with such issues. The responses to the open call for the residency are also evidences of how these issues are of common concern all across the world. The process of selection for the residency is also indicative of further mushrooming of ‘Eco- Sani- Irri’ philosophy has been envisaged for the post script after the residency.

These projects undoubtedly contain potentials to change the existing situation but by the time the artist begin to understand the gravity of the issue the funds get exhausted and time duration also comes to an end. In confine time and constrain of funds the potentials of such projects get hampered. Due to such limits and hindrances the artists cannot respond to their projects with the same intensity as they feel about it. Ten day residency for artists from metro cities to work with rural population with specific agenda of Eco Sani Irri is an initiative that the artists of Gram Project  have taken up.