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CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: socially-engaged art projects across peri-urban areas in India

The Indian landscape is undergoing fast paced urban transformation, wherein, the urban population in India has grown nearly five times in the last 50 years. This process of rapid urbanisation has resulted in the emergence of new urban growth nodes underscoring the need for adequate policy attention and social intervention. Urbanisation has led to several issues due to low level of economic activities such as poor infrastructure, lack of planning, and social and environmental problems. In moving to a city, people often leave behind traditional safety nets, amplifying discrimination, particularly with regard to gender, race and ethnicity. This is further compounded by the fact that these areas largely fall outside the purview of municipal, state and civil society bodies. In these situations, already vulnerable populations further face the brunt of inequality and social injustices. Women are especially at the receiving end of multiple injustices due to inequitable wages and unsafe working and living conditions. 


To create social change, culture as a social system must be challenged and changed. This is possible only when culture is felt, not just thought. ‘Affect’ is necessary for effect and art as a medium/strategy of cultural expression is necessary to create this change.


This project focuses on demonstrating the value of art-based interventions and creative strategies for social change. It also aims to understand if artists can find ways to embed artistic practices into conventional civil society organisations to effectively reach out to the marginalised groups in peri-urban areas and urban villages in India.  


Over the last fifteen years, Khoj has been actively involved in art-based community projects in its neighborhood Khirki, an urban village in the heart of Delhi. Through effective community engagement, focused on creating inclusiveness and participation, Khoj has researched, questioned, addressed and developed strategies to creatively address problems of urban inequality and intolerance in small but palpable ways in Khirki.


To this end, Khoj invites proposals for a year-long socially-engaged art project in India that addresses cultural norms and narratives around gender and stereotypes around racial and ethnic others. The art project must seek to be a catalyst of social change or the medium of an unprecedented conversation. The artistic process is important and the entire project should be documented to understand the impact of artistic interventions for the creation of an archive, which will serve as a valuable source of reference for future work in the field. Through artist led interventions, Khoj hopes to effect cultural shifts to counter gender and race based injustices and address issues around urbanisation in these local contexts.

The project should be carried out in collaboration with local communities and a network of stakeholders/partners which could include civil society organisations. It is imperative that the project outcome is fully realised within the community and has the possibility of an afterlife. 

Application Process & Guidelines

Please answer these questions and send it with your CV (PDF format) on 


– What is your understanding of a collaborative socially engaged art practice? (300 words max)

– Tell us something about your art practice through one of your projects. (300 words max)

– How do you propose to address issues related to gender and urbanisation through your art practice? (300 words max)

– Tell us a little about the peri-urban area you will be working in through this project. What is your relationship with that space? (200 words max)


*Shortlisted candidates will be expected to submit a more detailed strategy with project outline, budget breakdown, details of collaborations and desired outcomes. Please find important dates below.


– Application Start Date – April 11, 2019

– First round of submissions (deadline) – April 25, 2019

– Second round of submissions (shortlisted candidates only) – May 25, 2019

Who can apply?

– Individual creative practitioners or collectives, including artists, film makers, theatre practitioners, art educators are all encouraged to apply

– All age ranges but must reside in India

Grant Overview 

– Number of grantee: 5

– Grant amount: up to INR 600,000/- for each project

– Grant period: 1 year from the start date

For any queries write to


T: +91- 11-  29545274