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< Back to Curatorial Intensive South Asia 2017

Public Pedagogy As Arts Practice

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This contemporary moment needs critical political interventions towards an equitable and sustainable society. Various projects in the field of popular media, community spaces, urban lives, marginalized communities, and other public spheres are affective pedagogic tools for everyday literacy, to understand and to participate in different social stakes. Creative forms such as graffiti, street theater, digital memes, seed bombs, hacking, zines, poetry, jams, are commonly sited anarchist tools. The exhibition in its first edition brings together some such “Public Pedagogies” within the dialogue of arts practice, and proposes to consider how the work of art can be informed by precarious lives.

Public interventions and work from the archives of Mr IndiaPinjra Tod: Break the Hostel LocksCGnet SwaraDharavi ART ROOMVideo VolunteersBudhan TheatreKhirkee Voice खिड़की आवाज़, and Dalit newspaper “Abhimooknayak” including other writings of Rajni Tilak will be on display. Humans of Hindutva, an anti-fascist social media project has proposed a sculptural installation that will be put together for the exhibition. A short film, Boys Of Safdarjung by Nikhil D and Tsundue P., documenting queer and immigrant lives in Delhi will be screened on the opening night of 24th April. Kush Sethi (HaraMe Company) will take us scavenging for plants and pots for our grow-it-yourself garden early morning on Sunday, 29th April, 7AM-10AM. Jyotsna Siddharth, writer and activist, co-founder “Sive” (with Vidisha Saini) will share about family, care, along with writer and activist Rajni Tilak’s (1958-2018) poetry and other writings on Sunday, 12PM-2PM.

This project has been curated by artist-curator Vidisha Saini.


Mr. India is the persona of musician and politician Daniel Langthasa who does political satire at live music acts as well as on digital platforms. He regularly shares videos through his facebook page regarding various issues invisibilized in other media outlets, regarding local Haflong issues and national issues. Daniel lives in Haflong, a small town in Assam.

‘Hara Me Company’, the practice of Kush Sethi, works around landscape design and urban ecology. It proposes to facilitate the re-connection between the constructed and the natural within our cities, by adopting urban weeds and the under foliage into their gardens, by hosting different events like walks and gardening sessions.

Hara Me will do a collateral event “Scavenge & Grow-it-Yourself” on 29th April, 7:30 AM to 10:45 AM. Please RSVP with us.


CGNet Swara is a platform to discuss issues related to Central Gondwana region in India. It is an open source voice-based portal, freely accessible via mobile phone that allows anyone to report and listen to stories of local interest. Reported stories are moderated by journalists and become available for playback online as well as over the phone.

Courtesy: Shubhranshu Chaudhary, Authors of the pieces


‘Humans of Hindutva’, is a Facebook page that parodies right-wing fundamentalism and its advocates. The page regularly posts on national current affairs, using sarcasm with appropriated archival and other found images to its 1.6 lac followers. It is anonymously run, and continues to receive death threats and censorship on Facebook.

The installation at the exhibition is titled “A Nation of Bystanders” which was created with the directions of fb messages with HOH. The videos have been crowd sourced by them.


Art room utilizes the medium of art to empower children and women of marginalized communities. Art room promotes a unique and fun community participatory approach that enables the community to take control over their lives. The absence of positive educational and extracurricular activities for children in marginalized communities leads to lack of safe spaces and resources with which to explore personal and neighborhood issues through artistic mediums. Art room provides that safe space to its participants.

Courtesy: Aqui Thami, Himanshu Shady, Children at the Art Room


Budhan Promo, 8:15 min
Nomad Movies

Budhan’s mission is to bring about social change by raising awareness of the historical plight of Denotified Tribes, notably the Chhara community, which has faced physical, social, and psychological struggle through its stigmatization as criminal. It aims to do this by utilizing the talents of the Chharas as natural performers to conduct expressionist theater that emphasizes these unique issues. A community library also hosts various events, films, as well as theatre as social action.

Courtesy: Nomad Movies, Dakxin Bajrange


Rajni Tilak (27 May 1958 – 30 March 2018) is a prominent Dalit feminist, activist and a writer. She worked tirelessly towards her mission to create autonomous and inclusive Dalit women’s movement in Northern India. She also believed in expanding Dalit terminology to other sections- Adivasis, Muslims and other Backward Castes.

Rajni was the founding member of All India Anganwari Helper and Workers Union, 1982, Dalit Panther, Delhi 1982, Ahawahn Theater, 1983, Dalit Lekhank Sangh, 1997. She was the Secretary of Centre for Alternative Dalit Media (CADAM), co- founder of NACDOR, and founder of Rashtriya Dalit Mahila Andolan. Rajni has organised and led many fact-finding team to investigate atrocities against Dalits and been a speaker and resource person to number of programmes and conferences on Dalit Women.

Reading Rajni Tilak, 29th April, 12 PM- 2 PM
Writer and activist Jyotsna Siddharth shares regarding family & acitivism while reading from the books authored and edited by her mother, a leading Dalit feminist writer and activist, Rajni Tilak (27 May 1958 – 30 March 2018).

“Sive” will also share Dalit Art from the archives of the newspaper “Abhimookynayak” (1992-2014). We would also host some brief excercises including editing Tilak’s Wiki entry and translating (hindi to english) some of her poetry.

Courtesy: Jyotsna Siddharth


4.44 min / Every Hour
Directed by Nikhil D and Tsundue Phunkhang

“Safdarjung used to be farm lands which were bought over by the government to create housing for migrants after. The film documents our time spent in this neighbourhood. The cast is brought together by the fact that they are all opinionated, love to party and are Grimes fans. All migrants from the northeastern states of India (mainly Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland), they have lived in Safdarjung for a considerable part of their adult lives. Expressing themselves naturally in a country where ideas of masculinity seem to be blurring at very slow pace. They are celebrating Jerry’s birthday here to their anthem: Oblivion.”

9/ Video Volunteers

Love in the Time of Fear, 4:24 min
Video by Community Correspondent Reena

Video Volunteers is an international media and human rights NGO founded in 2003 that promotes community media to enable citizen participation in marginalized and poor communities around the world.


Conceived as a Public Art Intervention by Malini Kochupillai and Mahavir S. Bisht in 2016, Khirkee Voice, in the form of a newspaper, the bilingual quarterly is a collection of stories from and of the neighborhood; using illustrations, photography, poetry and graphics, the curatorial attempt is to create a vivid picture of the neighborhood as a lively and vital microcosm of the city, building a sense of pride of place in its residents, while also attempting to bridge the neighborhoods persistent social and cultural divides.


Pinjra Tod (Break the Cage) is an autonomous women’s collective of students and alumni of colleges from across Delhi, India that seeks to make hostel and paying guest (PG) accommodation regulations less regressive and restrictive for women students, with the idea of reclaiming public places. They work towards countering the ‘security narrative’ that is structured around securitisation of the bodies of women and patriarchal protectionism. Challenging the CCTV-driven police-security complex, Pinjra Tod demands that ‘safety’ and ‘security’ not be used to silence women’s right to mobility and freedom. Their primary demands are against imposing of ‘curfews’ on women, demand for affordable accommodation for women, regularization of PGs, and constitution of an elected Internal Complaint Committees for prevention, prohibition and redressal of sexual harassment in the university space.

The movement has no founders or leaders, it is an amorphous bunch of activists and students, who place themselves on a continuum of women’s movements of the past and the ones that are yet to come.

Courtesy: Pinjra Tod

Other Projects