India’s gig workforce comprises over 15million employed across industries such as software, shared services and professional services.
This number is expected to grow to around 24 million in the near-medium term and to 90 million in the long term. ‘Who is at the door?’ Is an interactive installation exploring the scope and potential of Last Mile Delivery Electric Transition and looks to amplify gigworker’s narratives of championing and adopting 2/3w EVfor last mile delivery.
Fritz Lang directed ‘Metropolis’ in 1927. It was meant to be a futuristic urban dystopia, where the poor live underground and work for their masters who live in huge buildings. This film has become the reality of how most of our cities are being designed and how the people who actually built the cities live.
Almost a century later, the city of Delhi seems to replicate such science fiction films. The poor live in constant threat of evictions, await resettlements, and face the heat and floods caused by climate change. Their houses are constantly encroached for development projects, pushing them further towards misery. Kidwai Nagar basti, under the Barapullah flyover and shadowed by the tall National Buildings Construction Corporation buildings, houses more than 400 families that still live in these conditions in 2022.
They’re called streeties, indies, native dogs, and other terms in several Indian languages. Over the last decade, they have received more attention than ever before. More rescue groups and more adoptions, but still a limited understanding about their behaviour, and how our rapidly urbanising cities are impacting them. This closing session at City Scripts featuring a researcher who studies streeties, founder of a rescue group, and an editor of a book of essays which contributes to doggy welfare groups, will discuss all of these, as well as reviving a sense of community ownership and the role of the average citizen.
Speakers: Sindhoor Pangal, Rekha Raghunathan, Hemali Sodhi & Kam Raghavan
The launch of Amlanjyoti Goswami’s new book, Vital Signs, presents an opportunity for meaningful conversation around poetry and its intersections with life. The panel discussion will touch various themes pertaining to the creative life, its trials and pleasures as well as the blurring boundaries of form. Drawn from mixed backgrounds, the panellists will dwell on questions of cultural ecology, urbanism and architecture, everyday life and changing renditions of folklore. Readings from Vital Signs and other works will also engage with the vulnerabilities and possibilities of the contemporary moment.
Speakers: Amlanjyoti Goswami, Ra Acharya, Praveena Shivram & Pooja Ugrani
City streets and playgrounds have long been spaces of play, neighbourhood culture and friendships. How can public spaces be better used to facilitate sports and shared physical activities for city dwellers of all ages? How have people’s approach to sports changed over time—from being formal spaces of performance to ones with more fluidity, play and equality? How is gender negotiated in these new spaces? What is the importance of physical activity post Covid in cityscapes that can feel restrictive? How have sports, new and old, shaped city cultures?
Speakers: Sohini Chattopadhyay, Alex Sebastian, Manuja Veerappa & Mithila Ramani
Beginning in 1670, Bombay Imagined: An Illustrated History of the Unbuilt City tells the story of 200 unrealised urban visions — aspirations of an evolved metropolis boasting everything from humane housing and expanded parks to sanitation systems and more. Ideas that never saw the light of the day are richly illustrated with archival drawings, contemporary speculations and artistic overlays, illuminating long-lost futures from the city’s never-before-seen past. Bombay Imagined is a testimony to the audacious dreams of city-lovers, a chronicle of untold narratives across centuries and an insight into the tides that have shaped present-day Mumbai.
Speakers: Robert Stephens & Neha Sami
In her path breaking work, Shrayana Bhattacharya maps the economic and personal trajectories—the jobs, desires, prayers, love affairs and rivalries—of a diverse group of women. Embracing Hindi film idol Shah Rukh Khan allows them a small respite from an oppressive culture, a fillip to their fantasies of a friendlier masculinity in Indian men. A most unusual and compelling book on the female gaze, this is the story of how women have experienced post-liberalization India.
Speakers: Shrayana Bhattacharya & Subasri Krishnan
Experience beautiful Malleswaram on a pleasant walk through its historic alleyways. You’ll see how it all began, encounter ingenious architectural marvels, experience town planning the way it was envisaged over 130 year ago, and visit some of the iconic institutions, temples, bazaars and eateries that this beautiful old neighbourhood is so famous for.
Itinerary: Start at the Kadu Malleswara Temple — Explore the Dakshina Mukha Nandi Teertha Temple — Walk to Seva Sadan — Explore the conservancy lane rejuvenation project — Walk via the East Park Road to Malleswaram 8th Cross, via the Krishna Temple, Rama Mandira and the 8th Cross Market — Experience 8th Cross bustling with flower sellers, ayurvedic stores — End with Vada sambar or Masala Dosa at Janatha Hotel
Total walk distance – Approx 1.3 km
Facilitator: Sriram Aravamudan
Solving a crime scene with Naturalist Ruddy: A short introduction to the book, followed by an interactive activity in which the audience will participate in solving a crime scene in nature with the protagonist Naturalist Ruddy. Based on visual clues and natural history, the audience and Ruddy will identify the killer.
Speaker: Rohan Chakravarty
A panel of editors from publications focussed on cities. They will discuss role of mass media on urban development and how journalism contributes to conversations on cities and governance.
Speakers: Kanchan Kaur, Kumar Manish, Naresh Fernandes, Meera K & Dhanya Rajendran
A conversation with journalists and editors on how reportage is converted into books. Over the last few years there has been a growing trend of journalists converting years of research and fieldwork into full length books. The panel will explore why it is important to bring otherwise hard to access information and stories to the public in an accessible way.
Speakers: Jaideep Hardikar, Rukmini S, Rohini Mohan, Ajitha GS & Krupa Ge.
How can cli-fi start conversations around climate change and what have been the contributions from India to the cli-fi genre? A panel of climate fiction writers will discuss why they write about climate change, how effectively the sub-genre of dystopia represents climate change and possible urban futures, what Indian cli-fi writing does for the public conversation on climate change, and where they hope authors go next.
Speakers: Chandni Singh, Shubhangi Swarup, Lavanya Lakshminarayan & Bijal Vachharajani
Parking has become an everyday urban experience, often dismissed in irritation or hurry. In this workshop you will learn about the Namma Parking magazine; a magazine dedicated to parking in the city of Bangalore, and the research that has gone into putting it together. Followed by an exercise in writing/drawing that will enable you to start thinking about the kinds of spaces parking lots are and what they have to offer to the people of the city as an experience in and of itself.
Participants will engage in a mushroom cultivation workshop centered around the basics of home cultivation. Understanding the lifecycle, steps and processes towards growing mushrooms at home using tips and tricks that make it easy and accessible! Each participant will be equipped with the knowledge on sustainable & zero-waste ways to cultivate mushrooms at home, which enable them to turn common household wastes, coffee grounds, mulch, leaf litter, and cardboard into healthy nutritious food. Being in urban environments, with no easy access to balconies or sunlight, the art of mushroom cultivation makes a journey that is accessible, energy efficient, carbon neutral and rich sources of protein.
Speakers: Nuvedo (organisation), Jashid Hameed & Prithvi Kini
The city—in its streets, sidewalks, trees and parks, tower blocks, plazas, squares, bedrooms, balconies and terraces—holds us and all our feelings. In this session, we meet with three creative arts, design, and mental health practitioners working in Bengaluru to learn about lived experiences of everyday citizens and how the city causes distress and offers respite at different moments. The discussion will ultimately explore how the design of the city—the public and private realms, shapes the mental health outcomes of citizens. This session is part of Mindscapes, an international cultural programme supported by the Wellcome Trust across Berlin, Tokyo, New York, and Bengaluru that aims to support a transformation in how we understand, address and talk about mental health.
Speakers: Rohan Patankar, Varun Kurtkoti, Padmalatha Ravi, Ankit Bhargava
A panel of Bahujan publishers talking about the importance of documenting Bahujan struggles, history and culture, movements and personalities.These publications tell the stories of the marginalised and the oppressed in Tamil, Hindi, Marathi, Punjabi and English and have carved out a space for themselves in the media and journalism industry.
Speakers: Tejas Harad, Pardeep Attri, Yogesh Maitreya, Vasugi Bhaskar & Poonam Masih
Despite the rapid and sometimes permanent changes brought on by urbanisation to the natural environment, biodiversity has shown abilities to reclaim and adapt to the human-built environment. ‘Looking Closely’ is an exhibit of photographs made at the IIHS Kengeri campus over six months with the intention to observe how the local biodiversity is adapting to the rapid changes in infrastructure development on our upcoming campus spanning 50 acres. We hope to observe and document the changes in biodiversity and inter-species interaction in an ongoing project called the Long Term Urban Ecological Observatory (LTUEO) that was initiated by the School for Environment and Sustainability.
Photographs by Sudhanva Ramesh Atri
A library is never just one thing. It’s a place of possibilities. It’s often a space that transforms into what you need it to be: a classroom, a cyber café, a place to find answers, a quiet spot to be alone. It sits not just at the heart of a college or a university but also of communities and cities. Curated by the IIHS Library team, our latest exhibition brings together a variety of literature that looks at the many ways libraries enrich our lives – even in these digital times. The exhibition features fiction, non fiction and children’s literature as well as handbooks and guides on the ways that libraries serve the public and transform societies.
The Infinite Library seeks to embed human stories within a much grander narrative, one which includes the birth of our planet and the evolution of all life forms. The ‘Library’ part of the installation is conceived as a living organism, a kind of embodiment of knowledge that introduces itself to visitors personally before in- inviting them to explore its house.
This includes a QR code game, holograms, 3D-printed objects, audiovisual works, and the project’s central piece: a vast VR library set in a cave. Within this virtual space, the Infinite Library hosts smaller sub-libraries, the first ones dedicated to Polynesian Navigation, South Indian Puppetry, and European Alchemy.
Ranjani Mazumdar is Professor of Cinema Studies at the School of Arts & Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University. Her publications focus on urban cultures, popular cinema, gender and the cinematic city. She is the author of Bombay Cinema: An Archive of the City (2007) and co-editor with Neepa Majumdar of the forthcoming Wiley Blackwell Companion to Indian Cinema. She has also worked as a documentary filmmaker and her productions include Delhi Diary 2001 and The Power of the Image (Co-Directed). Her current research focuses on globalisation and film culture, and the intersection of technology, travel, design and colour in 1960s Bombay Cinema.
Ritesh began his journey as a photographer watching his elder sister take photos of his family but sadly, he didn’t register it back then and began his journey as a professional in 2004 as an intern at the Indian Express. Inspired by the work of Reza Deghati, David Alan Harvey and of course, the usual suspects, Henri Cartier Bresson, Eugene Smith etc, he moved over to the Hindustan times and finally the OPEN Magazine where he worked for seven years before stepping into the fascinating and often scary world of freelance.
In his decade-long experience as a photojournalist, he has reported and documented some of the major events of national and international importance in the Indian subcontinent and has recently self-published his first photo book, The Red Cat and Other Stories, which looks at the city of Bombay through the lens of a fable his mother used to narrate to him when he was a child. The book, equal parts travelogue and journalism, is a tribute to the beauty in the mundane.
Ratheesh Radhakrishnan teaches at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Bombay, Mumbai. He completed his PhD from the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society (Bangalore), and was a Post-Doctoral Fellow with the Chao Centre for Asian Studies, Rice University (Houston, USA). While at Rice University, he founded and curated TITLES: A Festival of Experimental Films from India (2011- 2014). He is currently part of the India programming team of MAMI – Mumbai Film Festival. His research on Malayalam cinema has appeared in a variety of journals and other publications, both in English and in Malayalam.
Jabeen Merchant is a film practitioner with a wide and varied experience within the independent filmmaking community as well as the mainstream film industry. She is well known for her work editing and co-scripting a number of internationally celebrated documentaries in collaboration with some of India’s best filmmakers. Side by side, she has edited a range of fiction feature films, including the critically acclaimed ‘Anaarkali of Aarah’; commercially successful thrillers like ‘NH10’ and ‘Manorama Six Feet Under’; the off-beat comedy ‘The President Is Coming’; art-house films such as ‘Kadvi Hawa’ and the soon to be released ‘The Sweet Requiem’. Apart from editing films, she teaches, consults on scripts and occasionally writes on cinema.
Swati Dandekar is a film practitioner with a special interest in creating visual narratives of the living history around her; of people, places, ideas, traditions and practices. Her most recent work is “Neeli Raag”, a feature length documentary on the natural dye indigo, and the few remaining craftsmen who still work with it.
Her earlier work includes a series of essay films that look at urban India, in particular at the changes taking place in small towns and cities, and explore the relationship between land, people, resources and the institutions that govern them. She was also closely involved in documenting best practices in elementary education, as well as designing and making radio and video programmes for rural school children. As part of Vikalp, Swati has been involved in screening documentary films in the city for over 10 years.
Swati teaches film at the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore.
Amit Mahanti is a filmmaker, cameraperson and editor, who has worked on films and video installations that explore questions of ecological transformation, culture and politics. His films include ML 05 B 6055 (2008), Malegaon Times (2012), Every Time You Tell A Story (2015) and Scratches on Stone (2017).
He has also been selected for art/film residency programs at Khoj Studios, New Delhi; Parco Arte Vivente Experimental Centre of Contemporary Art, Turin; Kran Film, Brussels and Centre for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski, Warsaw. He was also a recipient of the Charles Wallace India Trust Short-term Fellowship, 2016.
After a Post-graduate diploma in Social Communications Media from Sophia Polytechnic, Mumbai, Sushma joined the CIEDS Collective Here, she conceived and executed a film education programme for school children. Post this experience, she worked as Assistant Director and Scriptwriter with filmmaker M.S.Sathyu for 4 years. She began making documentaries in 1998.
As Producer / Director, her focus has been on documenting the work of grass root organizations working in Karnataka’s remote villages. Her films have been used as communication tools by these organizations to further engage with the people they work with. Her work encompasses a wide spectrum – about people’s co-operatives, leadership imaging as participatory research tool, training modules for blue collar workers, issues relating to water, women and violence.
Her concerns with the city in transition led her to produce and direct her first independent documentary WHEN SHANKAR NAG COMES ASKING. Her last short film SHEELA GOWDA AT BATTARAHALLI CORNER was screened at the 13th IAWRT (International Association of Women in Film and Television) Festival. Along with 4 other filmmakers, Sushma is part of Vikalp Bengaluru, a group which has been screening documentaries in the city since 2005.
Sabari Pandian works as an assistant director in documentary films. Some of the films that he has assisted on are ‘Nostalgia for the future’ and ‘Electric Shadows: Journeys In Image-making’. Based in Bombay he also loves to travel and take photographs. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from Mumbai University. An avid film buff, Sabari loves being part of film festivals and has provided technical support for film festivals such as Urban Lens Film Festival (2016) and the IAWRT Asian Women’s Film Festival (2017).
Kunal Deshpande is an alumnus of the Srishti School of Art Design and Technology, Bangalore. His diploma film, Daryache Raje (Kings of the Sea) was selected and screened at the 6th Kirloskar Vasundhara Environmental Film Festival.
He has since worked as a cinematographer, director and editor on projects ranging from documentaries on the water resources and climate adaptation practices in the north-east, to lifestyle exploration films in Kutch, and people-oriented films. He has worked on feature films like Ferrari Ki Sawaari, on television shows and various other projects.
Kunal also worked at the IIHS where he was part of the Media Lab, creating a variety of audio visual outputs for teams and projects. He worked on videos on the process of campus development, on climate change adaptation, and on festivals such as the Urban Lens film festival and Cityscripts. He is now engaged with IIHS in the capacity of an External Consultant.
He is currently producing and directing SupperClub India, a food and travel web series, as well as producing videos for several corporate clients and brands.
TejInder, is an independent photographer and researcher. He is also senior urban fellow at Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Bangalore. He has had a range of work experiences from that of a trainee architect to managing electoral campaigns, participating in Model UN conferences, and documenting and archiving contemporary issues. He has photo documented Gaurav Gagoi’s campaign for Assam assembly elections, Occupy UGC movement, Swaraj Abhiyaan’s Jai Kisan Andolon, City Scripts – The IIHS Urban Writing Festival, 2017 IAWRT Asian Women’s Film Festival, Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival Word to Screen Bootcamp and many more conferences and events across India. His work on Ennore Creek Power Plant has been published by Scroll.in and Urbanisation – a SAGE journal.