Art in Delhi metro: Chronicles of commuting, photography projects on view
Capital's two busy metro stations -- Jor Bagh and Mandi House -- have been transformed into artful and educational spaces as photographs, daily dairies, videos and participatory maps on two distinct themes line their walls.
The month-long exhibition at Mandi House Metro Station, which falls on the Blue and Violet lines, presents different perspectives of Delhi's urban mobility generated by young women living in Delhi's urban peripheries -- resettlement colonies, urban villages and border towns.
The show titled "Aana Jaana" (literally coming and going) include a curated visualisation of WhatsApp diaries kept by young women, presented through a data collage of pictures, stories and conversations, participatory maps drawn by women during focus group meetings.
Also on view are safety audit maps conducted in the resettlement colonies, and suggested interventions in public spaces frequented by the women to make these more gender inclusive.
Through simple examples like difficulty in maintaining a WhatsApp diary of their urban commuting due to connectivity issues in Delhi's border towns, the viewer understands the daily "negotiations" made by some women commuters we all see in metro, buses, auto rickshaws, and walkways.
It shows us how women living on the margins negotiate the ‘freedoms' of moving (aana) in online space with the ‘dangers' of going out (jaana) into the city, or the restrictions of entering (aana) online space with the freedom of leaving (jaana) home for the city, a note on the exhibits said.
"Aana Jaana" is funded by an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) UK network ‘Gendering the smart city' and co-organised by King's College London, Safetipin, Jagori and School of Planning and Architecture," presenter India Habitat Centre (IHC) said. It will run till January 31 here.
Not far from Mandi House, the Jor Bagh station on the Yellow Line displays photographic panels on sustainability, and particularly the primordial element of earth or 'Bhu'.
Part of IHC's "Habitat Photosphere", the second edition of a year-long photography festival, weaves the complex mythology that surrounds the elemental narrative of the Earth through four projects of visual artists Juhi Saklani, Syed Adnan Ahmed, Thulasi Kakkat and Zishaan Akbar Latif. It has been curated by noted curator Alka Pande.
In Saklani's project "A-dvaita/Not two", one looks at the roots of trees growing out of old walls and buildings, out of other trees, and other most surprising of places. And in Ahmed's project on rooster fights, there is a strong primal, earthy energy depicted through and through; in the way the roosters are maintained in a condition of aggression.
"Majuli Eroding/Withering" by Latif is a haunting portrayal of a fractured landmass that persists and survives blow after blow dealt upon it by the wilderness of nature.
Finally, Kakkat's "Theyyam" documents the ritualistic dance of Theyyam, and draws connections between the natural and the cultural ecosystem in the rich wilderness of the sacred groves of Kaavus, IHC said.
It will run till March 31 here.-IANS