What experts say about Bengaluru’s possibility as a “creative city”

Francesca Rechia liveblogs from "BANGALORE AS A CREATIVE CITY" - an open consultation on organized at National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Bengaluru.

Bangalore as a Creative City: An Open Consultation to discuss Policy Recommendations for Urban Arts and Culture Spaces

The Centre for the Study of Culture and Society (CSCS), Bangalore, and the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Bengaluru are organising an open consultation on “Bangalore as a Creative City” to debate the centrality of arts and culture in urban planning that has until now largely focused on infrastructure. The event will take place on Thursday, the 29th of September, 2011 at 10:30 at the NGMA, Bengaluru.

Here are the live proceedings of the consultation, covered by Francesca Rechia, an urban studies professional and writer.


For the first time in Bangalore the consultation will bring together artists & cultural practitioners, culture space managers, urban planners, media and cultural theorists and representatives of government departments & corporate houses. The consultation works towards policy recommendations for cultural spaces that will fashion 21st century Bangalore into a Creative City. The consultation is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India and swissnex, India.


Sobha Nambisan is a1976 batch IAS officer (retired) and took over the reins of NGMA Bengaluru in May 2010.

Silvia Hostettler is Executive Director of swissnex Bangalore, a Swiss House for Science facilitating research collaboration between Switzerland and India. She has done her PhD on land use change and international migration in western Mexico. Her research interests include migration, livelihood strategies, watershed management, land use change and tropical forest ecology. She has written various articles and other scientific publications on these topics.

S.V. Srinivas is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Culture & Society and coordinator of the Culture: Industries and Diversity in Asia (CIDASIA) research programme. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Hyderabad. He is interested in production and consumption of industrially produced cultures. He has extensively published on cinema and authored Megastar: Chiranjeevi and Telugu Cinema after N.T. Rama Rao. Published by Oxford University Press, Delhi, 2009.

Naresh Narasimhan is Partner and Architect Principal for Venkataramanan Associates, a leading Bangalore-based design firm. He has a keen interest in sustainable architecture and urban infrastructure. He is the founder member of the Bangalore Agenda Task Force, a private-public partnership for better urban governance in the city.

Jagan Shah is the Director of the Sushant School of Art & Architecture in Gurgaon. He studied architecture at the School of Planning & Architecture (SPA) and pursued higher studies in architectural history and theory at the University of Cincinnati and Columbia University in New York. He has taught at NIFT and the Dramatic Arts & Design Academy, and has delivered lectures and conducted juries in various institutions, including training sessions for municipal engineers for the National Urban Renewal Mission. As a practicing architect, Mr. Shah has been associated with the Master Planning and design of the Mizoram University in Aizawl, the Punjab State Institute of Public Administration in Chandigarh, a resort and spa hotel in Dehradun, a flight kitchen for Oberoi Flight Services, and a number of other residential and institutional projects. He is presently planning stations for a Rapid Rail Transit System between Delhi and Panipat, and developing a crafts-based livelihoods programme for the Sir Ratan Tata Trust.

Sunitha Kumar Emmart founded and has been running GALLERYSKE since 2003.

Deepak Srinivasan is a performance artist, media practitioner, and researcher, working as faculty at Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore (www.srishti.ac.in). He is also a member of Maraa (www.maraa.in), a media & arts collective based in Bangalore. After a Bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences and an Masters in neurobiology, his interests shifted to exploring the role of performance as method for trans-disciplinary inquiry. Since 2005, he has been training in performing arts and community theatre and was instrumental in co-initiating Maraa’s Theatre Jam program which was an attempt to engage performance practice with public space utilization. Deepak’s explorations with content and community participation in media production rise out of his days as content developer with Worldspace Satellite Radio and his work with urban communities centric media programmes at Maraa. Media, art and design practice have become his current focus and help to better understand the role of culture in emerging socio-political negotiations.

Soumitra Ghosh, Director of Mathew & Ghosh Architects Pvt. Ltd., Bangalore, is the architect who transformed the Central Jail into the Freedom Park, perhaps one of the only large planned open places for people in the recent past. He was the Vastu Shilpa Foundation Fellow for Architectural Research, Ahmedabad ’94. He has also taught architecture at different colleges. His publications include Project Review – Inside Outside, Jan’00 – Student Thesis Review – Indian Architect & Builder in Nov’99 – A View from the Ground – The Architecture of Laurie Baker in Indian Architect and Builder Jul’99 issue. He has curated Shows at GallerySKE, Bangalore.

Pushpamala N was born in Bangalore in 1956 and now lives and works in Bangalore and New Delhi. Pushpamala N is a video, photo and installation artist, writer and curator. After receiving a BA in Economics, English and Psychology from Bangalore University, she studied sculpture at M.S. University, Baroda where she did her post-graduation in 1985. Since the mid 1990s she has been mainly working in photography, performance and video. Her work has been shown widely in India and at numerous international exhibitions, biennials and festivals.

Prakash Belawadi is a media and theatre practitioner and theorist. He is the director of the feature film, Stumble which won a National Award in 2003. He has also directed several plays and documentary films and TV serials. He has worked for leading English dailies such as the Indian Express, The Asian Age and the weekly magazine SUNDAY. He was awarded the Pratibha Bhushan by the Karnataka government in 2003. He is a co-founder of Centre of Film and Drama which is set to launch Suchitra School of Cinema and Dramatic Arts at the Suchitra Cinema and Cultural Academy campus in Bangalore.

Archana Prasad is the co-founder of Jaaga. She is a visual artist and has had more than 75 video-art performances, public art, drawing and poetry exhibitions across India and Europe. Her sonic-video project, City Signals explored hidden urban spaces through docu-performance interventions. While The Manjunauts is a fun sci-fi nostalgia electronica band she video jockeys with, Poetry Across Borders is her way of linking to various cities through art and culture. She holds a Bachelors in Painting and a Masters in Art History from CKP and a Masters in Animation from NID.

Arundhati Nag is the Creative Director of Rangashankara and the Managing Trustee of Sanket Trust founded in 1992. She has a number of films to her credit. She has acted in the National Award winning Marathi film 22 June 1897. She was awarded the 2008 Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in Theatre Acting by Sangeet Natak Akademi, India’s National Academy of Music, Dance and Theatre. She was also awarded during the 57th National Film Award as best supporting actress for her role in Paa. She has been selected for the 2011 Padma Shri for her contribution to art.

Ashwin Mahesh is the co-founder and director of the popular public affairs magazine, India Together and the CEO of the Bangalore based social technology company, Mapunity incubated at NSRCEL, IIM Bangalore and at IIIT Bangalore. He has a PhD in atmospheric remote sensing from the University of Washington. His research interests include application of technology in urban public administration, capacity building in government departments, and process re-engineering and reforms of administrative departments. His expertise lies in exploring the expanding role of technology & IT and its creative use in urban traffic management in the future.

Sadanand Menon is currently Adjunct Faculty at the Asian College of Journalism, Chennai, where he conducts courses on ‘Arts & Culture Journalism’ and ‘Photojournalism’. He is member, Apex Advisory Committee, the National Museum, Delhi; member, Executive Council, Lalit Kala Akademi, Delhi and Managing Trustee, SPACES, An Arts Foundation, Chennai. In 1998, he curated the Retrospective Exhibition of Fifty Years of Dashrath Patel’s work in painting, ceramics, photography and design for NGMA, Delhi and Mumbai.

Jairaj K is an I.A.S officer and presently Additional Chief Secretary to the Govt. of Karnataka.

Arundhati Ghosh is the Deputy Director of India Foundation for the Arts. She is an Independent consultant for not-for-profits arts and culture organizations with over 15 years of experience in the areas of organizational set-up and strategy, communications, resource mobilization, media, donor management, evaluation and programme management. She is a Trustee of Toto Funds the Arts, Seagull Foundation for the Arts and is on the Advisory panel of Raisor’s Ask, Baarapaani and not for profit sector agencies. She is the Winner of the Global Fundraiser for the year Award 2010 organized by the Resource Alliance International and Lead the team that won the ‘India NGO of the Year’ Awards 2009 organized by the Resource Alliance and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Ashish Rajadhyaksha, Senior Fellow, Centre for the Study of Culture and Society (CSCS) and Programme Co-ordinator ‘Culture: Industries and Diversity in Asia (CIDASIA) Research Programme’, CSCS. Ashish Rajadhyaksha is a widely acclaimed scholar in the field of Film Studies. He is well known for the Encyclopaedia of Indian Cinema, that he authored with Paul Willemen (British Film Institute and OUP, 1994). His more recent work is called Indian Cinema in the Time of Celluloid: From Bollywood to the Emergency, New Delhi: Tulika/Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009. He is currently heading the initiative on “The Cultural Last Mile” in the CIDASIA Research Programme heading The Identity Project that is conducting a real time research and mapping of the Govt. of India’s ‘Unique Identification’ Project.

Preethi Kumar is the Area Manager Public Relations, The Park Bangalore. The Park has been the forefront of conducting the arts and culture new festivals since 2007 in Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Kolkata.

Source: http://creativebangalore.org

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