October 2012 at Khoj International Artists’ Association, Delhi.
Khoj has been based in Khirki Extension for the last ten years, emphasising the process of engagement and exchange. Khoj’s community interaction has emerged out of an extended dialogical and personal synergy of artists and cultural practitioners with the community of Khirki.
Over the years Khoj’s engagement with Khirki – the location, its (often changing) inhabitants and its surrounding areas has given various artists the opportunity to facilitate creative workshops, events, research projects and other participatory activities with different sections of the community. The community program at Khoj has always been led by the Khirki extension community to produce collective visions and ideas about creative and urban development. The dialogue with the community is a continuous process of engagement, withdrawal and intervention; the act of participation that can translate into a process of introspection, evaluation and action, initiating the potential of social transformation.
The year 2012 is also marked by the newly furbished Khoj building. Khoj wishes to open the renovated building by marking its 10 years in Khirki with the festival entitled Khoj Dus Tak. Through various activities, Khoj Dus Tak represents the participatory practices in Khirki where artists and communities have come together to address the visible and invisible transformation in their surroundings. The project consists of an exhibition (in the studios of Khoj and the street in Khirki Extension) of various community based projects done at Khoj as an array of new participatory and interactive projects by artists and the Khirki residents. There are events and projects at various locations in Khirki, which are open to the public, throughout the day on 23, 24 and 25 November 2012. These events feature a cross section of Khirki and have been developed in collaboration with various artists.
Curator: Charu Maithani and Aastha Chauhan
Khoj Dus Tak Programmes
E x h i b i t i o n s
Khoj has curated a small exhibition to be displayed in the newly renovated premises of Khoj and in various public locations in Khirki Extension on all three days of the festival. The exhibition revisits some of Khoj’s old and new community projects.
Khirkee-yaan, a project done in 2006 by Shaina Anand of CAMP, employed an open circuit TV system as a network, communication feedback and intervention device in Khirki.
Artist: Shaina Anand
Khirki’s Khirkees is an exploration of the views and scenes, both real and imagined, of the people who live in Khirki. Juxtaposing the actual with the aspirational, the project looks at creating a new kind of map to represent the lives and dreams of a neighbourhood in constant flux.
Artists: Julia Gutge, Malini Kochupillai
An offshoot of the City [In] Visible project at Khoj, Invisible Constellation is an online interactive work that generates dialogue and narratives of the fast-changing urban scenario in Indian cities. As part of a residency at Khoj in 2008, Sreejata Roy and Mrityunjay Chatterjee connected with the residents of Khirki in order to understand how they have coped with the transformation of the city into an urban, bustling metropolis.
Artists: Revue (Sreejata Roy & Mrityunjay Chatterjee)
Play @ Khirki
In May 2011, architect and urban planner Sudeshna Chatterjee undertook a research project that explored the landscapes of play in Khirki and its surrounding areas. The project examines how play is perceived by a community, how spaces for play are conceived and how children play in urban spaces.
Researcher: Sudeshna Chatterjee
This real-time interactive installation generates animated imagery based on sounds of the streets of Khirki. It will change colour, shape and size depending on the sound volume and pitch.
Artist/Developer: Arjun Jassal for BlueAnt Digital Intelligence
Super Burka Girl in Khirki
Clad in a rainbow-coloured and camouflage-print burka, the Super Burka Girl makes her way through the streets of Khirki, questioning womens’ roles in society while simultaneously subverting ethnic and religious conflicts.
Artist: Grace Zanatto; Photographer: Malini Kochupillai
Window into Khirki
Khoj tries to conjure a history of Khirki through old maps, audio recordings of conversations with one of the oldest residents of Khirki, who is fondly called Masterji, and studies done on Khirki by Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC) and Chintan – an environmental research and action group based in Delhi. A video of Khoj’s engagement with Khirki and its residents show the transformation in Khirki – giving a taste of the story of Khirki.
By relooking at their project Zariyein, Frame Works Collective investigates the transformation in perception of the residents of Khirki. By inviting people to interact with the images of Khirki from 2006, the artists hope to see a new articulation of history by the present residents.
Artists: Frame Works Collective
P r o j e c t s
In collaboration with Awaaz.de, Khoj has provided a telephone service through which Khirki residents can exchange songs, sounds, poetry and other information with each other. Through use of an interactive voice recording (IVR) system, community participants are able to call in and record messages that are broadcasted to the rest of the community.
Anpu Varkey and Nasheet Shadani will mark their interactions with Khirki by drawing murals that address the changing face of Khirki and ongoing urban expansion.
Artist: Anpu Varkey, Nasheet Shadani
Khirki Mosque Ad campaign
In August 2012 Shraddha Borawake conducted a three day workshop that critically engaged some of the children from Khirki, with media practices and, in the process, helped them to create an advertising campaign for the Khirki Mosque. The results of the workshop are put up at various locations in Khirki.
Artist: Shraddha Borawake
Khirki ka Khana & Recipe books
On each day of the festival, five residents of Khirki, invited by Khoj, cook special food items of their own creation. The food is served to the general public. A recipe book of all the recipes is also available. Khirki Postcards Photographs capturing different moments and spaces of Khirki between 2002 to 2012 are available as postcards.
Tarik, a band based in Delhi and Shillong, collaborates with three musicians from Khirki to create an original song about Khirki. Sounds from the local chai wallah, small production units and hawkers will enrich the musical content.
Artists: Tarik, Avinash, Hardeep, Reshma
These stereo mp3 ringtones are composed by Sophea Lerner with everyday sounds recorded in Khirki with participants of the Urban Typhoon workshop in 2010. The ringtones are available for free at phone recharge outlets in Khirki.
Artist: Sophea Lerner
‘Khirki Se..’ brings together three sound projects that are played in public spaces like barber shops and tea stalls: Telephone Pyaar A fictional audio project, produced in collaboration with young residents of Khirki, Telephone Pyaar stages a series of telephone conversations between young lovers. Zariyein Zariyein, a community-based art intervention done in 2006, uses images, audio and conversations to explore the diversity of lived experiences in Khirki. Participants circulated photographs and audio recordings to encourage conversations in the community. Gharelu Nuskhe Undertaken in 2009, Gharelu Nuskhe explores the potential to communicate and share knowledge of medicinal plants found in home kitchen through wireless micro broadcasting.
Artists: Abhinandita Mathur (Telephone Pyaar); FrameWorks Collective (Zariyein); Aastha Chauhan (Gharelu Nuskhe)
One of the rooms at the newly renovated Khoj building is converted into a photo studio for the three-days during the event. The residents of Khirki are invited to get their photographs taken at minimum price.
Facilitator and Photographer: Caroline
Eight artists have worked in collaboration with five shopkeepers for over two weeks to exchange ideas and re-decorate their shops in Khirki. By connecting the artists with the community, the shop makeovers encourage civil participation in art.
Artists: Upasana Mehdiratta, Gaurvi Sharma, Vinima Gulati, Ram Bali Chauhan, Tulsi Ram, Pankaj Saroj Amitabh Kumar, Roy Sanjib
The theatre workshop with children from Swarn Public School in Khirki invites its participants to share personal stories that may be overlooked, suppressed or negated, in order to give them the opportunity to reflect and accept themselves and others. Through the collaborative process of storytelling, a street play is produced.
Facilitator and Director: Purple Mangoes
T h r e e D a y E v e n t s
These three day events, open to all , are organized as a culmination of Khoj Dus tak project from 23 November 2012 to 25 November 2012 on the streets of Khirki and at Khoj. These events include Khirki Walks, Hip-Hop dance-offs, a music concert and a mushaira/kavi sammelan . In addition to the live events,There is an exhibition of the outcome of the socially engaged art practices and collaborations between the Khirki community residents and artists. These events help to channelize the educational and socially interactive possibilities of workshops, projects and actions of this nature.