Update #3 on Bangalore´s Urban Fabric
We have now finished all of our public interventions. It was an exhausting but quite exhilarating process.
On Day 6 of the project we set up on the sidewalk of one of the backstreets behind Commercial St, in front of a closed shop. A cow almost barged into the table as we were installing, but luckily we were able to divert her! We had a nice crowd of people, especially a mother who embroidered a beautiful lotus flower and her two daughters, all of whom stayed for a long while.
Day 7 we tried to install at the Mota Arcade Mall on Brigade Rd but were told immediately that we needed a permit. Of course the manager was out to lunch so we had to move on, and we were able to secure permission quickly to set up at the Monarch Plaza. Since we were set up on top of a short flight of stairs, we actually had to go to the sidewalk and try to entice people to participate…something which up until then was not necessary. One of the participants told us of a very dangerous place for men or women, in his opinion: “Only murders take place there, in Jallahalli! Can’t even think of going there alone.” A pair of young women who work in a shop on Brigade Road told us that they´re simply not allowed anywhere by themselves, and much less at night.
The next morning, Day 8, we set up at 7 am on the walking path of Ulsoor Lake where we had quite a few joggers as well as many curious onlookers who were on the other side of the fence. After a couple of hours it became too hot and sunny, so the joggers disappeared and we decided to go to shady Ganja Park (Rest House Park), where we actually ran into two separate groups of school boys who had also participated in Cubbon Park a few days earlier.
Day 9, the last day, we requested permission to set up inside Safina Plaza, but the manager was not there that day, so we took our chances and tried the sidewalk outside the mall, where we were told very quickly to move. I find it very sad that a mall can “own” the sidewalk in front of its property, which in theory should be a public space. We packed up and tried our luck at Spencer´s on MG Road where we were told that we had to pay 5000 rupees in order to set up there, even though we weren´t selling anything! We had much better luck when we just set up in front of a construction site on MG Road. It´s there where we had perhaps one of our most diverse crowds, ranging from shoppers, other Srishti students on their way to Indian Coffee House, street boys, people selling things on the street, and a couple of police men who almost participated! In particular, a man selling maps of Bangalore was particularly interested in the project and contributed various symbols to the map.
We look forward to your participation, and to hearing your stories and opinions about Bangalore on Wednesday night at 1 Shanti Road!