Minutes, first 2 days
Media collective Maraa have volunteered to document daily activities of the 14 days of Fear and Gender in Bangalore. Here are their minutes for the first two days.
Day 2, 15th Jan 2009
Participants: Students, Radha and Gayatri from Shrishti College, Deepak and Ram from Maraa, Karoline, Ana Paula, Raghu (law student), Romal (freelance journalist), Vishwajeet (photographer), Siddharth (student), Soumya (theatre artiste), Vinayak
Meeting started off with introductions of new people who had missed the meeting on the previous day. The objective was to finalize on 3 or 4 venues for Karoline and Ana’s events. Karoline briefly introduced the concept of fear and gender in public spaces for the benefit of the new comers.
The new comers then introduced themselves, their background, and their interest in this exploration. Some of the Shrishti students also spoke about why they were interested in participating in this project, and how it is based on personal experiential contributions they will be making to this project.
The Shrishti students then listed down all the venues they had arrived at through the emotional mapping, and the list was as follows:
Shivajinagar Bus Stand and Subway next to the bus stand
The area in and near Russell Market (again close to Shivajinagar)
Each venue and the reasons for their selection, the pros and cons, its suitability for intervention etc was discussed intensely. This meant that the entire morning session was dedicated to choosing venues for Karoline’s and Ana’s interventions. Finally, by group consensus, the final list of venues chosen were:
Gurjri Area near Russell Market
While venues like Christ College and Forum Mall had points of interest of their own, the group felt that these venues needed more thinking through, and perhaps could be followed through by the goup independent of Karoline and Ana.
The plan was as follows:
Friday 16th Jan - Meeting at Cubbon Park to do a recce and conduct some exercises to get an inner experience of the space; followed by documentation of the space by Shrishti students
Sunday 18th Jan- Venue 1- Cubbon Park - event
Monday 19th Jan - Meeting at Shivajinagar for recce, exercises and documentation
Wednesday 21st Jan - Venue 2 & 3- Shivajinagar (bus stand) and Russell Market event
Friday 23rd Jan - Recce, exercises and documentation for Dickinson Road
Saturday 24th Jan - Venue 4 - Dickinson Road
(Please fill in bus exercise dates, times and other venues which we might have missed)
27th Jan - Documentation final
28th Jan - Presentation by Shrishti student group
This having been finalized, Ana made a small presentation to the group showing her previous work through the photographic documentation she has done.
This was followed by exercises wherein the group was broken down in to groups of two. One person closed their eyes, and their partner had to guide them through Shanthi gallery so they could get a sensory experience of the space.
This was followed by repeating the exercise on the streets, i.e. Shanthi Road. …each person got five minutes and had to interchange positions, and repeat the exercise.
/Since Maraa was absent for the sessions after this, could somebody present add the last part?
/Points of interest:
* If we are identifying places of fear- should we distinguish
between ‘real’ fear and perceived fear? Are both important as each
other, or does one get a priority?
* How do we mark out particular places of fear within a public
space? Vinayak proposed installing an icon of some sort. Others
can also use camera angles, or use sound, illustration creatively
to mark out fearful spaces
* Discussions on creative documentation, for example writing a poem
about the space, conveying the complete experience of the
* Vinayak, Ana and Karoline to provide links to the works of some
photographers so students can get some ideas on how to use
photography creatively, using low or high angles to create an
* It is important to be clear about the researcher just as it is
important to be clear about the “researched”…because these
public spaces may not be fearful to a particular class of people
* Gender can address both men and women, and we need to be conscious
of not relegating this only to women
* Clothing is important as a component for both the researcher,
intervention and the people occupying public spaces. For example,
Dickinson Road has an identity of being inhabited by sex workers,
and women who are dressed in anything but the conventional, are
sometimes perceived as sex workers, a different kind of fear? Also
clothing regulations for girls in a space like Christ College
* It is important to address harassment of men, because of
suppressed homosexuality in the city
* Some debates about what is a public space? For example- Christ
College, Forum Mall etc…possibility of conflicts between the
physical place and the mental construct of the space, or its uses
by a general public
Day 1, 14th Jan 2009
Venue: 1Shantiroad, Shantinagar, Bangalore
Ana Paula, Suresh Jayaram, Vinayak Das, Karoline, Liz, Radha, Gayatri, Geetanjali, Srishti art school Students (please feel free to add missing names), Maraa- Ekta, Deepak, Zeenath
Gender and Public spaces
-ME and the OTHER in the spaces were word mapped collectively
-Starting point and anchor- Fear and public spaces, the reporters of violation of space- intuitively, largely and mostly women and sexual minorities…but maybe men.
-Were children discussed on day 1? I missed that bit.
-Word Maps for ME (Feel free to add pictures or words of brown maps)
Boundary, Abuse, Gaze
Authority…(don’t remember others, please add)
-The group discussed public spaces as concepts and physical spaces. The group also debated domestic violence that happens in a private space. So does the space then become public space? Or public space perceived as “dangerous” in this context now turn safe?
-Women, clothing and space
Enclosure, boundary, identity and private body space were discussed in context of women who wore bhurkas in the middle east/Pakistan and under it wore clothing they preferred. Is this subversion, assertion, denial, compromise?
-Issues of communication, legitimate spaces to negotiate and express sexuality, consent issues and information exchange in public spaces were spoken about.
- Participants introduced themselves based on where they were coming from and what each artist, student, participant would bring into the process.
- Ana and Liz spoke briefly about their work and proposals. Students made a choice of artist/groups to work with. Vinayak, Karoline and Ana decided to collaboratively work in similar spaces so the groups and the interests would overlap and synergize
Deepak from Maraa.