THE PAST IN THE PRESENT’. 27th JULY, 2014. A breakfast-lecture series.
The Bengaluru Pete has been an inexhaustible source of inspiration for my work. It is the perfect laboratory that allows for organic experiments with no pre-determined hypothesis and very often no fixed methodology except to `go with the flow’. This talk was the story of my journey from being an`observer’ in the city to becoming an active `participant’. The transformation happened over time as I interacted more meaningfully with people, spaces and information to arrive at a personal sense of the city. It occurred in the Pete.
The Pete has a `sense of place’ largely determined by a vibrant local culture and a strong presence of the past; symbolic references and meanings attributed to communities and their histories. The more time I spent here, the more it revealed itself to me. These have contributed to my wider understanding of how spatiality influences identity in multiple ways, including the present. Perhaps through these meaningful interactions with place and information, we can hope to bridge the apathy that plagues most urban societies.
The Creative Mornings Talk was divided into three parts- my initial exploration of space and identity and how certain communities chose to connect with it within Bangalore and outside it-though the physical reality, through a recreated one and finally, building imaginary landscapes to substitute those lost forever. In doing so, these communities build bridges to their collective socio-cultural identity, and located the individual within it. They did this to create a sense of belonging. I was curious about how they used space to arrive at a feeling of belonging.
The second part verified this phenomena through a collaborative project `The Tiger Comes to Town’ between the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, and the Archaeological Survey of India, Bangalore Circle that I was proud to facilitate. It was located at a site of significance for Bangalore, the Oval Bangalore Fort. It took me and everyone involved on a series of discoveries, which reconfirmed my learnings about achieving belonging through meaning, information and experiences.
The third part described my increasing disconnect with a Bangalore I grew up in as my world rapidly changed around me. Buildings were knocked down, meanings were altered. This blog was the beginning of a journey to build an alternative Bangalore that I could still identify with when I call myself a Bangalorean. This glitzy technology centre is not the city of my childhood that will soon exist only in my memories.
SoI now introduce my next step in this direction. Native Place is a collaborative space that works on building a meaningful connect with Bangalore through information and curated experiences located primarily in the area of local heritage-history and culture. Knowing where we came from is as important as figuring out where we are going.
Everyone says social change begins with ownership. Our personal theory is that ownership can take place through building connections and meaning.Which is what we intend to do through stories.Our learnings are new, our enthusiasm is high. We love this city and hope you will care for it too as you know more about it.
Thank you for being on the cloud. Walk along with us now. Get in touch if you would like to help, volunteer or contribute in any way (including information) in the area of Bangalore’s history, heritage and culture. Want to be actively involved in project management? Visiting Bangalore or living in it and want to conduct a workshop, give a talk, contribute aesthetic and academic knowledge about your experiences in related areas? Write in. Happy to have you with us.
Creative Mornings, Bengaluru: Breakfast -lecture series:http://creativemornings.com/cities/blr