Unfolding stories of migration

Unique festival

Unfolding stories of migration
Following a successful first edition of ‘Festival of Stories’ in October, the public art project ‘Art in Transit’ by the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology in partnership with BMRCL brought forth a blend of unique stories and tales at the Cubbon Park Metro Station. To add to the excitement, the event also saw international artists as part of Bengaluru’s sister-city relationship with San Francisco. 

The dominant theme at the event was ‘migration’. There were stories of home, belonging and migration told in different ways. One of the projects ‘The Migratory Cultures’ collected regional stories of migration from around the world and shared them through photographs and video projection in urban spaces. These photo images were based on portraits of 15 people who migrated from their countries to the San Francisco Bay Area. Artists Robin Lasser and G Craig Hobbs from ‘The Migratory Cultures’ fused cutting-edge technology with art and civic life to bring forth their stories. There was also an interesting video display where people working with the metro in Bengaluru shared their stories of migration. 

“There is a person who works as a guard in the metro. He said that it’s been six months since he came here from Assam and he loves the city, but that there is no soil here. He finds this strange as he comes from a place where there are tea estates and lots of farming takes place. Another person from Assam came here to work in the metro, only because he wants his children to go to a private school.

There is one from Bihar who says that he misses his mother and sister a lot but after eight hours of work, he just eats whatever there is and goes to sleep. It’s stories like these that we have tried to bring out and showcase,” said Shruti, a student of Srishti who has worked as part of ‘The Migratory Cultures’.

“Each city is made of diverse communities, some who have moved decades ago, or have recently migrated to a city. We share a reality of being outsiders, and figuring out how to belong, of making an alien, unfamiliar place home,” she added.

Meanwhile, Simon Hanukai, Jonathan Camuzeaux and Nikki Holck of Kaimera Productions shared ‘Dataprint’, an installation-type performance blending theatre, music, dance and multimedia, that made audiences think about and examine the impact of their online fingerprint and question the ethics of data mining.

Meanwhile, another interesting project ‘The Story of Space’ led to a dialogue on the concept of home/ homeland as a space. Many travellers in the metro stopped by to understand the projects, enthusiastically explained by the participating students from Srishti.

The ‘Festival of Stories’ was supported by Srishti-Interim, US Consulate General, Chennai and Herman Miller Cares.

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