‘City for All?’: An initiative to explore inclusivity in public space

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With the objective of urging the public to re-imagine the design and architecture of urban centres from an inclusive perspective, a public art festival entitled ‘City for All?’ is coming to the Pink City. To be held at Jawahar Kala Kendra (JKK) on 2 and 3 April, the festival will question the role of gender in shaping public spaces and urban experiences. Through dialogue, art, neighbourhood interactions and workshops, this one-of-its-kind event seeks to generate awareness about gender-inclusivity.

The festival has been curated by Swati Janu of Social Design Collaborative and Chris Blache of Genre et Ville (Gender & Society) and is an initiative by Ambassade De France En Inde, Institut Francais and Alliance Francaise India. In Jaipur, the festival is being organized with the support of Vishakha Jaipur, Indian Women Blog, Lady Bamford Foundation, Neerja Modi School, Stirworld, and Leewardists.

Focus group discussion

Who builds our cities and for whom?

The 6-city project will travel across 36 neighbourhoods in Jaipur, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Pune, Bangalore and Delhi to map diverse mobilities, communities’ relationships with their cities and diverse use of public spaces by different genders with the help of local partners. The interactions will bring out local histories, narratives and patterns on how public spaces are used based on gender, identity, age and abilities as well as the local diversity of economic background, class and caste.

The initiative will explore questions such as: Who has the right to leisure in our cities? How can we create public spaces where women and transgender people feel welcome, comfortable and secure? How can we increase accessibility to public spaces for people of all ages, gender, sexual preferences, class, caste and ability? What are the barriers gender queer people encounter in “occupying” public space?

Online exchanges between students of design, planning and architecture from France and India will further highlight personal and collective gendered experiences. French students will be paired up with Indian students for each workshop to map how they navigate their way around the city. Following the workshop, the student pairs will be expected to create a short collaborative mixed media output that will be displayed at a final exhibition in each city. The exhibition will showcase the maps, with interactive discourses, public debates, cultural performances and curated walks to bring visibility to a much-needed question: “Who builds our cities, and for whom?”

Curated walks and play to create awareness

The inauguration and a curated walkthrough of the festival in Jaipur will be held at 6 pm on 2 April at JKK. This will be followed by speeches by the Deputy Ambassador of France to India, Ms Dana Purcarescu and other delegates from the Government of Rajasthan. At 7 pm, musical performances by folk musicians, Sumitra Devi and Manganiyars will be presented. On 3 April, from 10 am to 8 pm, the exhibition will be open to the public for viewing with interactions and curated walks, visits by schools and a short play on gender inclusion by the students of the NGO of Indian Women Blog, Jaipur.

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Tusharika Singh

Long texts over calls | Food, music and books over people | Chai over everything else | Statutory Warning: Allergic to morons



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