Khoj’s 10th year celebrations begin
By Ayesha Singh
Published: 18th Nov 2012 01:07:15 PM
A decade ago, Khoj International Artists’ Association made Khirki Extension, a densely populated urban village, their home. The community that inhabits the area is a mixed one consisting of predominantly low-income labourers, middle class families, students and migrant populations, apart from the old families of the village. This year is particularly special for Khoj as they present their newly furbished building and exhibition space. To celebrate that, 21 projects, six events and 27 artists will come together for a three-day festival titled, Khoj Dus Tak, from November 23 to 25 to celebrate their presence in the Khirki community.
The residents, as always, will continue to play a pivotal role as they will get a chance to double up as artists, musicians, theatre artists, cooks and others. The festivities will witness a gamut of activities which represent the participatory practices in Khirki where artists and communities come together to address the visible and invisible transformation in their surroundings. Ranging from an art exhibition (inside Khoj Studios and on the streets) to various other community-based projects like Khirki shop makeovers, nukkad nataks, mural-making, football matches, hip-hop dance-offs, music concerts, kavi sammelan and mushaira, Khirki walks and more, these events feature a cross-section of the residents and have been developed in collaboration with the community and several art practitioners.
‘‘In the last 10 years, Khoj’s engagement with Khirkee—the location, its (often changing) inhabitants and surrounding areas have given various artists the opportunity to facilitate creative workshops, events, research projects and other participatory activities with different sections of the community,” says project director Pooja Sood. Such community programmes have been led by the Khirki extension community to produce collective visions and ideas about creative and urban development. “It is to celebrate this continuous process of community engagement that we have organised Khoj Dus Tak,” she adds.
The exhibitions will be displayed from 11 am to 7 pm in the newly renovated premises and on the streets. It will present a history of Khirki, with old maps and audio narratives from older generations currently residing there. It will also revisit some of Khoj’s old and new community projects.
Another feature of the festival is the photo studio that will be created in one of the rooms at Khoj for three days and the Khirki residents will be invited to get their photographs taken at minimum price so that they can create memories that mark their lives.
- Sunday Standard