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Anirban Adhya, Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, Lawrence Tech College of Architecture and Design

Chair: Rahul MehrotraProfessor and Chair, Department of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard Graduate School of Design
For the City of Kolkata and Bengalis, Durga Pujo is a festival of its own. The festival is rooted in a social-cultural phenomenon that transcends religious dogma and that harbors communal harmony. Residents of Kolkata—irrespective of class, creed, and religion—come out and celebrate in the streets of the city responding to humanistic call of this festival. For the few days of the festival, the city becomes the site of transformative exploration of artistic thinking, design imagination, creative problem solving, and expression of vernacular craftsmanship. What are the forces behind this transformation? Where are the roots of such an evocation of community spirit? Who are the important participants in this process and what is the nature of this evolving process?