Launched in 2015, the Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephemeral Megacity book and exhibition consolidate research findings and serve as an example of interdisciplinary research conducted at Harvard. The faculty leaders and Kumbh administrators will discuss their experience studying the world’s largest festival, and lessons learned for future research. This event marks the launch of the book’s translation into Hindi.
6:00 – 6:30PM Tea Reception
6:30 – 7:00PM Welcome, Lighting of the Lamp, and Book Launch by Honorable Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav
7:30-8:30PM Panel Discussion on Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephemeral Megacity
Rahul Mehrotra, Harvard Graduate School of Design
Alok Sharma, Inspector General of Police, Allahabad, at the 2013 Kumbh Mela
Moderated by Devesh Chaturvedi, Divisional Commissioner, Allahabad, at the 2013 Kumbh Mela
Julia King,Architectural designer and urban researcher, LSE Cities, London School of Economics and Political Science
Diana Al-Hadid, Designer
Dr. Atyia Martin, Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Boston; Adjunct faculty in the Master of Homeland Security at Northeastern University
Moderator:Susan Surface, Program Director at Design in Public
On March 8, 2016, Women in Design, a Harvard Graduate School of Design student group, will celebrate its third-annual International Women’s Day. Dedicated to empowering women designers, we propose an open dialogue on what it means to be a creative woman developing, challenging, and innovating her craft in the 21st century. In exploring conventional and potential modes of practice, we aim to cultivate radical alternatives to the dominant roles and methods of our fields. As we reflect on strides the design fields have made toward achieving gender equity, we see International Women’s Day 2016 as a catalytic platform to investigate how radical practice can re-situate—and revolutionize—our work.
Women in Design continues to challenge how women, as well as other underrepresented groups in the design disciplines, can work for equity across representation, compensation, and valuation. To mark this year’s International Women’s Day, we have invited pioneering women practitioners across the design disciplines to engage and share their backgrounds, experiences, and philosophies of radical practice—the what, how, and why (or why not). In this spirit, we invite you to join us in questioning and speculating how, both individually and collectively, we can radically transform the design field.
In collaboration with the upcoming “Megacities Asia” exhibition on display at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, from April 3 to July 17, 2016, this event will bring together artists and academics to examine contemporary Asian megacities including Beijing, Delhi, Mumbai, Shanghai, and Tokyo. Discussions will focus on the built environment in these cities, how we think about concepts of modern versus vernacular, formal versus informal, and the impact of rapid urbanization on inhabitants of cities from Mumbai to Shanghai.
Sponsored by the Harvard South Asia Institute and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Cosponsored by Harvard’s Asia Center, Department of Art and Architecture, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Korea Institute, Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, and Weatherhead Center for International Affairs
5:30 – 6 pmMegacities Asia
Introduction: Tarun Khanna, Director, Harvard South Asia Institute; Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School
Al Miner, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Laura Weinstein, Ananda Coomaraswamy Curator of South Asian and Islamic Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
With towering masses of stainless steel vessels, vast quantities of colorful plastic wares, crowded arrangements of discarded architectural elements, and other such accumulations, artists in Megacities Asia including Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Delhi, and Mumbai are creating work that reflects the unprecedented wave of urbanization that has swept the region over the last fifty years.
6 – 7 pm Modern – Vernacular, City – Nature: Imaginations of the New India
Anu Ramaswami, Charles M. Denny, Jr., Chair of Science, Technology, and Public Policy, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota; Professor, College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Sciences, University of Minnesota
Chitra Venkataramani, South Asian Studies Fellow, Harvard South Asia Institute
Asim Waqif, Artist and Architect
Chair: Sai Balakrishnan, Assistant Professor of Urban Planning, Harvard University Graduate School of Design
Responding to the examples in the Megacities Asia exhibit, this conversation will focus on the politics and pluralities of architecture and urban planning in Delhi and Mumbai
7 – 7:15 pm Break
7:15 – 8:30 pmInhabiting Asian Cities
Theodore C. Bestor, Reischauer Institute Professor of Social Anthropology, Director, Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University
Martha Chen, Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, Affiliated Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, International Coordinator of the global research-policy-action network Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO)
Hu Xiangcheng, Artist
Chair: Laura Weinstein, Ananda Coomaraswamy Curator of South Asian and Islamic Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
This panel will explore the dynamism of urban life in Asia, both its material and immaterial aspects, in comparative perspective. Panelists will discuss urban planning in relation to the lives and livelihoods of city dwellers in South Asia, China, and Japan
‘Altered State: Painting Myanmar in a time of transition,’ an exhibit of paintings will be on display Thursday, February 4 – Monday, February 22, 2016 in the Japan Friends of Harvard Concourse, 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge MA
Seminar on February 19: Freedom and Fear in Myanmarwith Ian Holliday,Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning), The University of Hong Kong
Salim and Sulaiman Merchant,Musicians and composers
Moderator: Ali Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures; Director, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program, Harvard University
The Merchant brothers, Salim and Sulaiman, rank among the most dynamic and talented musicians and composers in South Asia today. The breadth and range of their musical ability attests to their intrinsic genius: from award winning musical scores and compositions in Indian and American cinema to collaborations with some of the most talented and ground-breaking musicians of our times. Salim and Sulaiman will reflect on their musical careers and some of their widely acclaimed compositions inspired by Islam’s rich tradition of spirituality and artistic expression.
Cosponsored with the Prince Alwaleed Islamic Studies Program
Dhruv Kazi, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine (Cardiology), Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Center for Healthcare Value, University of California San Francisco, Division of Cardiology, San Francisco General Hospital
Tarun Khanna, Director of Harvard South Asia Institute; Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School
Rahul Mehrotra, Professor of Urban Design and Planning, Harvard Graduate School of Design
Facilitated by Meera Gandhi,CEO and Founder The Giving Back Foundation; Advisory Council Member, SAI
The Kumbh Mela is a Hindu religious fair that occurs every twelve years at the confluence of the Ganga and Yamuna rivers on the plains of northern India. Since its inception early in the first millennium CE, the Kumbh Mela has become the largest public gathering in the world. Today it draws tens of millions of pilgrims over the course of a few weeks. The most recent observance of the festival took place from January 14 to February 25, 2013 in Allahabad, with an estimated attendance of over 80 million people.
Because of its size and complexity, the 2013 Kumbh Mela inspired the Harvard South Asia Institute’s flagship multi-year interdisciplinary research project in a number of complementary fields: business, technology and communications, urban studies and design, religious and cultural studies, and public health. Over fifty Harvard professors, students, administrative staff, and medical practitioners made the pilgrimage to Allahabad, India to analyze issues that emerge in any large-scale human gathering. Launched in 2015, the Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephemeral Megacity book and exhibition consolidate research findings and serve as an example of interdisciplinary research conducted at Harvard.
The faculty leaders, representing Harvard Business School, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, and the Harvard Graduate School of Design, will discuss their experience studying the world’s largest festival, and lessons learned for future research.
Closing reception and fundraiser: Thursday, October 29, 5:00 p.m.
This exhibit is designed to raise funds for SAI’s Nepal Research and Reconstruction Fund. It provides support for projects in Nepal developed in partnership with local organizations, with a focus on Nepal’s long-term reconstruction. Visit the Harvard for Nepal website to reserve and purchase these limited edition photographs taken in Kathmandu during 2007 and 2009 or to make donation to the Fund.
Sponsored by the Harvard University Asia Center, the South Asia Institute, the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, and the Korea Institute
Over fifty Harvard professors, students, administrative staff, and medical practitioners made the pilgrimage to Allahabad, India, to the Kumbh Mela site in 2013, to analyze issues that emerge in any large-scale human gathering. The Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephemeral Megacitybook and exhibition consolidate research findings and serve as an example of interdisciplinary research conducted at Harvard.
On display at the Experimental Art Gallery from Tuesday, August 18th to Sunday, August 23rd.
Geeta Aiyer, Founder, Direct Action for Women Now Worldwide (DAWN)
Elora Halim Chowdhury, Associate Professor and Chair of Women’s and Gender Studies, U-Mass Boston
Beena Sarwar,Editor, Aman ki Asha, Jang Group Pakistan; former Nieman Fellow and Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
Rahul Roy, Director
Chair: Parimal G. Patil, Professor of Religion and Indian Philosophy, Committee on the Study of Religion, FAS, Chair of the Department of South Asian Studies
In 1999 the film, When four friends meet, ends with the promise that the four young men who are the main protagonists of the film and the director will meet again in ten years. They do meet again in 2012 and the world seems to have changed in the years that have gone by. The four friends are now married, have children and entirely new ideas like the share market have made an entry into what was a working class resettlement area of Delhi. The documentary (90 min, 2013) explores through the everyday of four men the experience of a changing Delhi and how it intersects with their marriage, children, families and work. The documentary criss-crosses between 1998 and 2012 to set up a story that spans more than a decade and brings us up close to the unpredictability of life as well as continuities that belie any simple answers to the idea of the city, its working populations, change and men.
Cosponsored with the Department of South Asian Studies, Harvard Asia Center, Political Anthropology Working Group, The Sensory Ethnography Lab, and The Film Study Center