Since 2015, I have explored the changing urban landscape in India — especially Chitpur in Kolkata, with the collective Hamdasti, and Chor Bazar in Mumbai. It has been my privilege to engage with both these historic neighborhoods in several capacities: flaneur, photographer, artist, witness and even collaborator. While on the one hand, I used my archive to make rich, layered, embroidered photo composites that echo the quiet but extraordinary beauty of the daily lives of the people who live and work here, on the other, I collaborated with a signage maker in Chitpur to combine text with readymade or found objects. Imbuing these objects with new meaning, and placing them back within their original contexts allowed me to layer the landscape in a meaningful way.
At the South Asia Institute at Harvard, I hope to work with its rich resources and pedagogical processes to expand my knowledge of the contemporary Indian urban city.