10th March 2008

Bangalore City Project
Minutes of the Meeting

Date : March 10, 2008
Time : 6.30 p.m.
Venue : MMB
Present : Sathya Prakash Varanashi, Archana Prasad, Suresh Kumar, Rafael Tyszblat, Dr. Evelin
Hust, Michaela Mezger, Maureen Gonsalves

The meeting began with a review of the Gavipuram Public Space Event held on 08.03.2008. Short video clips taken by MMB were screened to give an idea of what happened for the benefit of the members who were not present. Archana has undertaken to upload an edited version of the videos on Youtube.

Sathya and Dr. Hust reported on the event and agreed that it was on the whole a success. The main features were the temple walk, followed by the street theatre performance, a play on superstition by the A.S.Murthy troupe, a walk to the Kempe Gowda tower, screening of Umesh’s film at the Udayabhanu Kala Sangha, on-the-spot art camp and sale by Kala Mandir students and display/sale of books on Bangalore. The number of participants varied from 30 to over a 100, during the afternoon. Locals also joined in during the street theatre performance, which was held in the square in front of the temple.

Dr. Hust detailed the many positive aspects of the event:

  • creation of awareness among the locals as well as other Bangaloreans. Despite the modest PR action, this appeared to be an event that was being talked about.
  • The response was far greater than expected and the profile of the participants was also encouraging – a few ex-pats, a few older people, but a large number of young people in the age group of 20 to 30.
  • It was more than a walk, but an actual public space event, incorporating several different activities and themes, diverse, yet cohesive. The use of dual languages was also a good one
  • Arrangements and organisation were very good. Udbhava, with help from the Udayabhanu Kala Sangha had printed and distributed leaflets in Kannada, organised a banner and undertaken essential actions like informing the police.

Sathya addressed the minus side:

*the crowd was too large for such an exercise – at the same time it was not logistically possible to create a second group on-the-spot
*insufficient dissemination of information, about the event, as well as about the subject matter
*the theatre performance should have been closer to the theme – this was however put down to time constraints. The troupe did not have the time to create a fresh piece on the theme, so selected something which would not be too far off the track.
*possibly too many activities for one event, with too packed a schedule. This has its advantages however, in that no one has time to be bored and deserters are fewer.
*should there be a registration process?

Finances:
The total expenditure, not including creative and organisational input, which was voluntary, came to about Rs. 2500. The theatre troupe received Rs. 500 towards transport and Rs. 1000 as honorarium. Udayabhanu Kala Sangha spent around Rs. 1000 on printing and distribution of leaflets, banner, etc. and on refreshments. This amount however was generously sponsored by the Sangha, who were extremely cooperative and helpful all through. The hat collection taken up after the theatre performance amounted to Rs. 1469. This was defrayed against the fee and transport of the troupe.

Conclusions:
*Background information on the event and the activities should be uploaded on the website well in advance, so that participants are aware and the task of the guide is made easier. This will also help to avoid the event degenerating into a form of “slum tourism”
*Specific public space events could be repeated to ensure that more people get to participate and at some point should be taken over by locals/local organisations. This will also create a community, a bond. Each repetition could have a slightly different focus.
*Duration – this would depend on several factors, but 3 to 4 hours appears to be practical and optimal.
*Expenses – a collection could be taken up to help defray expenses. A small registration fee of Rs. 50 or 100 could also be considered, depending on what the event entails.
*Spots like the square in front of the temple lend themselves to public art installations
*A banner or similar is a good idea as a rallying point and as advertisement

Water Walk
This is currently scheduled for March 22nd which is World Water Day, but it is also in the middle of a long weekend, when many people might be out of town. Vishwanath could consider re-scheduling the walk.

Transport would be a major issue – how do the participants reach Hesaraghatta. Sugestions included:
*ask the BMTC or KSTDC to provide a bus or mini bus. Suresh Kumar promised to work on this idea. Vishwanath could use the travel time to give background information and field questions.
*announce a group going to and returning from Hesaraghatta by public bus at a pre-determined time
*if registration and fee is to be considered, this could cover the transport expenses

Another suggestion was to contact the Taj Kuteera at Hesaraghatta and see if they would be interested in participating in any way.

Vishwanath to work out and circulate details including timings.

Whitefield Walk
Krupa is in charge of this event, which would happen in the morning. Particpants would be asked to assemble at a central spot like the bus stand and the walk would commence from there. Besides exploring the old Whitefield, the walk would also cover the new skyline that is emerging in that area.

Krupa to work out date, timings, details

Peta Walk
Champaka and Suresh Jayaram are coordinating this event. It will start at the temple behind Apollo Mallya Hospital and proceed through Sampangiramnagar, to SJP Road, Avenue Road and BVK Iyengar Road. It is scheduled for a Sunday morning to take in the Sunday market that happens on BVK Iyenagar Road. It will also cover the karaga and other local identities.

A map and small brochure in English and Kannada will be produced and put online as well as distributed to the participants. The map will have the route as well as central meeting places, so that the group can reassemble from time to time and no one will get lost. MMB would be prepared to sponsor the printing costs. Instead of a banner, which may be difficult to carry through crowded areas, the guide/organisers could wear something distinctive.

The number of participants should be small, ideally not more than 30, as these are crowded areas and the group will become unmanageable.

Champaka to work out details.

Next Meeting: April 14, 2008 - 6.30 p.m. at Max Mueller Bhavan

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