Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Learning about Nangla

Over the years, there's been one team of documentary film-makers who interacted with me for whom I have only praise: they call/called themselves RAQS Media Collective. I used to think of them as a three-person unit, but they are in fact (surprise!) three separate individuals, all three highly motivated, very bright, industrious and creative. Their names are Monica, Jeebesh and Shuddhabrata and amongst their several achievements is the establishment of the media resource centre and lab known as SARAI.

I'm posting below a message sent out by Monica about NANGLA MAACHI a community in transition/dislocation, in Delhi.

Dear friends,

Over last 35 years we have seen many an internal dislocation of habitations and life worlds within the city of Delhi. This is something that started with high intensity from the early 70s. Now the process of this internal dislocation has become intense and harder.

Nangla Maachi is a 30 year old habitation. It was made by its inhabitants over this period. It is along the river bank and next to Pragati Maidan (Progress Grounds). It has now become valuable real estate as it is prime land for new urban development fairly close to the centre of the city.

The process of its dislocation has, therefore, begun.

In Nangla Maachi Sarai/Ankur had set up a cybermohalla lab two years ago. Many practitioners have been through the lab.

Over these two years, diaries have been written by the lab practitioners and many of the entries have been about life in Nangla. These diary entries are also a way to stubbornly remind us all that Nangla was made into a
lively, heterogeneous habitation by countless people's efforts, and needs to be remembered for this creative act of making and finding ways of living together.

A recent entry reads - "Packing up and leaving from Nangla has begun." The diary is now a record of a contested terrain of the violence of dislocation.

We have set up a blog in both English and Hindi, to share with a wider public the various diary entries of the practitioners. Do visit it, read it, circulate it, share it and link it further. Your comments and stories will be very valuable.

English language blog

Hindi language blog

More posting from the practitioners will be made. A countdown to yet another disappearance of a self-organised urban space has begun.


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