Friday, May 24, 2019

Art in Transit Meeting with Well Diggers

Image 1: Art in Transit meeting at Cubbon Park metro station
Art in Transit is an art project developed by Shristi Institute of Art, Design and Technology that creates artwork that is deeply rooted in stories about Bangalore particularly about the people, places and communities that live around the area. As part of the Bangalore Sustainability Forum funded project Shristi partnered with Biome to work on a mural at the Cubbon Park metro station that represents the groundwater story in Cubbon Park. To better understand the groundwater, Biome set a meeting with local well diggers called Mannu Vaddars to learn from their experiences and to listen to their stories first hand. Biome has also being working with Mannu Vaddars for the 'Million Recharge Wells' program to increase the water level in shallow aquifers, as they play a vital role in alleviating the water situation in Bangalore. The first meeting Art in Transit with the Manny Vaddars was organized on May 21st, at the Cubbon Park metro station itself, with over 30 well diggers who attended the event.

It was an introductory meeting to create a platform where all the stakeholders could interact. Christi introduced the Art in Transit project, and took everyone around the station to show the existing artwork. The well diggers enthusiastically participated in all discussions and shared their experience working in the field, they also sketched some of their entrepreneurial practices and pinpointed their area of work on a map. This is the first of many meetings to follow, to better understand the work and experience of the Mannu Vaddars.

Articles on the event were published on The Hindu and The Indian Express and can be accessed below:

Image 2: Exploring the existing artwork at Cubbon Park metro station
Image 3: Sketches by the Well Diggers showing their innovative designs
Image 4: Discussion with Pedant on the different types of soil in Cubbon Park
Image 5: Group discussion on work done by well diggers in different parts of Bangalore