thémathique de travail
— Whistling Woods International, Department of Design — मुंबई Mumbai, भारत Inde
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Responsable de projet: Milindo Taid
Mumbai: Reclaimed voices and inscribed selves.
Mumbai is the largest cosmopolitan city in India and it is situated on the west coast of the country, caressing the Arabian Sea. Home to nearly 20 million people, its genesis as a set of fishing villages inhabited by a proud fishing community, did not anticipate the complex weave of rapid growth via trade, mercantilism, and industrialization. Mumbai had been under the domination of the British for almost three hundred years which made enough of an impression in building what Mumbai is today. Post-Independence in 1947, India made an effort to build its own national identity and separate itself from the Colonial traces. In our international and digital perspectives, there are infinitely many ways Mumbaikers (Mumbai citizens) define Mumbai’s and their own identity within it.
Decolonisation as a phenomenon tries to encourage indigenous principles while removing traces of the colonisers. The ideas of the occident have been engraved not only in the spaces, but in the citizens minds as well, which, at times, could end up diminishing the value of something authentic that emerges from within the region. There is debate for negotiating acceptance of some occidental ideas while also being receptive in moulding home-grown approaches to adapt with contemporary systems. The disagreement finds some definition when one attempts to examine the regional, religious and other related facets of the politics of identity involved in the struggle for power and conservation of regional/national values. However, any attempts at preserving history (via the built environment) of what has made the city what it is, is countered by the interests of urban expansion and development.
In the backdrop of this state of flux and near chaos, we bring light to the transition that is occurring in Mumbai from being a colonial city to one that has a local character. We examine the impossibility to establish a homogenised outlook and imprint for a city with so many cultural, ethnic and economic diversities. Mumbai has always been perennially seeded by migrants (of all hues) who have brought their own culture to the city and the doors have always been open for all kinds of ideas. We seek to find the main influences that are involved in determining the nature of inscriptions and spaces in Mumbai. We’re investigating how these shifts in identities affect Mumbai inhabitants and their belongingness, along with seeing how they are responding to the voluntary and involuntary transformations to their total environment.
- Students of Year 2, BA Visual Communication Design, Department of Design, Whistling Woods International, Mumbai, India.