On Friday we had the first in a series of community feedback meetings, as we seek input from the residents and workers of Chitpur Road on the design and implementation of our workshops.
Members present at the meeting included teachers from the Oriental Seminary school, the owner of the Diamond Library, a local woodcut craftsman, and a saleswoman who works on Chitpur Road. The artist collaborators presented their different projects, and solicited feedback from the community.
It was an excellent experience to hold a community forum, and to hear about the diverse issues that are important to residents and people who work in the area. Community members had very good input, giving the artists new issues to think about as they continue to run the workshops and projects. One of the issues raised was the need to involve parents of the students. Also some impediments to participation in the project were identified, which included financial hardship, lack of time and a possible suspicion about our motives.
We also learnt about a few interesting spaces on Chitpur Road, like the abandoned type factory and historical book shops and libraries. We look forward to future collaborations with the many people engaged and passionate about heritage and local history in Chitpur Road.
We are a Kolkata based non-profit dedicated to promoting civic engagement through participatory art projects.