The Connecting Local Fellowship 2019 - 2020
What happens when artists locate their practice in schools, libraries, community centres and even in a police station? When community spaces become hosts for collaborative art making?
Connecting Local is a fellowship for creative practitioners who want to explore the role of art practices in communities and in public spaces, that is hosted by different local collaborators in the neighbourhoods around Chitpur Road, Kolkata.
About the Fellowship
The fellowship is an invitation to explore how can artists can work long-term, in community spaces, to meaningfully engage collaborators and audiences in the process of art making. Starting in June 2019, the artists will be testing new practices for activating public domains, creating spaces for new interactions across communities, new ways of reimagining our histories, engaging with our cities, and imagining the future.
Can making art together help us engage more deeply with the diverse social and political contexts in our communities? Can collective experiences of unpacking and sharing local histories and underrepresented narratives change how we perceive our identities and traditions? Can shared aesthetic experiences create interactions across social boundaries and subvert hierarchies to shape our relationship with people and the city? And finally, how can art create spaces for enacting and testing and catalyzing new possibilities for the future of our communities?
Over the last 4 years Hamdasti has explored these questions by supporting creative practitioners from different fields to collaborate with communities around the diverse and historic neighborhoods of Chitpur Road.
In the 3rd edition of this project we are partnering with past collaborators from Chitpur Local to launch the Connected Locals Fellowship, supporting the development of year long projects at different community spaces in the neighbourhoods around Chitpur.
The Kolkata Police are hosting the first fellowship at the Jorabagan and Shyambazar Traffic Guard with dancer and architect Shinjita Roy.
The Mitra and Dutt families will be hosting visual artists Amritah Sen and Madhuja Mukherjee for the second fellowship.
Soumyadeep Roy is the third fellow and will be developing collaborations with communities who have been at the margins of our interactions in the locality.
The projects will culminate in a collective final exhibition or public art festival at the community spaces in March 2020, and a Lab in September 2020 to conclude the fellowship.