By Sanjib Kalita
Presented at both the Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan’s in Kolkata and New Delhi, Sanjib Kalita’s
project Research for a community space through art
is a community based participatory project about developing art and social practices at a site in Guwahati - a hill - to create a network of people.
The site has a multi-layered history from being a stone quarry to a residential site; it was once an ecological sound site; the quarry provided employment for residents, etc. Over time the space changed ecologically due to human activity in the area and also the constantly evolving demographics. The proposal is to create 'moments of togetherness' via a series of events that will be documented and published.
In Delhi, Sanjib is presenting his work on the front lawns of the Institut. The display includes a tent, stone cutting tools, photos and glass bottles that are accompanied with different kinds of research material, videos embedded in the ground and hidden in the foliage and photographs.
Through a letter writing exercise that is open to people from all walks of life, Sanjib wants to engage with concepts such as land, space and home and learn how they relate these concepts to their own lives. Visitors exploring the installation are guided through by Sanjib, who has a conversation about these topics with them. Visitors can then write a short letter on how they feel these issues and the exhibition relates to them. The letters that are created in this exercise are displayed to create a discussion in a reading zone and become part of the exhibition.