Vanishing City Skin

Anjali Purohit: Erasures

Twenty years ago, when artist Anjali Purohit was walking by one of her favourite structures in Lower Parel a sprawling chawl that used to be abuzz with various activities she came across a notice board. "It announced that the plot was to be sold, and a commercial building would come up there," Purohit recalls. 'Erasures', a series of paintings by her, is a record of such structures that were once the socio-cultural hub of Mumbai and today, they are abandoned, if not demolished. "It's not just about the structures that are being torn down, but generations of families and communities that are losing their sense of belonging," she says. Purohit's paintings also depict the Irani cafe culture, and the mills after they shut down.

Ojas Kolvankar and Rakesh Manjrekar

These two artists will present a mixed-media interactive installation using sparrows as a metaphor to depict all that is depleting in the city along with the vanishing structures. Their large installation consists of 100 sparrow houses, that have been pieced together to form one giant structure. "Apart from sparrows, cultural elements such as games played in chawls like marbles, cuisine from the Malvani eateries in Girgaum and religious elements like the Vasudev who came knocking to collect alms, are disappearing in the city," says Kolvankar.

Inner City Projects: City Library

Ginella George admits to being fascinated by street names in the old neighbourhoods. "No one knew what the names of the streets meant, so we dived into the history of the area, to trace the street name and its meaning," she says. She will display 64 items collected from each of these streets, explaining how the place got its name, thus making a visual street library. "For instance: there is a street and a building called Bhangwadi in Kalbadevi. During our research, we realised that the area was a popular bhang den in the 1800s,"she says.

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