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VloMo08 : day19 - taxi drive to work

this is the drive to work in a local taxi. I should have kept the camera running as he overcharged me and wanted me to use him every day to & from work. the drivers always ask this. they ask how long you're here for then tell me they'll give me their number so I can call them. the previous 2 nights it's cost Rs50 to drive home - in peak hour traffic in a local taxi. this ride cost me Rs250. but I got a handwritten receipt from him. I forgot to ask / check that the meter was running. usually if the driver doesn't try to rip me off I give them more money, just for being nice. I shouldn't complain too much, Rs50 is about $1.50 and $250 is $7.75 so both are very cheap, it's just the multiplication factor - this morning's taxi driver was 5 times as expensive!

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VloMo08 : day18 - on chai (tea)

the guys in the office explained chai (tea), one of the most popular drinks in India. the spices (masala) are different in different regions so chai tastes different wherever you are. for 3Rs a pop, it's a bargain too! mmm masala

when I was in Turkey/Istanbul, tea was called cay & pronounced the same as chai. so it's interesting to see the commonalities in language / phonetics too.

VloMo08 : day18 - on chai (tea)

18/11/2008

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VloMo08 : day17 - book purchases whilst in India

I actually recorded this video on 09/11/2008 but it was a large file and my computer's been playing up during exporting so I've only had time to compress it tonight.

these are the books I purchased at Mid Land Book store whilst in Delhi. I always buy the annual Sarai Reader - a collection of research papers & project documentation from India and around the world. they always have something that I'm not familiar with - different issues are covered - urban issues, social issues, resettlements, voices of local people, keeping or documenting traditional methods in art & social / community circles + more. the books are available online as pdfs so I've read some of the chapters but I like to have a paper copy as I find them easier to read.

the bookstore owner recommended other books for me to try - mostly feminist books & topics! there were so many that looked really interesting & informative, but I chose one from each publishing house so I can buy more later. some were part of a series on varying topics.

I have a blog post on my site about (some) women in india links + details on the books in case anyone would like to find out more or read them too :
http://www.aliak.com/content/women-india-book-related-links

I'm not speaking very clearly in the video - I'm not used to talking & filming at the same time and I should have collected my thoughts a bit more before I started, but I don't have the energy to redo it so it is what it is :) & pulp fiction is different to the graphic novels (both were talked about at sarai i-fellows conference - but it's not clear from what I said in the video). the book "Delhi" is written by Khushwant Singh - sorry! I forgot his name whilst recording the video :(

I'm part way reading through the interviews with women writers & the short stories & the tamil pulp fiction books. yet to start the others - it might take me a while to finish. so far they're all great purchase choices! the interview book is especially interesting as it seems there were many topics that women were 'not meant to write about' in india up until, say the 1990s. I might have to find a collection of younger writers to compare with - though I note there's been quite a few younger Indian writers winning or being nominated for various international writing prizes.

VloMo08 : day17 - book purchases whilst in India

17/11/2008

http://blip.tv/file/1477706

blog entry :
http://www.aliak.com/content/vlomo08-day17-book-purchases-whilst-india

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urban knitting - graffiti knitting

deputy-dog blog has posted an article about urban / graffiti knitting & the knitta please crew who do graffiti knitting around their towns. check out the tree cosies below

Knitta began in August 2005, when the soon-to-be-Knittas were discussing their frustration over unfinished knitting projects: half-knitted sweaters and balls of yarn gathering dust. That afternoon, they knit their first door handle. Then it dawned on them ... a tag crew of knitters, bombing the inner city with vibrant, stitched works of art, wrapped around everything from beer bottles on easy nights to public monuments and utility poles on more ambitious outings. With a mix of clandestine moves and gangsta rap - Knitta was born! Today, Knitta is a group of ladies of all ages, nationalities, and ... gender.

there's a video of them on youtube :
http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=9wVfUwVQhS8

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Frances Goodman's Sculptures - Toilet Graffiti Embroideries

- thanks Avital for the links!

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craftzine.com has a cool Motherboard Dishtowel Embroidery article - embroidery of motherboard circuit boards

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Lion Brand Yarn Studio looks like a great space! I love their stash shelves - they're like an artwork in themselves, and functional too

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VloMo08 : day16 - Patta Chitra Katha - traditional folk art of storytelling using visual language

today I watched a video Senthil Kumar posted a video on WADI facebook group called "Arjuna the Archer : AD 2008" - it was based on the techniques of Patta Chitra Katha

I wanted to find out more about this artform and technique, so I googled (without much luck, due to googling the wrong things) and asked the Sarai reader list and received lots of helpful information from many people. after reading about it, it reminds me a bit of the multi-media of a few hundred years ago. multiple paintings / panels on scrolls are read and music played whilst they're read, so there's a mixture of images, music, text, written / spoken word. the artists travel to different villages - equivalent to the communication methods / networks of today transmitting the multimedia messages & works. originally the works were made on cloth using vegetable based paints but these days modern paints are used and most works are done on paper. I hope the traditional methods are not lost completely! the style of painting comes from Orissa and West Bengal. modern artists use both traditional, classical topics as well as current topics & stories - they are trying out new variations of the art too, to keep the method alive and to learn new techniques & skills.

I wrote a blog post (ongoing) about Patta Chitra Katha @ http://www.aliak.com/content/patta-chitra-katha-traditional-folk-art-sto...

VloMo08 - day16

http://vimeo.com/2260235

VloMo08 : day16 - Patta Chitra Katha - traditional folk art of storytelling using visual language from kath on Vimeo.

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Patta Chitra Katha - traditional folk art of storytelling using visual language

Senthil Kumar posted a video on WADI facebook group called "Arjuna the Archer : AD 2008"

he's also posted it to youtube :
http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=h-UPtfEkl_o

there's now a facebook page for Patta Chitra Katha

I wanted to find out more about this artform and technique, so I googled (without much luck, due to googling the wrong things) and asked the Sarai Reader list and received lots of helpful information from many people. after reading about it, it reminds me a bit of an equivalent to multi-media, or even video blogging from a few hundred years ago. multiple paintings / panels on scrolls (equating to video frames?) are read and music played whilst they're read, so there's a mixture of images, music, text, written / spoken word. the artists travel to different villages - equivalent to the communication methods / networks of today transmitting the multimedia messages & works. originally the works were made on cloth using vegetable based paints but these days modern paints are used and most works are done on paper. I hope the traditional methods are not lost completely! the style of painting comes from Orissa, West Bengal & Bangladesh. modern artists use both traditional, classical topics as well as current topics & stories - they are trying out new variations of the art too, to keep the method alive and to learn new techniques & skills.

I made a video for VloMo08 day16 explaining how I found out information about Patta Chitra Katha :

VloMo08 : day16 - Patta Chitra Katha - traditional folk art of storytelling using visual language from kath on Vimeo.

read more for information about this special artform ...

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mumbai digital arts, new media & urban research links

looking for digital arts, new media & urban research projects or exhibitions in mumbai - I'm only here for 2 weekends so might not make it to any festivals. here's some I found so far - some are past projects & some are not strictly mumbai based but I came across them whilst following links for mumbai related items

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Comet Media & COSMOS
a non profit group working in educational communication & new media. they have festivals, projects & publications
http://www.cometmedia.org
http://groups.google.com/group/cosmos_mumbai
upcoming events
aliak.com Comet & Cosmos page

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Digital artists - THE WEBMUSEUM CYBERCULTURE RESEARCH LIBRARY page
http://www.lastplace.com/page177.htm

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CRIT
http://crit.org.in

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brain neuron vs galaxy

Mike Ambs on vimeo vlomo group made a video in response to this picture.

the images sort of remind me of fractals ... is the brain modeling the universe or the universe modeling the brain???

and speaking of the galaxy - google SKY !!!!

http://www.google.com/sky

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VloMo08 - Videoblogging Month November 2008

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2008
November 2008 is Videoblogging Month. this year, videos from participants around the world are posting videos to http://www.mefeedia.com/channels/vlomo08. there is also a Vimeo group @ http://vimeo.com/groups/vlomo

the idea is to post one video each day in November. it doesn't have to be fancy - just as long as it moves.

sometimes it's hard to post every day, but you can always catch up later. it's good to capture what was happening during November each year. I've found it interesting to look at the previous year's videos / blog entries - I was traveling then too but in different countries so it seems many of my videos are along similar themes.

this section of the site has my videos. they can also be found in the VloMo08 category on www.aliak.com.

VloMo08 : day15 - Dhobi Ghat Mumbai - public laundry

Dhobi Ghat is a public outdoor laundry where clothes of the local people and hospital & school laundry is done. it's cool to watch - hard work. I asked if the women do this too and he mentioned they wash on other days but that it's heavy duty work so is mostly done by men. it's one of the icons of Mumbai. it's next to a train station where you can see the old trains with people hanging out the doors on weekdays - another iconic image of Mumbai.

VloMo08 : day15 - Dhobi Ghat Mumbai - public laundry

15/11/2008

blog entry :
http://www.aliak.com/content/vlomo08-day15-dhobi-ghat-mumbai-public-laundry

http://vimeo.com/2258924

VloMo08 : day15 - Dhobi Ghat Mumbai - public laundry from kath on Vimeo.

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VloMo08 : day14 - Mumbai clear skies & hotel

the only place I've seen clear skies whilst in India this trip has been whilst flying above the clouds. often when you're above the clouds you can still see glimpses of the ground whislt there's still light - but the Delhi - Mumbai flight I took 14/11/2008 had a constant thick blanket of smog.

another thing to be lucky for - back home the skies are so clear and blue. this is going into winter in India so there's usually less blue skies, but the smog seems heavier than I remember from 2006 - perhaps I've been away too long.

Mumbai airport is really nice - I thought I'd taken a video but can't find the clip. the hotel I'm staying at is not far from the airport and has an amazing, grandiose foyer - each room opens to the foyer. it's the Intercontinental "The Grand" Hotel. owned by a wealthy, prominent Indian family / company - when you turn on the tv you see a documentary about the owner's life & the story of how he built hotels, and manufactured cars + more.

14/11/2008

VloMo08 : day13 - Delhi tap water

tap water in Delhi - it looks the same as home but I get sick if I drink any of this. they have free bottles of water to drink & brush your teeth with at the hotels. the hotels have extra filtration systems, but I'd rather not risk it.

in Delhi water trucks drive around the streets and people take plastic bottles & buckets to fill up once a day. in some villages / hutments (slums) the communal tap only works for an hour or so twice a day - early in the morning or later at night. whilst India gets a lot of water in monsoon season - some cities flood - there's problems with the quality of water. in people's homes there's usually a water filter for a special drinking tap separate to the main water feed. so whilst at home we take it for granted that the water from the tap is safe to drink, in some places it's a luxury.

(trying out the zoom like in the other water tap videos - I don't seem to have a macro setting, or if I do I haven't found it yet)

actually I liked the sounds of the different streams of water as it went down the drain

VloMo08 - day13 - Delhi (Gurgaon) tap water

blog entry :
http://www.aliak.com/content/vlomo08-day13-delhi-tap-water

http://vimeo.com/2233526

VloMo08 : day13 - Delhi tap water from kath on Vimeo.

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Women in India & book related links

some links to follow up - mostly relating to the books i've recently purchased here in india - an ongoing list

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Asmita
ASMITA (literally, identity) was established in 1988 as a non-profitable, non-political and non-governmental organization by a nucleus of young enthusiastic women journalists. Its general objective is to fulfill the existing gap in participation, representation and access to media of women. It is committed to find new ways and directions for women's progress. Its major aim is to produce various publications on women in the media. ASMITA is the one and only feminist alternative media organization in the country, and it functions as a pressure group for the advancement of women through media activism. ASMITA Women's Publishing House, Media and Resource Organization (in short, ASMITA) was established in 1988 as a non-profitable, non-political and non-governmental organization by a nucleus of young enthusiastic women journalists, and started to publish the first feminist magazine of Nepal. The magazine was named Asmita which means "dignity" and "identity". In fact, this was the first movement of the organization for Nepali women's human right and empowerment through media.

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Women's World of India
Women's WORLD (India) was set up in July 2002. It is part of Women's WORLD (International), a free speech network of feminist writers, which has ongoing projects in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America. The primary aim of WW(I) is to provide a space for women writers in South Asia to analyse the circumstances in which women write, are published and read in this region, to identify the issues facing women writers here, and to develop a strategy for working on them at the national, regional and international levels.

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Blaft Publications
Blaft Publications is a new independent publishing house based in Chennai, India. Their releases so far include an anthology of Tamil pulp fiction, a translation of an experimental Tamil novel, a book of drawings, and a book of English short stories. However, in the future, Blaft has much wider goals. They are planning to eventually branch out into translations of fiction from other regional languages of South Asia, English fiction, comic books, graphic novels, children's books, non-fiction, textbooks, how-to-manuals, encyclopedias, and kitchen appliances.


The Blaft Anthology of Tamil Pulp Fiction
- selected & translated by Pritham Chakravarthy
- edited by Rakesh Khanna

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Feminist Fine Print
A moderately priced, handy new series that offers two, three or four core essays on a single issue, from a critical feminist perspective. The essays may be single-authored or have multiple authorship depending on the issue, its significance within India and South Asia, and its theoretical and political implications.
- http://www.womenunlimited.net/catalogue2.htm for list of book details currently available

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Zubaan Books
An imprint of Kali for women

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Women's resources in Delhi
- a list of organisations

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Yoda Press
YODA PRESS is an independent publishing venture based in New Delhi. With a view to developing dynamic non-fiction lists, both academic as well as popular, which can make available interactive spaces for further discussion, scholarship, and writing, this young venture is currently focusing its attention on areas like urban studies, sexuality and the body, gender, cinema, contemporary art and popular culture, and new perspectives in history. In doing so, the larger YODA PRESS list hopes to effectively capture the non-mainstream, alternative, yet critical reality of contemporary India. The Press invites feedback, constructive criticism, and the ever enriching exchange of ideas, which can often lead to a stunning new publication.


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Sarai
http://www.sarai.net/about-us/introducing-sarai/overview
Sarai researches the urban experience, the city, the publics and practice of (old & new) media, "information and society", free & open source software, language and digital cultures and the interface between urban transformation, contemporary culture, and development. Sarai research has flowed into conferences, books, articles, art Installations and even school textbooks. Our researchers Include scholars and practitioners. Sarai places a premium on the research process as a whole, rather than just the final outcome. This means that Sarai research material continually reaches the public domain through collaborative mailing lists, CD's, small essays, apart from conferences and research articles.

Sarai publishes books (The Sarai Readers, The Deewan-e-Sarai and the Series), pamphlets (The Media Nagar Series), broadsheets (Sarai.txt, Cybermohalla Broadsheets) and occasional publications ('By Lanes', 'The Book Box' etc.) on paper as well as on the web. All Sarai publications are copyleft and maybe freely downloaded for non commercial & edycational use from the Sarai website.

Sarai embodies a continuing engagement with creativity in urban neighbourhoods through the 'Cybermohalla' Project in collaboration with a 'Ankur' Society for Alternatives in Education, a Delhi based NGO with a proven track record of more than two decades of work in the field of critical pedagogy and community mobilization in poor neighbourhoods in the city.

Sarai supports a growing network of independent researchers, practitioners and students all over India through fellowships and stipends. Over the last five years we have supported more than 400 independent researchers from all over the country.Many of these come from small towns such in the hinterland and in spaces marked by conflict such as Jammu and Kashmir and the North East. Half the proposals that have been supported have been sent in by women, a significant proportion of supported candidates belong to ethnic and religious minorities and oppressed communities. All the proposals investigate areas that would find little or no support, either in academia, or in mainstream media, although several of the candidates have gone on to make further meaningful work in academia and the media, to a large measure due to the ground that they were able to cover in the course of the Sarai independent research proposal.

Sarai invites critical reflections on the nature of the contemporary moment, by holding regular screenings and discussion of curated programmes of fiction, documentary and experimental films and video, and by acting as a convivial context for online and offline conversations through discussions, mailing lists and blogs in English and Hindi at the Sarai space and on the Sarai website.

Sarai engages with the Hindi/Hindustani public domain through publications, translation, lists, web content, software localization, events and workshops.

Sarai organises events such as - conferences, seminars, workshops, summer schools, colloquia, colloquia and hosts occasional residencies around themes thatthemes that reflect the programme's intellectual and creative interests.

Sarai produces media (video, audio, print, web) and contemporary art works, CDs, radio and software. Works produced at the Sarai Media Lab have been exhibited in several international venues such as Documenta11, and the Venice, Liverpool and Taipei Biennales.

Sarai collaborates with organizations and initiatives locally, regionally and internationally/globally on events, processes, networks, projects and publications.

Sarai reaches out to students and faculty in colleges, institutes, university departments and student societies to organize talks, discussions, readings, screenings, screenings, informal interactions and conversations.

Sarai archives different facets of contemporary popular culture, urban space and media forms with a view to making information about them available to a wide public of researchers and practitioners.

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VloMo08 : day12 - Palms Town & Country Club Gurgaon

VloMo08 : day12 - Palms Town & Country Club Gurgaon, near Delhi, India

a quick video of room 105 at The Palms Town & Country Club in Gurgaon, where I'm staying this week. off to Mumbai / Bombay next week for a couple of weeks.

blog entry :
http://www.aliak.com/content/vlomo08-day12-palms-town-country-club-gurgaon

http://vimeo.com/2223630

VloMo08 : day12 - Palms Town & Country Club Gurgaon from kath on Vimeo.

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VloMo08 : day11 - K2 Korean dinner

VloMo08 : day11 - K2 Korean dinner

I went to dinner tonight with Ricky from work - he took me to the Korean / Chinese restaurant K2 in Gurgaon. & he explained the dishes we had. I had battery problems so some of what he said wasn't saved. the food was very tasty! there's also a karoke room but we didn't do this! others had booked the room

11/11/2008
K2, Gurgaon, India

blog entry :
http://www.aliak.com/content/vlomo08-day11-k2-korean-dinner

http://vimeo.com/2215146

VloMo08 : day11 - K2 Korean dinner from kath on Vimeo.

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