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


Comet Media & COSMOS
a non profit group working in educational communication & new media. they have festivals, projects & publications
upcoming events Comet & Cosmos page




CRIT (Collective Research Initiatives Trust) is a group of architects, scholars, technicians and artists who have worked together over the past seven years in Mumbai. Our collective was established in early 2003 with the aim of undertaking urban research, design and activism in the cities of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. CRIT regards this vast urban realm as its laboratory and terrain for articulating an emerging urbanism. Our understanding of urbanism is based on the belief that everyday exchange between disciplines and collective research is essential to transforming urban spaces and civic life.

Since 2003, CRIT has undertaken research and design projects throughout the Mumbai Metropolitan Region on housing, environment, conservation, spatial and planning policies in the context of urban development. Our current and completed projects are grouped within the following programmes: Metropolitan Peripheries, Community Housing, Public Spaces, Post-Industrial Landscapes, Sanitation and Waste Management. We also occassionally produce print and web publications, curate exhibitions, organise workshops and public events as part of our ongoing series Metrologue.

current projects include :
# Housing Typologies in Mumbai - their pdf report is very interesting & talks about the different types of housing such as single-dwelling homes, chawls (private & government / council flats & apartments), slums & their rehabilitation schemes over past few decades, urban fringe housing, new apartments in new & existing residential areas + more.
# SARAI-CRIT Workshop on Emerging Urbanism in India
# Geographies of Resistance
# Housing Experiment at Betwala Chawl


mumbai urban stories blog

Urban Stories(working title) seeks to explore the myriad hues and dimensions of the culture of the city of Mumbai through a collection of stylized visual essays. A visual experiment of sorts, Urban Stories will employ such diverse genres as collage and typography, illustration and photography. The resulting collection will emerge as a unique narrative of Mumbai, its pasts and presents, peoples and places.


The IDEA - Indian Documentary of Electronic Arts
Shankar Barua put together a cd zine documenting Indian electronic arts between 2000 - 2004. it's an excellent collection - highly recommended! he's in Delhi, but some artists mentioned are in mumbai


Third Eye Asian Film Festival of Mumbai
The Asian Film Festival aims to establish interaction between the Asian Film fraternity and create a dialogue with the West.


Nancy Adajania
Adajania has written and lectured extensively on contemporary Indian art, especially new media art and its political and cultural contexts, at international venues such as Documenta 11, Kassel; the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM), Karlsruhe; the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein and the Transmediale, Berlin; the Danish Contemporary Art Foundation, Copenhagen; Lottringer 13, Munich, among others.

As Editor-in-Chief of Art India (2000-2002), Adajania developed a discursive space singlehandedly, in an Asian context, for emergent new-media and interactive public art practices and social projects on a global level. She has contributed essays and reviews to Springerin (Vienna), Metamute (London), Art 21 (Paris), Public Art (Minneapolis), Art Asia Pacific (New York), X-Tra (Los Angeles) and the Documenta 12 Magazine (Kassel, 2007).


Prema Murthy
Prema Murthy has exhibited her net art, prints, drawings, animation and installation in numerous exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad at venues including PS1/MOMA Contemporary Art Center, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the New Museum of Contemporary Art, the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, the Generali Foundation in Vienna, The National Gallery in Capetown, and the India Habitat Center in New Delhi.

She is the co-founder of the collective Fakeshop, which was selected for the 2000 Whitney Biennial and the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria. She received her MFA from Goldsmith's College, London and a BA in art history from the University of Texas, Austin. Her works are in several public and private collections including the Queens Museum of Art and the Neuberger Berman Collection. Born in Seattle, WA, she has lived in India, the Philippines, and the UK. She is based in New York and teaches Digital Media at Sarah Lawrence College.

ctheory review on fakeshop collective
polystar youtube user has videos created by the fakeshop collective


UNESCO - Artists in Asia and the Pacific
This page provides Biographies on individual artists in Asia and the Pacific

related : The IDEA's UNESCO / Sarai review


gender and space conference / project
The Gender and Space Project focuses on gender as a category to examine the ordering and experience of the city and its varied spaces, particularly public space. Public space in the context of the study refers to public places, ranging from streets, public toilets and market places (across class contexts) to recreational areas and modes of public transport.

The project is located in and focuses on the city of Mumbai.

Research on this project combines traditional social science research such as ethnography, interviews and group discussions along with methodology drawn from the areas of film, photography, architecture. The project also has a strong pedagogic component involving elective courses in architecture and liberal arts colleges and short workshops. The project aims to understand the hierarchies and boundaries that determine access to public space along a variety of axes (class, caste, religion, geographic location and gender). It hopes to unsettle the gendered binaries regulating women's presence in public space, raising questions about the ways in which ideas of private-public, respectability-unrespectability, safety-violence, rational-risky are reflected the discourses of public space and citizenship.

gender - space references & links to other publications


book : Bombay and Mumbai: The City in Transition
Edited by Sujata Patel and Jim Masselos


This volume, third in the series on Bombay, or Mumbai, brings
together essays that treat the renaming of the city as a point of
departure in visiting enduring themes in Bombay's life. As Bombay
explodes into the megapolis of Mumbai, the volume examines whether
transition is merely in the name or it has larger implications for
the city's growth¬óin terms of an enormous expansion in size,
diversity, population and function.

The essays collected here offer exhilarating and provocative insights
on what Bombay has become, as it steps into the new millennium. Has
living in Mumbai meant a better life for its inhabitants or are they
still condemned to the continued struggle for existence, and
consequently withdrawal? Among other themes, the volume inquires
whether the city has managed to retain its identity or is it has lost
it like any other large metropolis.

More specifically, the essays focus on diverse aspects of the city's
social, political and economic life including housing rent control,
the participation of Dalits and minorities in the city's life and
activity, health-care and life in the shanties, the twin evils of
crime and communalism, and the world of films.

This vivid but realistic volume on Mumbai will serve as an essential
and contemporary urban social history of Mumbai and will be useful to
sociologists, historians, urban theorists, political scientists, and
culturalists. In addition, activists, scholars, journalists and
academics concerned with everyday life, culture, history and urban
spaces of cities and particularly Mumbai will also find the volume of



"The Jawaharlal Nehru urban renewal mission programme is intended to upgrade various cities in India. What this really means is that the cities are to be made fit for foreign capital so that it feels cosy. At the same time basic infrastructure for the poor is crumbling, basics like primary schools, postal offices and subsidized foodgrain shops."

"On the brighter side Mumbai is projected prominently at the 10tth international architecture exhibition on 'cities, architecture and society' at Venice being held from September 10 to November 19. Mumbai was the only Asian city chosen for the exhibition."

"A presentation on Mumbai was made by the Mumbai-based Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI) and a highly informative 375-page book Mumbai Reader, containing articles by various experts, was brought out. It has good reference value apart from analytical content. UDRI's trustees include industrialist Ratan Tata, architect Charles Correa and prominent corporate leaders Keshub Mahindra and Deepak Parekh."

dharavi - a mumbai slum is a multimedia wiki website designed to gather information, images, and ideas on Dharavi in Mumbai. Dharavi is one of the largest informal settlement in the world. offers a space to discuss the Dharavi Redevelopment Project and its alternatives

from the introduction page :
"Often dubbed "Asia's largest slum," Dharavi is in fact a heart-shaped agglomeration of primarily informal settlements, literally located in the heart of Mumbai, India's commercial capital. Once a remote settlement on the outskirts of the city, Dharavi — due to Mumbai's rapid northward expansion — now finds itself strategically located between the city's two main suburban railway lines and a stone's throw away from the Bandra-Kurla Complex, the new financial and commercial center."

"These geographic advantages and Mumbai’s relative shortage of developable land combine to make Dharavi a prime piece of real estate potentially worth billions of dollars, creating pressure for redevelopment. "


Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI)

The URBAN DESIGN RESEARCH INSTITUTE is a forum that supports interaction among architects, urban designers and professionals from such related fields as urban economics, sociology, planning, conservation and history.

UDRI publications list

2008 Fellowship notification via Sarai Reader list : Mumbai issues fellowship, Urban Design Research Institute


airoots / eirut

airoots/eirut is a multipolar blog oscillating between dream and reality. It is about adventitious roots, urban forests and villages, natural cities, lost tribes, new nomads and everything in between and under. It is a space for creative thought and expression in words, images and sounds and a laboratory for ideating and experimenting with new visions about urbanism, technology, pedagogy and other things



Urbanology is a think & action tank active in the fields of urban development, design, architecture and new media. We explore, document, archive, research and intervene in urban spaces around the world. In the last ten years Urbanology has lead projects in Mumbai, Tokyo, New York and Bogota.

Urbanology works with a variety of partners including community groups, NGOs, media, academic institutions, governments and corporations acting in the capacity of project managers, advisers, consultants, resource persons and coordinators.

Our projects are collective and innovative in nature. We are committed to the idea of social responsibility and of developing creative urban visions for a sustainable future.


Urban Typhoon

Urban Typhoon Workshop in Koliwada, Mumbai: March 16-22, 2008
Participatory Urban Design & the Future of Alternative Communities

Urban Typhoon brought together artists, architects, activists and academics from all over the world with the residents of Koliwada, Dharavi to collectively generate ideas, visions and plans, and archive biographies and histories. The workshop's philosophy is based on the idea that communities should be allowed to determine their future and that everyone, no matter the age, language or qualification should be allowed to participate in the process.

The material generated within the workshop is being uploaded onto a wiki based website allowing anyone to log in and contribute.


the where


mumbai in a world of cities

Panel Session at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG)

Over the last decade, Mumbai has become far more prominent within international coverage of contemporary urbanism. This greater focus on Mumbai has been a welcome rejoinder to a continued predominance of North American and European cities within urban studies and debate. Yet in accounting for urban change in Mumbai, there has been a tendency to uncritically adopt Eurocentric models and terminology.

This session seeks to explore some of the ways that Mumbai disrupts and contradicts existing categories, histories and narratives of urban analysis. The session will question some of the institutional frameworks for urban research and a tendency for debates about the future of cities to be initiated and directed by experts and practitioners based in the global North.

It will attempt to assess why Mumbai has recently assumed significance as an urban archetype, and examine ways urbanists can help facilitate scholarship in cities such as Mumbai, and develop new progressive forms of learning and research. The aim is not to isolate Mumbai as an exceptional form of urbanism nor to confer paradigmatic status on Mumbai, but to show how a city such as Mumbai can be used to generate new theoretical dialogue, greater historical perspective and open up new channels of urban policy formation.


mumbai 2009 - spacelab project
A collective research project offered by the Spacelab and Globalisation research teams


Urban Poverty and Transport: The Case of Mumbai

This paper reports the results of a survey of 5,000 households in the Greater Mumbai Region conducted in the winter of 2004. The goal of the survey was to better understand the demand for transport services by the poor, the factors affecting this demand, and the inter-linkages between transport decisions and other vital decisions such as where to live and work. This paper, the first of several research outputs, describes the salient facts about travel patterns in Mumbai for both poor and non-poor households.

A striking finding of the survey is the extent to which all households-especially poor households-rely on walking. Overall, 44 percent of commuters in Mumbai walk to work. The proportion of the poor who walk to work is even higher - 63 percent. Walking is an even higher modal share for non-work than for work trips. A second finding is that public transit remains an important factor in the mobility of the poor, and especially in the mobility of the middle class.

Overall, rail remains the main mode to work for 23 percent of commuters, while bus remains the main mode for 16 percent of commuters. The modal shares for bus are highest for the poor in zones 1-3 (21 percent of the poor in zone 2 take the bus to work), while rail shares are highest for the poor in the suburbs (25 percent of the poor in zone 6 take rail to work). Is the cost and lack of accessibility to transit a barrier to the mobility of the poor? Does it keep them from obtaining better housing and better jobs? This is a difficult question to answer without further analysis of the survey data. But it appears that transport is less of a barrier to the poor who live in central Mumbai (zones 1-3) than it is to the poor who live in the suburbs (zones 4-6).

The poor who live in zones 1-3 (central Mumbai) live closer to the non-poor than do poor households in the suburbs. They also live closer to higher-paying jobs for unskilled workers. Workers in these households, on average, commute short distances (less than 3 kilometers), although a non-negligible fraction of them (one-third in zone 2) take public transit to work. It is true that the cost of housing for the poor is higher in central Mumbai than in the suburbs, but the quality of slum housing is at least as good in central Mumbai as in the suburbs.

The poor who live in the suburbs of Mumbai, especially in zones 5 and 6, are more isolated from the rich than the poor in central Mumbai: 37 percent of the poor live in zones 5 and 6, whereas only one-fifth of higher income groups do. Wages for skilled and unskilled labor are generally lower in zones 5 and 6 than in the central city, and it appears that unemployment rates for poor males are also higher in these zones. The lower cost of slum and chawl housing in zones 5 and 6 may partly compensate for lower wages. However, a larger proportion of workers in poor households leave zones 5 and 6 to work than is true for poor workers in other zones. Commuting distances are much higher for poor workers in the suburbs than for poor workers in zones 1-3.


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