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Sarai - new media initiative (India)

Sarai: the New Media Initiative - a space for research, practice and conversation about the contemporary media and urban constellations. Based in India.

from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raqs_Media_Collective

Sarai

In 1999, the members of Raqs Media Collective were invited to participate in the development of a strategy for the public broadcasting of documentary films in India, a discussion which led to the foundation of the Public Service Broadcasting Trust, still the main engine of documentary film production and viewership in India. More significantly for Raqs's own work, this thinking took them into the new debates about knowledge, culture and technology that had become prominent with the rise of the Internet, and led to a search for new forms of production and dissemination of knowledge and cultural material.

In 2001 Raqs co-founded Sarai at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies. The word sarai, or caravansarai, common to many Central Asian and Indian languages, refers to the shelters for travellers, sometimes large and extravagant, that traditionally dotted the cities and highways of that part of the world, facilitating travel and commerce but also enabling the exchange of stories and ideas. Serving the function, variously, of research centre, publishing house, cafe, conference centre, cinema, software laboratory and studio for digital art and design, Sarai is striking for its networked structure. Through its institutional partnerships, the research fellowships it provides each year, its residencies for visiting artists, researchers and programmers, multiple email lists, and many informal collaborations, Sarai has developed a large network that allows it to accumulate a vast range of knowledge and opinion from across the world and to make it available in many forms, places and languages. "Cybermohalla", the network of media laboratories established by Sarai in slum areas of Delhi, has led to a particularly impressive collaboration between members of Sarai and groups of young writers, artists and thinkers from these areas; while collaborations with programmers have led to "OPUS", an online experiment in artistic production inspired by the working practices of the free software movement.