Opening A Dialog Between Disciplines
Global Urban Humanities Initiative
Image: Akhada (wrestling ground), Gurgaon, India, Credit: White-Mazzarella/Mehta/Grewal 2013
P[art]icipatory Urbanisms began when Karin Shankar, PhD Candidate, Performance Studies and her collaborator Kirsten Larson, a graduate student in Architecture and City Planning, were awarded a grant from the Mellon Foundation’s UC Berkeley Global Urban Humanities Initiative to create and edit a onetime online publication. The two scholars decided to focus on the metropolises of New Delhi, India and São Paulo, Brazil due to their similar size and positions in the global urban imaginations, the histories of participatory urban activity in both spaces, and for their own personal and research connections to the two cities.
P[art]icipatory Urbanisms is an interactive platform featuring the praxes of twenty participatory urban groups in the cities of São Paulo and New Delhi. The range of practitioners and collectives interviewed include Urban NGOs, performance and art collectives, journalists, city planners and builders, urban activists, waste-workers, educators and graffiti muralists, amongst others.
In addition, the publication will facilitate a creative exchange and advocacy for the interview participants. Karin explains, “The groups in São Paulo and New Delhi will be using the publication in their advocacy initiatives—which is important to us as we wanted the publication to be useful. They are also enthusiastic about making connections with artists and activists in their own city, as well as from this other city, 9000 miles away, that is facing similar urban challenges.”