What Makes India Urban? curated by Ulla Giesler

October 9 - November 4, 2009


Aedes Cooperation Partners


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  • Sudarsana Kumar, a
    professional dancer
    of Bharatanatyam...

  • enriched the opening celebration
    of the exhibition substantially

  • This time without his partner Gaurav
    Malaker, Avinash Kumar from B.L.O.T.,
    India's most famous project of
    electronic music, performed on the opening

  • Patrick SL Ghose giving a lecture about urban life in Kolkata: Urban Performance

  • Christopher Dell not only performed on the vibraphone, he also
    presented his book on Kolkata's urban fabric: Tacit Urbanism

  • A well-visited event was "Urban Reading" with Uday Prakash and Sudhir Kakar in
    conversation with the journalist Claudia Kramatschek. Ulla Giesler (left) gave input
    through the lecture of text passages from the respective works.

  • Sudhir Kakar and Hindi author Uday Prakash

  • Uday Prakash read in hindi...

  • ... while the curator of the show, Ulla Giesler, read
    the english translation

  • Alongwith the exhibition, Aedes organized a symposium on the topics
    of "Urban India". Here: A. Srivathsan and Naresh Narasimhan

The Asia-Pacific Weeks are supported by the Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin (DKLB).


The exhibition at Aedes am Pfefferberg will be inaugurated ceremonically through a performance of the classical indian dance "Kuchipudi" by Sudarsana Kumar, followed by a speech of the Indian ambassador to Germany, HE Sudhir Vyas. Further spea Ms. Prof. Barbara Kisseler, chief of the senate chancellery, Berlin, the author Kiran Nagarkar, Ms. Dr. Annette Hulek, Haus der Kulturen der Welt and the curators, Anand Patel, Ahmedabad and Ulla Giesler, Berlin.
The event will be concluded with an after party with the DJ/VJ project B.L.O.T. from New Delhi, playing a set together with their friend and partner, the Berlin-based DJ 22Rockets. The acronym B.L.O.T. stands for basic love of things and is a famous live electronica/minimal/techno and visuals act of the two young Delhiites, Avinash Kumar and Gaurav Malaker. They have rocked the hippest clubs in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata and have just come back from their Europe Tour, which included gigs in Berlin, Lyon and Paris. Stop-motion is the catchword for the technique they are using for their visuals and electronica is their musical medium. During the last eight years, 22Rockets has performed in basically all institutions of electronic music in Berlin. He extended his musical spectrum through gigs in Lebanon and Sweden and in Indias metropolises Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and of course in the state of Goa. His sets range from electro-disco to deep trance-techno and soft disco-house.
More info: http://www.myspace.com/22rockets - http://blottin.blogspot.com

"Inspired by the diverse and exciting social life on Kolkata's pavements (much owing to the cultural practice of the hawkers who occupy it), I decided to do a project in the streets”, says Christopher Dell about his project "Kolkata Monodosis". The german vibraphone artist and teacher of architectural theory at the HafenCity University of Hamburg will perform and discuss about the project and the current situation in the city together with his friend and project partner Patrick SL Ghose, a bengali activist and artist. Christopher Dell visited India in 2008, following an invitation of the Goethe Institute Kolkata. During his 4-week stay, he performed on the streets of the city in order to explore the urban space and to provoke an interaction with the every day pedestrians and hawkers, who are shaping the image of India´s second largest city. The event will be accompanied by the release of Dell´s book "Tacit Urbanism" which includes research and documentation, interviews, photographs and an incisive analysis of the hawkers case in the megacity.
More Info:http://www.goethe.de/ins/in/kol/prj/chd/enindex.htm - http://www.christopher-dell.de/

 • URBAN READING: WED, OCT 28/2009, 07.00PM
The question WHAT MAKES INDIA URBAN? does not only concern architects, urban planners and environmental activists: the discourse is also being reflected in modern Indian literature. Aedes is very pleased to present India´s probably most famous hindi author and journalist, Uday Prakash, who will come to Germany in September and October to promote his latest novel "Doktor Wakankar: Aus dem Leben eines aufrechten Hindus" (tr.: "Doctor Wakankar: The Story of an Upright Hindu"). Uday Prakash has won a number of literary awards and honours for his mostly social-critical essays, poems and short stories. Additionally, he has produced many TV documentaries on globalization and its impact on state and society in India. As a freelance journalist, he is writing for the Indian dailies "Times of India", "Sunday Mail" and "Dinmaan". Furthermore, the renowned Indian psychoanalyst and author Sudhir Kakar will join in into the discussion. A well-known figure in the fields of cultural psychology and the psychology of religion, as well as a novelist, Dr. Kakar’s person and work have been published in some of world’s leading dailies such as "The New York Times", "Le Monde", "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung", "Neue Zürcher Zeitung", "Die Zeit" and "Le Nouvel Observateur", which listed him one of 25 major thinkers of the world. The discussion will be guided by Claudia Kramatschek, an independent Berlin-based journalist and literature critic for "Neue Zürcher Zeitung". Claudia Kramatschek is a specialist concerning contemporary Pakistani and Indian literature and has done many features on different subjects for german radio stations such as "Deutschlandradio Kultur", "WDR" and "SWR". The discussion between the two will revolve around urbanism in India based upon a more culturally oriented approach. Especially the discourse about the so often quoted image of an Indian city, "unity in diversity", will be one of the main topics.
More Info:http://www.draupadi-verlag.de/ - http://www.sudhirkakar.com/ - http://udayprakash05.blogspot.com/

 • URBAN SCREENING: WED, NOV 04/2009, 07.00PM
The director Harun Farocki wrote in his exposé: “I would like to propose a film that contributes to the concept of work. That compared the work of a traditional society, like in Africa, in an early industrial society such as India, and in a highly developed industrial society, in Europe or Japan. The object of comparison is to be the work in building houses. Houses to live in.” The probably most fundamental action in the process of building a house is to lay bricks and to construct a wall. But where do these bricks come from, who makes them and what is work? Aedes is pleased to present "In Comparison" (ger. tr. Zum Vergleich), at first sight a documentary about the production process of bricks and secondly an analysis of the concept of work, shot by Harun Farocki. After his graduation at the DFFB (Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin), Harun Farocki has worked later on as a filmmaker and producer for a huge number of TV and cinema productions. Besides, he has also lectured at universities in Germany and the United States and worked as an author and editor for the film magazine "Filmkritik". Since 2006, he is professor at the Filmakademie Wien. "In Comparison" was shot in brickworks in many different parts of the world, amongst other places also in India, Burkina Faso, France and Germany, depicting the differing production processes of bricks. It appears without any voice-over and the only information the audience receives is through subtitles and info-boards in between the individual sequences, eventually leaving it up to the audience whether or not a comparison is to be drawn. The screening will be followed up by a discussion, which is open to the audience for queries about India in general and the film-shot in particular. The event is meant to constitute a counterbalance to the actual topic of the exhibition in order to give insight into a different life-reality and thus deliver an all-embracing image of urbanism in India, its developments, challenges and problems. Before the screening of the movie, the berlin-based architect Anupama Kundoo will do a presentation of her project "Volontariat Orphanage", which is portrayed in the movie as well. Anupama Kundoo is an expert in this topic since a significant part of her work deals with rural development and the implementation of sustainable technologies, respectively the usage of eco-friendly materials, for building houses.
More Info: http://www.farocki-film.de/ - http://anupamakundoo.com/

 • URBAN READING PT. 2: THU, OCT, 29/2009, 07.00PM
Uday Prakash
is going to read one more time in Berlin! Another book-reading will take place in the premises of Schwindkommunikation. Introduction: Dr. Hannelore Lötzke, HU Berlin. The german translation will be read by Durdana Förster and the actor and South Asia fancier Guntram Wischnewski. Contact Person: Margarete Schwind, Tel. 030 / 31 99 83 20 Kindly note to sign up under: ms@schwindkommunikation.de
Different Venue: Schwind Kommunikation, Knesebeckstr. 96, 10623 Berlin. http://www.schwindkommunikation.de/

Our thanks go to The Alfred Herrhausen Society/The International Forum of Deutsche Bank, as well as Zumtobel, ArcelorMittal, Carpet Concept, Busch Jaeger, AXOR hansgrohe, Happold, bulthaup and Draupadi Publisher Heidelberg. Cordial thanks as well to the Embassy of India and Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), the Goethe-Institute India, the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation and to the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their generous support.

The Asia-Pacific Weeks are supported by the Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin (DKLB).


Diese Ausstellung wurde ermöglicht mit der großzügigen Unterstützung von: