Writing community stories

This year’s City Scripts Festival was inclusive in the truest sense of the word

Published - February 26, 2018 03:01 pm IST

 Karnataka : Bengaluru : 18/02/2018 .  Interaction at  City Scripts at IIHS in Bengaluru . Photo: Bhagya Prakash K

Karnataka : Bengaluru : 18/02/2018 . Interaction at City Scripts at IIHS in Bengaluru . Photo: Bhagya Prakash K

The fact that there is large-scale migration to Bengaluru warrants the inclusion of issues relating to every community, class, caste, and gender. The Indian Institute of Human Settlements in their City Scripts Festival brought such issues to the fore.

The session The Way I See It: Tribute to Gauri Lankesh which featured poet Mamta Sagar, Pradeep Dipu, and artist Surekha Sharada, traced the history of protests in Bengaluru, which included the demand for better housing, condemning communal attacks, and fighting inequality; issues Gauri Lankesh connected deeply with.

The session, Reading in the City: Conversations with Bengaluru’s librarians — which included Hamsa Kalyani, Nagappa Bakkannanavar, Preedip Balaji, and Sheshagiri Kulkarni— focused on public libraries in the city. Hamsa remarked that perhaps public libraries should have books that document the transformation of the city, and cited examples of public libraries in other countries that have partnered with universities and museums to successfully capture the interest of common people. Sheshagiri Kulkarni said City Central Library, Hampinagar, and State Central Library at Cubbon Park library are the two best libraries, out of five libraries, in Karnataka

Unravelling the Black Bag: Waste and the city had Kaveri Gill, Archana Kashyap, Kabir Arora and Mansoor, speak on waste management. Archana Kashyap spoke about the book Trashonomics, which looks at waste management as a “cyclical economy”. Mansoor, who is from Delhi, and a waste management worker said big companies spend so much money on advertising, but not on biodegradable packaging of their products. He said that the public is ready to outrage on Whatsapp when storm water drains overflow during flooding, yet throw garbage and low-value plastic that clog drains.

The concluding session, Swalpa Adjust Maadi: Taking Bengaluru to the World saw a full house with the panellists comprising musician Bruce Lee Mani, author Anjum Hasan, Vasanthi Hariprakash of Pickle Jar, and writer and comic, Sriram Aravamudan, talking about what the city means to them. While Vasanthi narrated the story about the extraordinary story of a staff member at Vidyarthi Bhavan, Sriram’s video Shit Bangaloreans say , showcasing the diverse lives of Bangaloreans, left the audience in splits.

The Festival was well-thought out and executed, giving us a holistic and humanistic view of Bengaluru.

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