Community engagement, infra audit start for Bhubaneswar Art Trail

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Bhubaneswar: The much awaited Bhubaneswar Art Trail (BAT), which would showcase the traditional Old City and modern day Capital City from November 20 to December 20, has started taking shape with the infrastructure requirements mapped, engagement with local community organised for a participatory approach and Curators’ team formed with Prem Jisk Achari, well-known artist Jagannath Panda and Prof. Hannah Barnes in the helm of affairs.
The BAT will be inaugurated on November 18 and would continue from November 20 to December 20. Curators have already been appointed and artist invites have sent out. Infrastructure requirements have been mapped in detail with the Bhubaneswar Urban Knowledge Centre (BUKC) of Bhubaneswar Development Authority. Social Mobilisation has also begun with engagements with schools, local bodies and residents along the trail.
Engagement with local population has started with door to door campaigns, engaging local clubs and associations, building stakeholder relationship and schools. This includes Kedargouri Club, Guajhara Association, BK College of Art and Crafts and Dhauli College of Art.
Infrastructure requirements have been mapped in detail with BUKC team including 3D modelling of the entire trail and specific requirements for street lights, repair work, setting up of toilets, cleaning of streets, drainage repair, painting of walls and sharing of infrastructure document to be shared with other line departments.
The funding of the trail would be mainly from Department of Tourism, Dept of Sports and Youth Services and Tata Steel. Interestingly, the title of the event would be ‘’Navigation Offline’’ as an reminder to our society’s over dependence on technology to identify, access, and reach destinations.
Taking inspiration from travelogues and medieval travel poetry such as of Japanese poet Matsuo Basho the BAT project aims to look at the world and experience it without the mediation of screens and technologies. This is not a romanticisation of the ‘real’ but a return to the situation where navigation, not only through landscapes, but also through a collage of memories and experiences.
This unique project of Utsha, BDA, BUKC and BMC would entail exploring the history, lived realities and social relations of the various communities and addressing issues of access, exclusion, discrimination, etc., and understanding the aspirations of the community.
Through these various individual interventions in this trail the objective is to enhance an art practice which emerges from the local community and involves the local art scene, to promote social, and environmental development in the community. The final public exhibition will be seen and experienced as a walkthrough from one part of the trail to the other.

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