Saturday, February 21, 2009

Writing across the city

I was reading an article on Slumdog Millionaire and how the residents of Bombay had objections to the movie. They didn't object to the word 'dog' but to the word 'slum'. I read the article and then read about the contributors and it said that they were associated with 'Partners for Urban Knowledge Action and Research'. I knew nothing about this organization and did a Google search and a very interesting world opened up.

Partners for Urban Knowledge Action and Research is an NGO working in Bombay and has some very well-known people associated with it, including Arjuna Appadurai and the Sir Ratan Tata Trust and Kalpana Sharma, who is a senior journalist and writes for The Hindu, a national Indian English newspaper.

Partners for Urban Knowledge Action and Research or PUKAR as it is known commissioned a very fascinating project called Writing across the city. To quote from their website:

Writing across the city

The Writing Across the City project aims to address the various cultures of writing that exist in the city of Mumbai, across linguistic, disciplinary and social divides. By examining the various proliferating modes of writing, which include forms and genres that are both creative and critical, we hope to uncover and understand the network of processes that underpin urban identity formation at various inter-connected levels.

This project was completed in 2007 and it was titled, "Mumbai’s Cosmopolitan Archive: Documenting Multi-lingual Literary Histories, Facilitating Translations".

It just set me thinking. This was a very interesting concept. We haven't had anything like this about New Delhi. Have you seen such a project about New York? London?

The PUKAR website is here:

They haven't told me to write about them and they don't even know I have written this piece. I thought it would be fascinating information for most of you.