Reimagining Delhi, Reimagining Kapashera
Between the months of December 2019 and February 2020, we decided to organise a number of public workshops in Kapashera and public spaces across Delhi. The aim of these workshops was to explore the tapestry making as a form of collective methodology for reimagining spaces and empower latent potentials in the city. In total, we organised about 20 workshops across spaces as diverse as Lodhi Gardens, Deer Park, the Labour Square in Kapashera and the old Delhi Gurgaon Road. We would typically hang the planetary fast fashion tapestery from trees or lay over the grass, and the women would continue to stitch their works with the tapestry in the backdrop. Curious passersby would often drop by intrigued by the tapestry and the work of the women. This would become an opening that the women utilised to narrate their stories and experiences and invite the people to respond to their own work and offer a vision for Kapashera and Delhi.
To illustrate one such interaction, during a public workshop conducted at the Labour Square in Kapashera, a number of mostly male daily wage migrants collected around the women's work. Beyond engaging with the piece and the women, a number of other interesting conversations around domestic abuse and gendered violence in Kapashera started to emerge through this interaction.
The women felt that through this conversations that they had been having among them in the stitching circle could translate into a discourse that they were having with public(s) in Delhi.
Beyond this, these workshops also instigated ideas for new tapestries and opportunities for producing collective work with other communities across Delhi. Can we produce a people's masterplan for Delhi for example through the collective tapestry method? Can we produce a collective vision for Kapashera which is co-produced with the land-owning Yadav community in Kapashera? Can the women collaborate with students in Delhi and allow other ways of seeing the city? These were some of the questions we began exploring through the tapestry making methodology with various civil society groups across Delhi.
More importantly, the tapestry started to serve as a tool of social engagement rather than an object. A tool through which we could engage a plurality of voices, that could express individually and yet come together collectively. A tool through which memories could be expressed, an archive for the city yet to come. The tapestry thus became a tool that was simultaneously syncretic, generative
A public workshop organised in ladhi Gardens, Delhi in late January, 2020
A public workshop organised at the Studio Otherworlds studio space in early February, 2020