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Social Arts: Catalyst for the Future

Nobina Gupta
Anuradha Pathak

Disappearing Dialogues Collective, Kolkata (dD) works in different communities and social groups through interdisciplinary arts practices, and operates at the intersections of art, environment and education. Its primary focus is on the East Kolkata Wetlands (EKW), where it collaborates with a diverse range of partners, including local community schools, city schools, NGOs, INGOs, universities, art galleries, and nature-based foundations. Through grassroots engagement and amplifying community voices, dD is involved in archiving wetland biodiversity, building youth environmental ambassadors, developing teaching tools, and climate change education. Alongside, kNOw waste workshops, pop-up exhibitions, multi-stakeholder involvement, mapping living stories of EKW, and dissemination of stories of wetlands across borders forms its activities.

For the past seven years, the collective has been engaging with the East Kolkata Wetlands and its community. This talk will share how creative ecology can be a process of bridging gaps, and how alternate modes of expression, engagement, and collaboration is able to create a platform for local voices and traditional knowledge systems that need to be recognised and valued within a socio-spatial context and beyond. The potential of Social Arts practice to catalyze change, inspire and empower communities, especially the youth to take pride and responsibility has been a focus of the EKW project. Enabling ways of preserving assets, addressing immediate challenges, and building on evolving dreams of the community, dD collectively reflects on everyday life and sustainable futures.

The respondent in this conversation is Anuradha Pathak, an artist and co-director at CASP.

Join us on December 9, 2023
at 6:00pm IST

Meeting ID: 883 3105 4563 | Passcode: 730199

Nobina Gupta is a social arts practitioner, researcher, educator and the Founder Director of Disappearing Dialogues Collective (dD). In the past, she has created a niche for herself through significant representations at national and international forums in India, Switzerland, Germany, Singapore, Miami, Dubai, UK, Sweden, and Indonesia. In public realms, she collaboratively curates with unconventional community engagements and exhibitions such as ‘A Sustainable Dialogue- Engagement with Youth’, Climate Diplomacy Week 2019 and the Consulate of Germany, Kolkata, at Kolkata Centre for Creativity, ‘Jolabhumir kotha-o-kahini’ an exhibition at Ghare-Baire Museum with Delhi Art Gallery, ‘Waters of Change’, an online archive on works by multiple arts practitioners, and ‘Wetland Stories’, within ‘Moving Kolkata-Kolkata Moving’ supported by the Goethe Institute.

Using collaborative processes that lead to transformative trajectories of experience, knowledge sharing and awareness building, the focus of her practice is to conserve cultural, social and environmental losses, sediments and memories intrinsic to a fragile socio-spatial landscape. Nobina’s social arts practice aims to raise vital questions: reimagining relationships, creating dialogues between water, waste and wetlands, initiating co-creation with communities, and breaking norms to disseminate research and grounded learnings, focusing on process, practice and everyday life.


Dec 09 2023


6:00 pm