Chennai

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Art Districts

Kannagi Art District

Kannagi Nagar, Chennai

2020

Located off the Old Mahabalipuram Road in Chennai, Kannagi Nagar is one of the biggest resettlement sites in India. Made up of multi-storied apartments, it houses a population of 80,000 people living in 24000+ households with residents including people rehabilitated from three of the city’s river bed slums which were the most affected by 2004 tsunami which devastated their houses.

Art District

In February 2020, working closely with the Greater Chennai Corporation and the Chennai Smart City Limited program, St+art began work on it's 5th public art district, working with 10 national and 4 international artists. Over the course of 45 days, the artists responded to the unique context of the site, creating murals around the main theme of the curation - displacement, migration and movement. Overall the Art district represents ideas that link people and the environment'.

With a diverse range of styles, and techniques the murals represent ideas of hope, livelihoods and life in the neighbourhood, as an ode to the spirit of the people.

Community Engagement

One of the most integral parts of building any art district for us is to engage and integrate the local community of residents. Through collaborations with local NGOs and cultural organisations, we created a range of activities which were participatory, inclusive and a celebration of the different voices within Kannagi Nagar.

From Photography workshops with Chennai Photo Biennale who led children of Kannagi Nagar through basic techniques of photo making, to a postcard project with the Urban Design Collective - a platform working to make planning more participatory, to a workshop for specially abled people to create artworks with local NGO Kairassi.

The community engagement culminated with a celebration attended by hundreds of residents in an evening of song, dance and local and contemporary traditions.

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