Bhubaneswar: Isn’t it a fact that the element of surprise, mystery, drama and adventure is missing from our lives? That thanks to GPS and other applications, we know what lies ahead of us?
Well, the Bhubaneswar Urban Knowledge Centre (BUKC) of Bhubaneswar Development Authority wants us to re-discover our inquisitive self by launching the Bhubaneswar Art Trail (BAT). This novel attempt to showcase the old city and modern-day-Odisha capital from November 20 to December 18 has been aptly titled ‘Navigation Offline’ as a reminder of our over-dependence on technology to identify, access and reach destinations.
Curators have already been appointed and artist invites have been sent out for the event to be inaugurated on November 18. Besides, infrastructure requirements have been mapped in detail. Social mobilisation has also begun through engagements with schools, local bodies and residents along the trail.
The curators’ team includes Prem Jisk Achari, well-known artist Jagannath Panda and Prof Hannah Barnes.
It is being funded by the Department of Tourism, Department of Sports and Youth Services and Tata Steel.
Besides 3D modelling of the entire trail, the BKUC team has mapped specific requirements for streetlights, toilets, cleaning of streets, drainage repair and painting of walls.
Door-to-door campaigns are being conducted to engage local clubs and associations, building stakeholder relationship and schools. These include Kedargouri Club, Guajhara Association, BK College of Art and Crafts and Dhauli College of Art.
According to official sources, BAT aims to look at the world and experience it without the mediation of screens and technologies.
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 and discrimination and understanding the aspirations of the community.
Through such individual interventions, the project aims to enhance an art practice, which would emerge from the local community and involve the local artists to promote social and environmental development. The final public exhibition will be seen and experienced as a walk-through from one part of the trail to the other.