The patchwork group investigated the social configuration in Kirkhee and in its neighborhoods, trying to catch the true composition of the area. By meeting and interviewing inhabitants, collecting objects and stories, the group aimed at understanding the real or the narrated image of Khirkee. The result includes an emotional map, a photo give-away and an interactive book, together telling the story of Khirkee.
The Emotional book.
The idea was to create a map of Khirkee. But not an ordinary just geographical map. We wanted to create a map, that is connected to the people in Khirkee. A map, that is full of stories and emotions … So we went out and talked to people we met in different places all over Khikee: In the streets, in their shops or in their homes. All of them were really surprised that a team of exotic looking people with cameras and notebooks want to talk to them. But after the first seconds of irritation and thinking “what do they want from me?” the conversation somehow gets a natural flow.
After a little regular talk, there were two main questions. We asked everybody: One “colour question” and one “object question”. The “colour question” was about the clue, that we wanted to find out what colour the people associate with Khirkee. It was not so easy to answer, because the question is quite abstract, but after some moments of thinking people answered pretty interesting associations. For example: “Green, because many Muslims are living in Khrikee and green is the colour of their religion”, “Red, because the fort is red and I can see the fort everyday out of my window”, “Grey, because everything is so dirty in here” or “Brown, because Khirkee means window frame and window frames are usually brown”. With this information of the people we were finally able to create an emotional patchwork map with the colours they told us.
The “object question” was about the clue, that we wanted to find out what object, can be a symbol of the peoples connection to Khirkee. Here again the people had to think a while, but then they give us really interesting objects. For example: A man we gives us a piece of kohl, because he is working as an ironing man and he uses the kohl daily for his iron. And another man gives us a chip for playing computer games, because he owns a small shop, were children can play computer games. A young girl we interviewed gives us a picture of her family picture, because she lives together with her family in Khirkee. And the owner of a little paper recycling shop gives us a piece of newspaper, which symbolize his work in Khirkee.
At the presentation day we hang out all our collected things in the street. The patchwork piece, which had coloured pieces of fabrics and quotes from the interview on it. And under a construction site, we hang some mobile pieces. On the mobile pieces you could see the interview texts, photos and the objects.
“Facing Khirkee” is a photo project which tries to face Khirkee in the way of a portrait series. When I walked around in the small streets and entered hidden yards during the “Urban Typhoon workshop” I met many interesting people and started to interact with them. All together I clicked over 100 portraits; the ones you see down there are just some of them. As a resume I can just say: “Muchco Khirkee log bahut passand hai!”
“Imagine Kirkee” is an interactive notebook containing stories discovered during walks around Kirkee and Hauz Rani Village, histories of informal workers that are interconnected economically with the Saket Mall – as formal and informal economies have always a silent or hidden dialogue. Interactive because, there describe some performative and participatory process to do with the local people, aimed to re-contextualize the symbolic role of the Majid and to give a possible interpretation of a nowhere land between the neighborhood and the shopping mall.
Each book cover is unique, because made by fabric pieces gifted to me by the local workers after the interviews that I made. The pages of the books are composed by words and images picked up during the exploratory drift around the neighborhood. It’s a collection of spots, private views inside a hidden work place, where the sounds of the stitching machines are the work’s rhythm: a starting point for thoughts on the contemporary Kirkhee urban composition. It can be an instrument for play with the imagination, rather to prove the possibility to create performative ideas with the Khirkee inhabitants all around the neighborhood.
Free walks – Free meetings – Informal interviews – Collection of objects and histories – Images – Observation
- Example of per-formative actions useful as a dialogue with all the people that live in the neighborhood -
What it’s the MOSQUEE today?
This performance is thought to be acted on the Khirkee streets and on their closest places and spaces. I printed post cards, one side an ironic question in what is the real meaning of Mosque today, and on the other side all white space, as a blank supports that can contain all kind of expressions. It creates a possibility to play with words or drawings, regarding the future interpretation for the Khirkee Masjid. Giving the possibility to the inhabitants to express themselves by different tools, not only verbal one, that they usually use during the committee of the Resident Welfare Association. The sentence, the question on the post cards will be translated in Hindi, Urdu and English.
Distribute the small cards all around the neighborhood, asking the people to draw, write or represent their opinions, or their imaginative ideas/desires for the space of the Masjid. After the distribution of the cards, fixed an “appointment” inside the Masjid, inviting people to come there. The date will be an appointment to talk personally regarding different opinions and a performative interaction to discover the architectural spaces inside the monument.
The public situation will be thought for:
- creating an open discussion between people.
- decontextualize the place of the Masjid, across a real action that can revitalized the space.
What did you imagine for this land?
PLAY WITH THE IMAGINATION (for the land in between)
There is a land “in between” the Saket mall and the Khirkee neighborhood.
To set up an open discussion with the people aims to create a participatory action and talk, I thought to print different postcards, with the imagines of this piece of land and the question:
- What do you imagine for this land? -
The activity is thought to made for awaken the possibility to imagine for the local people, to understanding their real needs and necessities and to create a real project suitable for this area, able to better respond to the future sustainable development of this place.
At the end, collect all the postcards and creating a public dialogue with the people. As there is a project thought for this area: parking and a series of small shops, the participatory play with the local people, will be an instrument to “check the pulse of the idea”, for collect new impressions. As this land “in between” will have really a strategic point, for the people who live there as hinge zone among the Saket city mall and the urban village of Khirkee
Process of making “Imagine Kirkhee”
Each unique cover-board, made by different pieces of fabrics that the artisans gave to me as a material element of their work, represent the uniqueness of the hand made work “made in Kirkhee and in Hauz Rani”. The aim is to develop a real relation with objects born in Kirkhee, a strong relation between true objects and place, to develop the sense of belonging in the neighborhood. To strengthen the place’s local identity instead of suffocating and destroying it as the slow process of gentrification aims to do. The interactive book can be utilized by people as a diary to write sensations and change on the neighborhood.