Thursday, December 29, 2016

Temple Town Tales

Srishti institute of Art Design and Technology

Level     : Foundation studies program
Course  : Social ecology expedition to Hampi

Course faculty : Narendra Raghunath, Srishti Institute of Art Design and technology
                             Sonal Godhania,Srishti Institute of Art Design and technology
                             Eduard Revera, Masart, MIT, USA
Course content resources : Ajai Narendran

Number of students : 20

Course abstract:

A typical temple town in India remain an enigma of human civilization with its marvellous craft, culture and tradition that are rooted in urban situation.  From   history of a flourishing dynasty to today’s symbol of cultural renaissance of 21st century tourist interest, these temple towns offer us the insights into a living tradition of  an uninterrupted continuity of hundreds of years  craft and culture traditions  woven into beliefs and faith. 

For a  creative practitioner and an academic  it offers  in-numerous possibilities  of experiencing    heritage preservation and it's critique to living craft and  cultural traditions and   the contemporary tourism industry  that work around it. 

In totality, temple towns in India offer us a vibrant engagement both  in terms of creative and theoretical  exploration  along with  the possibility of  experience them in real times 

The course will be divided into 3 areas 
1. Immersion
2. Hampi explorations
3. Reflection and exhibition

Immersion : 

There are two divisions for Hampi- One part is the ruins  of a flourishing empire that is now being protected under World heritage site category. There are three major players in this India Government (archeological survey of India), Karnataka State archeological survey and thirdly Unesco. Apart from this there are other stake holders like NGOs, District administration etc are also  involved in this.   

Some  of  the questions can be : 
What is heritage and who decides it?
What is the role of a stake holders in its presentation, upkeep and protection?
What is the role of local people to whom it may/may no be linked  through through their livelihood or  cultural value?
What are the aesthetic of this heritage, art and architecture

2. Other side of the Hampi is Anagondi where Vijaya nagara dynasty  was originated. Here the remnants  of those cultural heritage of still remain relevant. This part of small town has the business associated with Hampi along with the living tradition of the area.  There are NGOs  and craft communities actively participate in the tourism industry.  

Some of the questions can be:

What is the role of  temple rituals in Indian society?
How are the rituals and cultures preserved in cosmopolitan tourism environment?
What are the value systems of individuals and family in Indian traditional communities?
What are the cultural symbols of traditional Indian society that are being exploited for tourism industry?
How to read craft and culture in traditional from traditional community visual cultures?

Methodology :
Students will be given reading materials, visual presentations, master talks and films about various aspects of Hampi and its associated beauty and issues during immersion period. (we have collected a huge resource for this) There after students will be asked to frame some possible enquiry that they may  want to explore at Hampi. Every student will create a blog journal with their reflections, findings and engagements.

Site exploration 
5th December, 2016 evening we will be leaving for Hampi on bus. 6th December to 13th December evening we will be staying at Kishkinda Resort at Hampi. 

First two days students will be taken  for a guided tour. This include exploration of local site visits and group formations. After that we will allow them individually or in groups to explore their core project questions. They have to record using various tools like drawing, painting, photography and voice recording of the subject related activities including interviews. 

Every evening we will have a summation of the day with reflective feed backs from peers and faculty. 

3. Reflection and exhibition 

1.Students will present their entire explorations and findings in  reflective blog . 
2. Students will translate this experience into a creative exhibition in whatever medium of their choice.