Maraa

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Maraa (meaning tree in Kannada), is a media and arts collective based in the city of Bangalore founded in 2008. As of 2011, its board members were Lawrence Liang, Aisha Abraham, Leela Rao and Arlene Manoharan.

History[edit]

The collective was started by Seema Nair, Ekta Mittal and Ram Bhat in early 2008. The initial purpose of the collective was to challenge the prevalent premise that community radio can only be used in a strictly developmental sense, and that too only in a rural area. The organization intended to start a low powered FM station in the city of Bangalore which would deal with contemporary urban issues, art, activism, philosophy and culture. Facing a restrictive policy environment, the collective moved on to other projects and interests, postponing the idea of media practice to a later day.

Programs[edit]

The collective's two main programs are "Media" and "Art and Public Space".

The Media program attempts to posit the centrality of media practice, distribution and consumption in politics and in everyday life. The work focuses mainly on alternative media practice, research and advocacy around media policy as well as capacity building around access to media.

The Art and Public Space program attempts to open up possibilities of a new aesthetics which are premised on community and dialogues, on process and collaboration, rather than on object and gallery driven art. The program also recognizes urban studies as an important area of focus, and attempts to convey the politics within the production of urban space through creative practice.

The collective has a strong history of working with community radio stations in South East Asia. Working mostly with communities in rural areas of India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, Maraa has developed capacity building modules around conceptual understanding, production skills, presentation skills, management and sustainability of community radio.

Current projects[edit]

The organization is currently working on a documentary film titled Behind the Tin Sheets in collaboration with independent film makers, Yashaswini Raghunandan and Paromita Dhar. The film attempts to displace the given identity of the migrant worker through personalized recollections of ghost and love stories of the workers. The film, through its images, also conveys the rapid restructuration of Bangalore city because of globalization and rapid corporate investment.

A group of European Artists and Asian artists travel across South India, as a mobile residency project titled Mobile Artistic Platform, in an attempt to address concerns around sustainable tourism, creative and cross-cultural exchange, and hospitality. The project also attempts to address questions regarding artistic process and mobility.

External links[edit]