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Interpreting Heritage

On 8th of December 2019, we placed canvases in Pondy Bazaar√Ęs new pedestrian plaza and 8 artists spent the day painting on them. Curious onlookers were invited to learn about a century old sociopolitical history that has largely been overlooked in the modernisation of this area. We met a plethora of interesting people and this was a great opportunity for us to start conversations about the heritage of our city and celebrate World Heritage Week with them.

Stumbling upon art unexpectedly in the neighbourhood proved to be an effective tool to engage people across age groups. A dad and his two kids from Sri Lanka, the employees of Naidu Hall on a lunch break or just the average shopper, a very diverse crowd paused along their daily routines and got to learn about T Nagar. From the origins of the Justice Party to the various memorials of political giants that dot this area, it makes for great storytelling.

Public spaces are vibrant in the presence of an energised crowd. Art, history or even just curiosity are the tools we wanted to use to activate this new social infrastructure and raise awareness about the heritage of T Nagar.