Are you too busy killing time on your cellphone while stuck in a jam, rushing to catch the Metro, or attempting to cross the road to take a step back and savour the true spirit of Bengaluru? Well, all of this month, a group of street artists will shake things up by taking over the city and creating edgy, funky narratives in public spaces to get people talking about what connects all of them: Bengaluru.
This is set to happen courtesy the St+art Festival, a collaborative platform for street artists from India and around the world. It started in Delhi in 2014, has travelled to Mumbai, and, this month, will take place in Bengaluru for the first time. The idea behind the initiative, says Giulia Ambrogi, one of its co-founders, is to make art accessible and democratic by developing and interacting with public spaces through art, but in a different way. “The gallery system is a failure because not even 1% of the population enters a gallery. By doing this, we can reach people who would never enter a museum and expose them to art, which is a very powerful tool for the growth of society,” she explains.
Bengaluru, Giulia adds, is a great place for this movement. “It’s a very receptive city — you can see walls are already painted and there is a strong sense of community, what the city is and what it was. Also, there are many talented street artists here who haven’t collaborated and never created the impact they can because they haven’t had a platform to do that before,” she says, adding that artists from across India and other parts of the world will participate in the event as well. While previous editions have been about scale, Giulia says the Bengaluru one will focus more on narratives about issues that are pertinent to the city. For instance, Bengaluru artist Appupen and Mumbai artist Sameer Kulavoor will work on spaces in and around the Majestic Metro Station. “Their work will catalogue the entire story of Majestic — from old booksellers, old utensils, etc., to what it is now,” explains Giulia.
* Anpu (Delhi)
* Appupen (Bengaluru)
* Artez (Serbia)
* Baadal Nanjundaswamy (Bengaluru)
* Collin Van Der Sluijs (Netherlands)
* Daku (Delhi)
* Dan Goldman and Ram Devineni (USA)
* Guesswho (Bengaluru)
* Inkbrushnme (Mumbai)
* Remed (France)
* Sameer Kulavoor (Mumbai)
* Shilo Shiv Suleman (Bengaluru)
* Siddhartha Kararwal (Mumbai)