‘City For All – Sarvansathi Pune’, the relationship between Punekars and the Public Spaces of Pune

Pune,  April 20th: Alliance Française de Pune, PVP College of Architecture, Prasanna Desai Architects, Centre for Environment Education, MIST LGBTQ Foundation and Aarzoo are hosting ‘Sarvansathi Pune’, an art exhibition focused on the public spaces in the city. The event will be held as part of Bonjour India 2022, an artistic, cultural, educational, and social initiative put together by the French Cooperation Network in India – the Embassy of France in India, the French Institute in India, the network of Alliances Françaises in India, and the Consulates of France.

“Under this initiative, a team of architects from Social Design Collaborative and students from PVP College of Architecture will travel across 6 neighborhoods in Pune – Yerwada Slum, Koregaon Park, Mohamadwadi, Dahanukar Colony, Kasba Peth, and Mukund Naga. Their objective is to interact with the local communities and then map the relationship they share with the city”, said Adèle Spieser, Director, Alliance Française de Pune.

“The maps that emerge from these community interactions will bring out local histories, diverse narratives and patterns on how the public spaces of Pune are used, based on factors such as gender, identity, age, abilities as well as economic background, class and caste”, she added.

The exhibition ‘Sarvansathi Pune’ will showcase the maps, alongside interactive discourse and cultural performances, so as to raise the following questions: Who gets to occupy the public spaces in Pune? Who has the right to leisure in the city? How can we create public spaces where women and transgender people feel welcome, comfortable and secure? How can we increase accessibility to public spaces for people of all ages, gender, sexual preferences, class, caste & ability?

‘Sarvansathi Pune’’ will be open for public viewing on ITI Road, Aundh in front of F-Cube from 23 to 24 April 2022, 5 pm onwards. Entry to this exhibition cum public arts show is free.

The project, curated by architect Swati Janu and urban anthropologist Chris Blache, seeks to generate awareness through dialogue and art.

About the Curators

Swati Janu is an architect and artist who works on issues of right to the city, participatory planning and inclusive public spaces. She is the Founder of the interdisciplinary practice Social Design Collaborative which was recently awarded the Beazley Design of the Year 2020 in Architecture. Her approach combines community engagement and grassroots activism with policy advocacy. She was nominated as one of the 15 Young Leaders from India in 2018 for her work in humanitarian architecture. She is currently a Domestic Expert on the CITIIS project led by AFD and NIUA. Urban anthropologist Chris Blache co-founded ‘Genre et Ville’ (Gender & Society), an organisation working on territories and urban planning via a gender prism in 2012. ‘Genre et Ville’ is involved in R&D with city councils, government organisations, schools, urban planners, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights and equal rights societies. Chris is also a member of EELV, the French Ecologist party. She offers expertise on equal rights, urban planning, mobility and societal evolution and is currently a Global Mentor on the CITIIS project led by AFD and NIUA.

About Alliance Française de Pune

Alliance Française de Pune is a part of a worldwide network founded more than 135 years ago, and established in 133 countries where 500,000 language learners are trained every year. Enrolling at an Alliance Française de Pune is an opportunity to learn the French language, discover France and explore the diversity, history, heritage and gastronomy of the country. Quality courses, innovative teaching methods, art events, and upskilling workshops, are among the many services put in place to ensure that learning French is a memorable experience for Punekars. “We strive to promote the French language and Francophone culture through cultural and artistic collaborations such as the one between Swati Janu and Chris Blache. Luckily, AF Pune has a strong network of partners which allow it to present a wide range of events throughout the year” says Adèle Spieser, director of Alliance Française de Pune.

About PVP College of Architecture

PVPCoA is managed by Vivekanand Institute of Technology, a Trust registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860 and Bombay Public Trust Act 1950. The Trust consists of a dedicated group of people having wide experience in the field of social service, public administration and professional education. It is headed by Chairman Adv. Shri Abhayji Chhajed and managed by Secretary Shri Jitendraji Pitaliya. The college was founded in the year 1995, is affiliated to the Savitribai Phule Pune University and recognized by the Council of Architecture, New Delhi, the All India Council for Technical Education, New Delhi as well as the Director of Technical Education, Government of Maharashtra. The VIT’s PVP CoA strives to train ecologically sensitive and socially conscious professionals who contribute to shaping a built environment.

Prasanna Desai Architects

Prasanna Desai Architects is an Architectural/ Urban Design practice that works in the public domain to create sustainable and socially integrated cities. Their vision is rooted in the belief that only people and participatory equitable design solutions can bring long-term improvement to urban planning. The firm’s work in Yerwada, Pune was featured under the category ‘Best Practices’ by the Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances, Govt of India.

About Centre for Environment Education (CEE)

As a national institution, the CEE’s mandate is to promote environmental awareness nationwide. CEE develops innovative programmes and educational material and builds capacity in the field of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). It is committed to ensure that Environmental Education (EE) leads to action for sustainable development. CEE has been working consistently in the State of Maharashtra since 1995.

About MIST LGBTQ Foundation

MIST, an online collective of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender activists from all over India, aims at bringing the queer and ally community together by generating a safe space to raise awareness, and promote LGBTQ talent. At present, MIST is operational in three cities, namely Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad

About Aarzoo

Founded by Kamakshi Madan shortly after the decriminalisation of Section 377 (IPP), Aarzoo is a support network that assists members of the LGBTQ community in finding a partner, and seeking medical, psychological or legal aid.

To discover the full programme of Bonjour India 2022 in Pune, please visit https://pune.afindia.org/bonjour-india-2022/. To discover the programme of Bonjour India 2022 in all 19 cities in India, visit https://www.ifindia.in/bonjour-india/calendar/ For further information, material, or interview requests, contact Peony Sengupta | culture.pune@afindia.org | +91 7887889573