Consulate General of Sweden and Red Dot Foundation promote ‘Sustainable and Inclusive Urbanism’ at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2020
by Shrutee K/DNS
Mumbai: The Consulate General of Sweden, Mumbai in collaboration with Red Dot Foundation, Swedish Institute and Millefotto will be participating in the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival from February 1st to 9th to increase awareness about ‘Sustainable and Inclusive Urbanism’. They will jointly host a Photo-exhibition, Panel discussion and Heritage Walk that will highlight challenges in the unequal urban landscape and discuss solutions to enable equality, accessibility and inclusivity in our cities.
Anna Lekvall, Counsel General of Sweden in Mumbai said,“Every human has the right to live with dignity irrespective of socio-economic or physical challenges. The Consulate General of Sweden in Mumbai is glad to partner with Red Dot Foundation and Kala Ghoda Arts Festival to highlight the importance of building sustainable and inclusive cities to ensure equality and accessibility for all.” Elsa Marie DSilva, Founder CEO of Red Dot Foundation said, “We are excited to partner with the Consulate General of Sweden in Mumbai to discuss important issues like access and inequality that impacts the quality of urbanism. By 2050, 70% of the world’s population will live in cities and this will put a strain on the existing infrastructure. Therefore, it is important to have these conversations so that we plan for the future whilst learning from the past in order to not leave anyone behind irrespective of gender, ability or economic status.”
The initiative kickstarts with a photo exhibition from February 1 to 9, 2020 which will highlight two important inequalities observed in an urban setting: the very tangible result of socio-economic disparity in Mumbai and the inaccessibility purview of Indians and Swedes with disabilities.
The socio-economic urban inequality is being represented by the Mumbai version of Photographer Johnny Miller’s globally renowned ‘Unequal Scenes’ project. Commenting on his well-acclaimed work, Johnny Miller said,“Mumbai is a city of contradictions and this was evident from the aerial scenes that exhibited exceedingly sharp contrasts between single-story slums and developed areas. The project aligns itself with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, specifically in the fight against extreme inequality, climate change, and sustainable cities and communities. Through this initiative, I hope to provoke a positive dialogue which can begin to address the issues of inequality and exclusion in a constructive and peaceful manner.” ‘The need to provide accessibility in urban settings is being depicted by the Swedish Institute’s ‘AccessAbility’ project that features portraits by Sunil Thakkar (Indian photographer) and Marcus Marcetic (Swedish photographer). It explores the personal stories of Indians and Swedes with disabilities, describing their dreams, sorrows, joys, jobs, families and loved ones. It further tells how they cope in in accessible environments to live independently. Commenting on the project, Sunil Thakkar said, “The project aims to increase awareness about the need for accessibility and inclusivity so that all citizens can live with dignity.”
The initiative also entails a panel discussion on February 7, 2020 that will highlight the current challenges and discuss possible solutions for making Mumbai a sustainable and inclusive city. The panelists include Ms. Anna Lekvall, Consul General of Sweden in Mumbai; Dr. Sangita Hasnale, Assistant Commissioner - Planning, MCGM; Ms. Prathima Manohar, Founder and CEO - The Urban Vision; Mr. Nilabh Nagar, Urbanist and Architect, Hafeez Contractor; Mr. Suhas Karnik, Honorary Secretary, National Association of the Blind (NAB) and Ms. Elsa Marie DSilva, Founder and CEO - Red Dot Foundation (Moderator).
The initiative concludes with an informative heritage walk on February 8, 2020 with the objective of analyzing the current architecture of Mumbai’s most important heritage precinct and towards actively planning, designing and utilizing urban spaces in the most sustainable way. This walk will start from Asiatic Library and will conclude at Flora Fountain.