- Research in Play
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A Tale of Complexity - Poverty, Income and Well-being
The recent Oxfam report on inequality paints a grim picture of India. It is often assumed that improving income/wages will result in a greater quality of life. The Universal Basic Income flows from the same idea. Meanwhile, there has been a shift in conceptualizing poverty in an interconnected manner, rather than in a reductive way. This begs the question whether the relationship between income/wages and well-being is linear. It is in this context, Bharath will discuss his approach in modeling the complex and dynamic relationship between income/wages and well-being, and the potential computational approaches offer in creating such models. This could lead to a better understanding of the factors that need to be addressed in designing policies to address poverty.
Bharath M. Palavalli designs games and simulations to understand complex adaptive systems. He is currently working on identifying and understanding the conflict prone relationship between the urban poor and the city; specifically, to help in policy design and planning in a rapidly urbanizing context of developing countries. Previously, he has designed agent based simulation frameworks, and games for safety and learning.
For this Research in Play, Morgan Campbell, Doctoral Candidate of Urban Planning and Public Policy and recent resident of Bengaluru invites conversations that link together questions, reflections, and experiences related to gender, transportation, and [the idea of] collective space.
Morgan will introduce the research and thought process that informs her doctoral work and led to her recent Gender Bender project of working with the BMTC women bus conductors, some initial findings, and why the interior spaces of public transportation are as important to study as the transport systems themselves.
Morgan requests attendees to come prepared to discuss the collective space within public transportation, what that collective space looks like in different cities, and Bengaluru in particular.
Morgan Campbell is a doctoral candidate of urban planning working at the intersection of planning and critical theory to interrogate the various ways in which urban mobility, particularly transportation mobility, literally and symbolically moves (and occasionally removes) gender differences. She has lived New York, France, Japan, and England but now calls Bengaluru home.
We Must Risk Delight - What the Stories of Mahila Samakhya Tell Us.
We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure, but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must havethe stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthlessfurnace of this world....- Jack Gilbert
Mahila Samakhya, one of the world's largest state-funded women’s empowerment programme, creates spaces where women can reflect, examine, articulate, and situate their problems and experiences within their own context. Women, as a collective, create spaces to strategise, resolve, tackle, and address individual and broader problems. In a previous talk given at the Alternative Law Forum, Dr. Niveditha Menon, from the Centre for Budget and Policy Studies, spoke about the stories of Mahila Samakhya – stories that conveyed the laughter, the tears, the solidarity, the resistance, and the commitment of Mahila Samakhya women.
In this month's edition of Research in Play, she will revisit the concept with an emphasis on examining the philosophy and practice of Mahila Samakhya with stories, anecdotes, photographs, and short clips. Niveditha will talk about how the power of storytelling is infused in the research of Mahila Samakhya, and how ordinary observations are made extraordinary with the mere act of self-reflection. In essence, she will be telling the story of Mahila Samakhya through the stories of its women – a story of struggle, survival and stubborn hope.
The Hybrid Domain - Collaborative Governance for Social Innovation
As part of our Research in Play series, we present a talk on ‘Collaborative Governance for Social Innovation’ by Dr. Balaji Parthasarathy of IIIT-B.
To explore new possibilities to solve some of the most pressing social challenges of the 21st century, this talk will explore the hybrid domain as an emerging institutional form to generate social innovation.
The shifting relations between states, markets, not-for-profit sectors, and technology shape the landscape for social innovation. The empowerment of low-income populations in India in particular, and in the Global South in general, as contributors of knowledge for social innovation promises developmental impacts that earlier efforts could not deliver. Particularly in the context of state failure to deliver services that fulfill the basic needs of citizens, collaborative governance can serve as an useful alternative to blend economic and social objectives by overriding organizational boundaries which were previously considered ideologically incompatible and, therefore, unbridgeable.
Dr. Balaji Parthasarathy is on the faculty of the International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore. His professional interests lie at the intersection of technological innovation, economic globalization, and social change, especially in underprivileged contexts.
Street Vendors Act of 2014 - An unfolding of contemporary history
As part of our Research in Play series, we present a talk on ‘Street Vendors Act of 2014’ by Vinay Sreenivasa of Alternative Law Forum.
Streets are said to be a city's vital organs, yet our cities' streets are contested spaces. There are differing views competing with each other on what should be the nature of our cities' streets, who can and should occupy them, and how they will be shaped in the future.
In this context, the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulating Street Vending) Act of 2014, came into effect on March 5th, 2015. The law is to both protect livelihoods and ensure regulation of vending in a democratic manner, with the involvement of the Street Vendors.
What are the implications of this new law? What insights does the unfolding process of implementing this law provide us? What are the issues and challenges?
Vinay not only has had a ringside view, but also is an active participant as someone who has been campaigning for street vendor rights much before the law came into being. On Thursday, Vinay will share with us the story of the journey thus far, and how these debates could shape the fiercely debated space that is our streets.
India’s rich literature on poverty.
Often, we hear that theory needs to make sense in the real world, and that practice will benefit immensely by paying attention to theory. Will the twain ever meet, make friends, and create sustainable innovations? At 'Research in Play', we hope to create a space where they can at the least shake hands and say hello.
This month, we present a talk on ‘India’s rich literature on poverty’ by Dr. Vinod Vyasulu, a Bangalore-based economist who someday hopes to author a science fiction novel.
Dr. Vyasulu has taught at the Universidad de las Americas in Mexico, IIM-B, and XLRI, Jamshedpur. He has held the Reserve Bank Chair Professorship at ISEC; and has been the Director, Institute of Public Enterprise, Hyderabad; Director, Centre for Budget and Policy Studies, Bangalore; and Economic Adviser to the National Small Industries Corporation. He set up CBPS, Bangalore in 1998.
About the talk - “I will talk about this subject [India’s rich literture on poverty] in terms partly of research issues, and in part of my own professional evolution. I will start with the 1971 publication on Poverty in India and move on from there.”
Geography of Industrialisation
This month, we present a talk on ‘Geography of Industrialisation’ by Dr. Sharadini Rath, Affiliate Fellow, Indian School of Political Economy, Pune, who has worked on various areas of urban and rural governance.
It is taken as a given that industrialisation and urbanisation go hand in hand.Agglomeration formations, like Chennai or Pune, have long histories of such symbiotic behaviour and are able to leverage those embedded processes in times economic upturns to register further growth, in cumulative cycles. But for India, the focus on such large agglomerations, or metros, have resulted in severe regional imbalances in the creation of industrial employment. The talk will present evidence of this for Maharashtra, and some case studies to throw light on how individual industrial locations behave over a period, and what the drivers for industrial decision making might be.
Research for Whom?
This month, we are thrilled to present Dr. Robin King, Director of Urban Development at World Resources Institute (WRI) Ross Centre for Sustainable Cities; and Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA. She also acts as an external advisor to Fields of View.
Drawing from her vast and varied experience, which ranges from being an academic teaching at Georgetown; working for the United States Department of State leading trade negotiations; a banker with Mellon Bank; to running a website for the Organisation of American States to link to the digital world, Dr. King will explore the question - 'Research for Whom?’
Koogu, the Kannada word for 'call' or 'shout', is a solo performance comprising of a series of vignettes based on real events, some that occurred in the performer's life - a grandmother who considered dancing 'cheap', memories of a church choir, an attempt to run the marathon - all examined in the light of larger ideas of freedom, culture and tradition.
The performance was born out of a series of conversations between a Bengaluru-based theatre worker, Anish Victor and Michel Casanovas, a dancer and choreographer from France. The dialogue revolved around the question - 'what does one stand and fight for?' Employing a non-linear narrative - Koogu uses text, dance, sound, song and music in order to provide the audience fresh ways of sensing and engaging with performance.
Having performed in diverse venues - living rooms, terraces, kitchens, office-spaces, basements, a Sal forest, as well as regular auditoriums - across Bangalore, Kolkata, New Delhi, Assam, Chennai, Pondicherry and Kenya - Koogu continues its journey.
Sandbox Collective is a performance collective comprising of artists and arts managers led by Nimi Ravindran and Shiva Pathak, both of whom have worked in the theatre for over 15 years. Sandbox works towards enhancing the scope of performing arts and to towards creating more cultural vibrant cities. Besides performing all our plays in auditorium, as well as in alternative spaces like offices, homes, basements, restaurants and and terraces, (in a bit to reach out to the non-theatre going audience) we also use theatre and performance for various other purposes including education, training and in resolving conflict(of various kinds). Sandbox Collective also curates and organizes theatre and performance festivals and tours plays in India and abroad.
Tumkur City Scrolls
This month, we present a talk by Naveen Mahantesh, whose practice lies at the intersection of art, architecture, and the city.
His past projects includes, working with teams of artists and curators and engaging with ideas of placing art in the public realm while considering the city as a studio. His projects provide alternate perspectives for the banal routines, take inspiration from urban myths, and engage within the ecologies that the city thrives upon.
The current understanding of a smart city is defined by it wikipedia description. How do we unravel and position a city as smart, for a society that is accustomed to a Smart TV, Smart Car, Smart home or a Smart phone? As an insider to this research process, Naveen Mahantesh shares the brief history of Tumkur, a soon to be 'smart city', and discusses 'smart', as the new local. The on-going research is in collaboration with the students of Architecture department, S.I.T, Tumkur.
Your Turn Next
Can we design a game on e-waste? Or on the PDS? What about Indian masculinity?For a while, we have had many ideas floating around that we figured it was time to catch them. We designed some new games, paper prototypes that need people to play with them, break them, build them, and make them stronger.Are you game? Join us this Friday for ‘Your turn next’, a game night at the FoV House.
Why are Bangalore's lakes foaming?
It is all over the news, these photographs of a foaming lake. Motorists complain, petitions are being filed, ordinary people are horrified, and the international media too has taken note. But why are these lakes foaming? Some Government officials said it is because of household waste. Some say it seems like industrial effluents. There seem to be a lot of perspectives, but not much clarity. And so, in this month’s Research in Play, we aim to explore the question why. Why are Bangalore’s lakes foaming? Between October 19th - 23th, we hope to have a team join us in exploring this question. You will undertake both desk and field research and analyse your findings. These findings will be presented at a public event in the FoV House during the last week of October.
Secrets of Bengaluru's lakes
This month, we present a talk on an issue frothing and foaming in our city by Hita Unnikrishnan, a doctoral scholar at ATREE. Her research explores histories of lakes in Bengaluru and relates it to contemporary events, emphasizing voices of communities traditionally dependent on lakes. In the talk, she will unveil unknown facets of the histories and uses of Bengaluru lakes. In doing so, she will discuss how a contextual and holistic understanding of the history of crucial resources, such as lakes, can benefit policymaking.
Community participation - Panacea or pipe dream?
This month, we present a talk by Dr. Soundarya Chidambaram on community participation and how her ethnographic research in four non-notified urban slums in Delhi illuminates and informs the gap between theoretical formulations and everyday realities of collective action and participatory politics.