The French Institute in India and the French Ministry of Culture organised the first Malraux Seminar in India over two days in Delhi. This Indo-French Forum on Culture in Urban Public Spaces saw five experts from France and key figures of leading Indian institutions involved in art in public spaces exchange on case studies and best practices, and brain storm on possible improvements and collaborations. One evening, St+art Art India Foundation took the delegates for a curated night walk around the Lodhi Art District. The walk led to a dance performance in open space with Ali Salmi and Astad Deboo. And the evening wrapped up in the courtyard of Raw Mango for more informal exchanges. A perfect balance between theory and practice.
The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted art and culture in public spaces in unforeseen ways. With new protocols of social distancing, and changing relationship with public spaces, it became crucial to revisit the conclusions of the Malraux Seminar held in September 2019. As cultural institutions in France and India are gradually opening to the public, there is a need to review strategic challenges, and examine the adaptations necessary to mobilise cultural practitioners. The 6th round table invited reflections on possibilities enabled by the digital along with its limitations, the question of the ‘physical’ in times of growing self isolation, and finally the artist’s role in reimagining the city in a post-covid world.
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