Creatively conceived by Sandarbh, EQUILIBRIUM is an international cultural initiative located in Partapur, which aims at building interactive contexts for women in rural and peri-urban settlements in India.
Through Equilibrium, we wished to provide a platform for artists from Asia and Europe to enter into a dialogue with local communities in Partapur. Most women here are primary caregivers, almost all contribute to the family income. In the last ten years or so, we have seen that with increasing responsibilities, social engagement of women has reduced considerably, and social spaces to ‘hang-out’ are few and far between. In this scenario, self-help-groups emerge as new meeting grounds with possibilities of conversations and creative encounters.
Our long term aim is to create a dialogic art practice between independent artists and women members of such groups, and foster an environment of collaborative production – where the process of exchange becomes more important than an ‘object’ of art produced. We feel that there is a community of art aficionado in villages and small town India who is eager to engage with contemporary creative processes.
Equilibrium began with an open invitation for a 5 week residency for creative practitioners from Asia and Europe (ASEM countries). We received 80 applications and ten artists were selected for participation in two phases. The selected artists worked with members of self-help-groups from villages around Partapur. They spent a large part of the residency period with members of their assigned group/s, facilitated creative skill-enhancing workshops at local schools, made new work and initiated processes that emerged from dialogue and participation of the entire group.
We are happy to note that with the first edition of Equilibrium, there has been a sharing of ideas and skills, stories and recipes, and a new community based on friendship has emerged.
Equilibrium is a project of Beneshwer Lok Vikas Sansthan (Partapur), Sandarbh (Partapur/ New Delhi) and Walpodenakademie (Mainz)
Read more about our partners.
Equilibrium is supported by Creative Encounters: Cultural Partnerships between Asia and Europe by the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and Arts Network Asia (ANA) in collaboration with Trans Europe Halles (TEH).
– Sandarbh team
1] Header image courtesy: Ivan Smith, Light Bucket, Navapadar Village Museum, Sandarbh International Residency, 2006