Exhibitions, conversations and more at the ongoing Khirkee Festival

New Delhi, Dec 14 (IANS) Starting Thursday, multiple venues of Khirkee Extension have come alive with a four-day festival of the arts to celebrate the cultural multiplicity of Khirkee, bringing to the foreground a variety of narratives about and from the neighbourhood through exhibitions, interventions, music, theatre, sports, bazaars and food.

Titled “Khirkee Festival,” it has been organised by Khoj International Artists’ Association and is being held at multiple venues in Khirkee Extension — Khoj Studios, the Sai Baba Mandir Road and Jamun Wala Park.

The festival opened with “Ms Bahubali,” a women’s arm wrestling competition, on Thursday evening. First organised in Khirkee by artist David Brazier as part of his residency at Khoj, the armwrestling competition seeks to activate the public space of the neighbourhood, with participants responding to the context of the competition in different ways. Women from the various communities in Khirkee were seen competing for the title of Ms Bahubali.

Khirkee Talk show is another element of the festival which creates a space for open and honest dialogue between the Khirkee locals and the Africans who live in Khirkee, with a focus on specific themes to discover the diverse and deep connections that Indians and Africans share. The talk show will be held at 4-6pm from Friday till December 17.

Khoj Studios will also host an exhibition of works emerging from the first Khirkee Residency, where artists Tito Aderemi-Ibitola (Nigeria), Aziz Hazara (Afghanistan), and Rajyashri Goody (India) will be showing the works they have produced in response to the neighbourhood of Khirkee.

Tito Aderemi-Ibitola and Aziz Hazara are working on a collaborative display for the exhibition, exploring how communities develop enclaves which inadvertently lead to a demarcation of space; they are interested in what this ‘self-mapping’ can tell us. For their project, they are creating a series of cubes that cannot be opened. One of these cubes, they are calling the ‘No-Box Box’, an interactive map with an immersive display. They are inviting community members to draw lines and create maps which disappear after each attempted drawing.

Also on offer for the residents of the national capital are several film screenings, plays and music events.

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