[iDC] Introduction

Shveta Sarda shveta.sarda at gmail.com
Tue Jun 21 09:14:24 UTC 2011

dear all,

I'm Shveta Sarda. I'm an editor and translator with Sarai, at the Center for
Study of Developing Societies, Delhi (www.sarai.net). Sarai is an
interdisciplinary research and practice programme on the city, media and
public domain. For the last ten years at Sarai, I've been engaged with the
Cybermohalla experiment, a constellation of dispersed nodes and networks of
knowledge production about urban life (www.sarai.net/practices/cybermohalla).
I've edited and translated "Trickster City" (Penguin, India, 2010), writings
about Delhi by twenty writers from different working class neighborhoods of
Delhi associated with Cybermohalla. (
My research interest focuses on practices of auto-didactism and their
radical alterations within the post piracy digital environment, along with
the difficulties posed to writing and thinking the layered conflicts
produced by the accelerated growth and violent renewals of urban landscapes
and imaginations. My latest translation work with the Cybermohalla Ensemble
is "No Apologies for the Interruption" (
www.sarai.net/publications/occasional/no-apologies), an image-text
exploration of post-piracy media encounters (2011).

Briefly, about the Cybermohalla Ensemble:

The Delhi based Cybermohalla Ensemble is a collective of practitioners and
writers that has emerged from within the project called Cybermohalla, a
network of dispersed labs for experimentation and exploration among young
people in different neighbourhoods of the city, that was initiated by Ankur:
Society for Alternatives in Education (Delhi) and Sarai-CSDS (Delhi) in the
year 2011. Over the years, the collective has produced a very wide range of
materials, practices, works and structures. Their work has circulated and
been shown in online journals, radio broadcasts, publications, neighbourhood
gatherings, contemporary and new media art exhibitions. Their significant
publication includes Bahurupiya Shehr (Rajkamal, Delhi 2007) and Trickster
City (Penguin India, 2010). Their forthcoming publication, in collaboration
with Frankfurt-based architects Nikolaus Hirsch and Michel Muller, a
consolidation of the conversations, designs and efforts from over the last
few years to carve out a language and a practice for imagining and animating
structures of cultural spaces in contemporary cities, is forthcoming
(Sternberg Press).


At MobilityShifts, I will be sharing notes, reflections, questions and
insights from within Cybermohalla over the last ten years and through my
current, ongoing engagement with the Cybermohalla Ensemble.

I will be more present on this list towards the end of July, and will be
happy to be in discussion through "No Apologies for the Interruption".

A short note about "No Apologies…" by the Ensemble:

What kinds of questions do lives gather within them as they move between the
multiple worlds inside a city and the devices that shape the manifest city?
Inside each of lurks a potential to create. It is through our recognition of
our own potential that we connect with others. We make for ourselves
occasions to actively fashion this world and, in this way, to take it in.

Expressions and frameworks abound all around us, outside us. It is when we
speak and give shape to our imaginations that our desire to find new ways of
living, to create dream worlds and to collide with what is outside us,
gathers velocity. Where despair and despondency of life are withdrawn and
you say "I can do it", new travel routes open out.

Power creates rules, makes many implements to reign in possibilities and the
impulses to create. But force of life cannot be contained; it bursts through
anyway. Energy travels from body to body; each environment germinates
countless more.

It is of such questions, imaginations and collisions that "No apologies for
the Interruption" is an expression.

To download and read:

Looking forward

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