‘Migration Museum’ is a day-long event that enquires into the changing imaginations of belonging, identity and citizenship in India. The Godrej India Culture Lab Leadership Programme is in its second edition, and Migration Museum will be the newest batch’s graduation event.
We kick start the event with the screening of the film Ghutan by students of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, School of Media and Culture Studies—Chinar Mehta, Harikrishnan HG, Pallavi Khare and Yogiraj Bhende. This student film investigates the subject of internal migration within Mumbai as a result of infrastructural projects undertaken by the state. Aajeevika Bureau's Colours of Narol is about migrant workers in the textile industry. Iftar with Rohingya Refugees by Mint is a look at India's place in the Rohingya refugee crisis while Mani Kaul's Arrival examines migrant labour as a commodity.
Professor Chinmay Tumbe will be conducting a master class that will trace and historicise India’s migratory patterns. Currently a faculty member at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahemdabad, he published his first book India Moving: A History of Migration in 2018.
Our panel discussion will feature Dr. S. Irudaya Rajan, a Professor at the Center for Development Studies (CDS), Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala who has more than three decades of research experience at the CDS, has coordinated eight major migration surveys in Kerala and is also the editor of the annual series ‘India Migration Report’ since 2010; Vrishali Pispati, Director, Mumbai Mobile Creches (MMC), an NPO that works to provide migrant children on construction sites a safe, healthy and happy childhood and also ensures that the children move towards a brighter future through education; Sagolsem Pavel Metei, the co-founder of ‘The Chinky Homo Project’, author at InPlainspeak, TARSHI’s E-Zine and currently a consultant with Nazariya: A Queer Feminist Resource Group in Delhi; and Rupal Kulkarni, CEO, Shram Sarathi—a pioneering institute working on financial inclusion of vulnerable labour migrants in India where Rupal designs and delivers economic services that help migrant workers improve their circumstances.
Following this is a performance by poet Shalim Hussain. A writer, translator, and research scholar at the Department of English at Jamia Millia Islamia, Hussain is at the forefront of the new wave of Miyah poetry, which is a form of protest poetry by Assamese Muslims of Bengali origin.
Art at the Migration Museum is about the journey – to home, away from home or in search of it. Reena Kallat will be showcasing her installations as book cover prints where she had created a woven map by tracing the routes of contract workers, indentured labour, asylum seekers, refugees and other migrants. The Godrej Archives will share the oral histories of the Navganis, a community that migrated in large numbers from Phadalewadi to Vikhroli to work for the company. Memesys Culture Lab’s VR exhibit SUBMERGED explores climate migration in Bihar and part two of the VR experience, Memesys’ When Borders Move will delve into the complexities of national identity in Hunderman, a town fractured by war on the India-Pakistan border. The Lab will be preparing some dishes from Mumbai Mobile Creche’s book Food Memories of Migrant Women which is a compilation of recipes by the wives of migrant construction workers in Mumbai. Sanjay Austa will have on display his series on the Siddi Goma community, the famous African descent population of Gujarat. The NGO Aajeevika will present two of its photography features- Bade Sheher ki Chhoti Kahaniyan and Ek Ghar, Ghar se Door which capture the lives of migrant labourers in cities like Mumbai, Surat and Ahmedabad. The Lab will also be exhibiting a part of Urbz’s Circulatory Urbanism series that highlights how mobility fuels urban-rural circularities across towns along the coast, particularly the aspect of the ‘journey’.
Migration Museum exists to critically analyse human flows and circularities - and explore the systems, mythologies and people that sustain them. You don't want to miss this - RSVP now!
Here is the schedule: