Collective Research Initiatives Trust

Arts Collaboration

Grant Period: Over three months

Collective Research Initiatives Trust (CRIT) is a group of architects, scholars, technicians and artists who have worked together over the past seven years in Mumbai. CRIT was established in early 2003 with the aim of undertaking research, pedagogy and intervention on urban spaces and contemporary cultural practices in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.

Description: The locus of the research and intervention undertaken by CRIT has been contemporary cultural practices in Mumbai. This project would bring together CRIT’s work in three spheres – urban public spaces, contemporary art and curatorial practices, and digital archiving, documentation and publication.

The Industrial Museum Collaboration, as the project was called, derives from their concerns about two urban phenomena: the deindustrialisation of manufacturing and production, and the dematerialisation of culture. Against this backdrop, the project’s focus, more specifically, was on representing the history of Mumbai’s textile industry, the present state and future prospects of the Mill Lands in Girangaon, and the concerns of the working class communities associated with it.

Connecting museum to factory and heritage to industry, this project underlined the fact that heritage discourse has so far excluded industrial or technological history. Heritage, the organisation points out, has been about the colonial or modernist city, not about the industrial city. The collaboration, therefore, “is premised on rendering visible the history of the industrial city which has been extinguished by factory closures and the flight of manufacturing, as well as the new ‘global city’ which is developing around economies of service, information and culture.”

There were two segments to the collaboration: one was the Industrial Museum Workshops and the other was the Industrial Museum Archive. The first was supposed to be a series of workshops, each led by individuals from different disciplines. The workshop was to be organised in conjunction with other local educational and cultural institution. Individual collaborators expected to address the broader issue of dematerialisation/deindustrialisation in relation to their own and each other’s disciplinary concerns.  Six such workshops had been planned.

This seed grant would have enable the collaborators to plan out their disciplinary projects, workshops and activities and to hold an initial two-day planning workshop to discuss the proposal for the Industrial Museum Collaboration. But CRIT was unable to meet the project outcome and this grant was closed.