Bangalore has always been a cosmopolitan city that has embraced diverse artistic and cultural expressions to make meanings of its existence and relation to the world, amidst the chaos of daily urban life of its individuals and communities. Home to avant-garde works straddling literature, visual and performing arts, and new media and digital art, Bangalore’s artistic exuberance continues to explore the city’s many layered being - its struggles, conflicts and aspirations - nurtured by artists, institutions and entire neighbourhoods. For IFA, Bangalore has been our home for over 20 years, nurturing and supporting us.
Project 560 is IFA’s initiative exclusively for Bangalore. Taking its name from the first 3 digits of Bangalore’s pin code, Project 560 seeks to encourage artists, scholars, institutions and neighbourhoods to engage creatively and critically with the city. In doing so, it aims to provide citizens a kaleidoscopic experience of exploring the city that would enable them to reimagine the city and their relationship with it in exciting ways.
We have had two editions of Project 560 so far. The 2014 edition was supported by the Qualcomm Foundation and the one in 2015 received support from Citi India. Over these two editions, we have made 12 grants. The grants cut across multilingual contexts, across diverse art forms such as dance, music, theatre, poetry and visual art and across various locations such as restaurants, coffee houses, government museum, desolate buildings, malls, residences, art schools, under the flyover, markets, factories, old neighborhoods and so on. Over 100 artists including designers, poets, performance and visual artists and theatre practitioners have been part of Project 560. Both years we have had a four-day Project 560 festival where the grants culminated. In addition to these, we have also had 8 curated walks and 2 art talks. With all these, we have been able to reach an audience of about 2000 people.
Project 560 has generated a lot of new interest in the city, its spaces and the place of the arts. The media has actively engaged with this initiative and it has often become a platform for discussions and debates around these themes.
Following these two editions, IFA organised a Roundtable Meeting with an external panel of experts in August 2016, towards sharpening the focus for the coming years. The experts on the panel were Suresh Jayaram, Ramesh Aravind, Deepa Ganesh, Jeebesh Bagchi, Zac O’Yeah and Anant Maringanti. Vivek Shanbhag participated in absentia, through a note he sent. The four year Project 560 plan detailed below is the outcome of the recommendations made by this panel.
Project 560: 2017 to 2021
Turn Bangalore into a stage, a canvas, a notebook or a digital courtyard. Delve into its diverse voices, spaces, histories, memories and expressions. Peer into its layered pasts, grapple with its many presents or imagine its several futures. Who are the city? What does it mean to be a Bangalorean? Where lie the strengths and challenges of the city? If Bangalore is on your mind, Project 560 is for you.
For the next four years, Project 560 will be committed to a long term, continuous engagement with the city through multipronged strategies including grantmaking and collaborations.
Support under Project 560 will be available in the following categories:
Project 560 Festival
The Project 560 festival will be organised every alternate year. Curated by IFA, this festival, comprising exhibitions, performances and panel discussions will bring into focus the threads of multiple conversations that are ongoing about the city.
(IFA is currently seeking institutional support for this initiative. The launch of Project 560 will take place after we have secured support.)