[Reader-list] Announcements digest, Vol 1 #4 - 2 msgs

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Thu Dec 6 11:11:55 IST 2001

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Today's Topics:

   1. 8.12.2001: Advertising Bombay (Mumbai Study Group)
   2. Welcome to the "Reader-list" mailing list (reader-list-request at sarai.net)


Message: 1
Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2001 12:18:46 +0530
To: Recipient List Suppressed:;
From: Mumbai Study Group <kshekhar at bol.net.in>
Subject: [Announcements] 8.12.2001: Advertising Bombay

Dear Friends:

In our next session, we welcome Dr WILLIAM MAZZARELLA, Lecturer in 
the Department of Anthropology at the University of Chicago, U.S.A., 
who will speak on "Critical Publicity/Public Criticism: Reflections 
on Fieldwork in the Bombay Ad World".

He will offer a series of reflections based on his experience of 
conducting anthropological fieldwork on the Bombay advertising 
business. He will examine the ethical and practical contradictions of 
this kind of research project, as well as those contradictions 
internal to the business itself. The overall aim will be to move 
towards a form of critical engagement that understands consumer goods 
advertising as a crucial form of public cultural intervention.

Dr William Mazzarella has previously taught at Harvard University, 
and at the University of California at Berkeley, where he completed 
his Ph.D. in 2000 in Socio-Cultural Anthropology, which was titled 
"Shovelling Smoke: The Production of Advertising and the Cultural 
Politics of Globalization in Contemporary India". He is the author of 
several essays and papers, and a forthcoming monograph from Duke 
University Press, on the cultural politics of globalization and the 
advertising industry in South Asia.

This session will be on SATURDAY 8 DECEMBER 2001, at 10.00 A.M., on 
the SECOND FLOOR, Rachna Sansad, 278, Shankar Ghanekar Marg, 
Prabhadevi, Mumbai, next to Ravindra Natya Mandir. Phone: 4301024, 
4310807, 4229969; Station: Elphinstone Road (Western Railway); BEST 
Bus: 35, 88, 151, 161, 162, 171, 355, 357, 363, to Ravindra Natya 
Mandir, 91 Ltd, 305 Ltd, A1 and A4 to Prabhadevi.


22 DECEMBER 2001
"Shanghai and Mumbai: Sustainability of Development in a Globalizing World"
by Dr Tapati Mukhopadhyay, Siddharth College Dept of Geography, Mumbai

12 JANUARY 2002
"Manufacturing Space: Textile Policy and the Politics of Industrial 
Location in Mumbai"
by Harini Narayanan, University of Illinois Dept of Urban Geography, 
Urbana-Champaign, U.S.A.

26 JANUARY 2002
"Food Security in Mumbai and Thane: A Study of the Rationing Kruti Samiti"
by Mayank Bhatt, Journalist and Research Associate, Institute of 
Development Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton, U.K.

"Party Politics in Mumbai: A Panel Discussion on the Eve of the Civic 
Participants to be Announced

23 FEBRUARY 2002
"Mumbai Modern"
by Dr Carol Breckenridge, University of Chicago Dept of History, 
Chicago, U.S.A.

9 MARCH 2002
Film Screening of "Jari-Mari: Of Cloth and Other Stories"
Discussion with Surabhi Sharma, Producer and Director

23 MARCH 2002
"Girangaon: The Past, Present and Future of Mumbai's Textile Mills 
and Mill Workers"
Participants to be Announced

13 APRIL 2002
"Gender and Space in Mumbai"
by Shilpa Phadke, Visiting Lecturer in Sociology, Nirmala Niketan 
School of Social Work, Mumbai
and Neera Adarkar, Architect, Adarkar Associates, Mumbai


The MUMBAI STUDY GROUP meets on the second and fourth Saturdays of 
every month, at the Rachana Sansad, Prabhadevi, Mumbai, at 10.00 A.M. 
Our conversations continue through the support extended by Shri 
Pradip Amberkar, Principal of the Academy of Architecture, and Prof 
S.H. Wandrekar, Trustee of the Rachana Sansad.

Conceived as an inclusive and non-partisan forum to foster dialogue 
on urban issues, we have since September 2000 held conversations 
about various historical, political, cultural, social and spatial 
aspects of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. Our discussions are open 
and public, no previous membership or affiliation is required. We 
encourage the participation of urban researchers and practitioners, 
experts and non-experts, researchers and students, and all 
individuals, groups and associations in Mumbai to join our 
conversations about the the city.The format we have evolved is to 
host individual presentations or panel discussions in various fields 
of urban theory and practice, and have a moderated and focussed 
discussion from our many practical and professional perspectives: 
whether as architects or planners, lawyers or journalists, artists or 
film-makers, academics or activists.Through such a forum, we hope to 
foster an open community of urban citizens, which clearly situates 
Mumbai in the theories and practices of urbanism globally.

Previous sessions have hosted presentations by the following individuals:

Kalpana Sharma, Associate Editor of The Hindu; Kedar Ghorpade, Senior 
Planner at the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority; Dr 
Marina Pinto, Professor of Public Administration, retired from Mumbai 
University; Dr K. Sita, Professor of Geography, retired from Mumbai 
University, and former Garware Chair Professor at the Tata Institute 
of Social Sciences; Dr Arjun Appadurai, Professor of Anthropology at 
the University of Chicago, Director of Partners for Urban Knowledge 
Action & Research (PUKAR), Mumbai; Rahul Srivastava, Lecturer in 
Sociology at Wilson College; Sandeep Yeole, General Secretary of the 
All-India Pheriwala Vikas Mahasangh; Dr Anjali Monteiro, Professor 
and Head, and  K.P. Jayashankar, Reader, from the Tata Institute of 
Social Sciences Unit for Media and Communications; Dr Sujata Patel, 
Professor and Head, Department of Sociology, University of Pune; Dr 
Mariam Dossal, Head, Department of History, Mumbai University; 
Sucheta Dalal, business journalist and Consulting Editor, Financial 
Express; Dr Arvind Rajagopal, Associate Professor of  Culture and 
Communications at New York University; Dr Gyan Prakash, Professor of 
History at Princeton University, and member of the Subaltern Studies 
Editorial Collective; Dr Sudha Deshpande, Reader in Demography, 
retired from the Department of Economics, Mumbai University and 
former consultant for the World Bank, International Labour 
Organisation, and Bombay Municipal Corporation; Sulakshana Mahajan, 
doctoral candidate at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban 
Planning, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, U.S.A., and former 
Lecturer, Academy of Architecture, Rachana Sansad; Dr Rohini Hensman, 
of the Union Research Group, Mumbai; Mrs Jyoti Mhapsekar, Head 
Librarian, Rachana Sansad and Member, Stree Mukti Sanghatana.

Previous panel discussions have comprised of the following individuals:

S.S. Tinaikar, former Municipal Commissioner of Bombay, Sheela Patel, 
Director of the Society for Promotion of Area Resource Centres 
(SPARC), and Bhanu Desai of the Citizens' Forum for the Protection of 
Public Spaces (Citispace) on urban policy making and housing; Shirish 
Patel, civil engineer and urban planner, Pramod Sahasrabuddhe and 
Abhay Godbole, structural engineers on earthquakes and the built form 
of the city; B. Rajaram, Managing Director of Konkan Railway 
Corporation, and Dr P.G. Patankar, from Tata Consultancy Services, 
and former Chairman of the Bombay Electric Supply & Transport 
Undertaking (BEST) on mass public transport alternatives; Ved Segan, 
Vikas Dilawari, and Pankaj Joshi, conservation architects, on the 
social relevance of heritage and conservation architecture; Debi 
Goenka, of the Bombay Environmental Action Group, Professor Sudha 
Srivastava, Dr Geeta Kewalramani, and Dr Dipti Mukherji, of the 
University of Mumbai Department of Geography, on the politics of land 
use, the city's salt pan lands, and the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) 
Act; Nikhil Rao, of the University of Chicago Dept of History, 
Anirudh Paul and Prasad Shetty of  the Kamala Raheja Vidyanidhi 
Insitute of Architecture, and members of the various residents 
associations and citizens groups of the Dadar-Matunga, on the 
history, architecture, and formation of middle-class communities in 
these historic neighbourhoods, the first suburbs of Bombay.


We invite all urban researchers, practitioners, students, and other 
interested individuals to join us in our fortnightly conversations, 
and suggest topics for presentation and discussion. For any more 
information, kindly contact one of the Joint Convenors of the Mumbai 
Study Group: ARVIND ADARKAR, Architect, Researcher and Lecturer, 
Academy of Architecture, Phone 2051834, <adarkars at vsnl.com>; DARRYL 
D'MONTE, Journalist and Writer, 6427088 <darryl at vsnl.com>; SHEKHAR 
KRISHNAN, Coordinator-Associate, Partners for Urban Knowledge Action 
& Research (PUKAR), 4462728, <pukar at bol.net.in>; PANKAJ JOSHI, 
Conservation Architect, Lecturer, Academy of Architecture, and PUKAR 
Associate, 8230625, <pjarch at vsnl.com>.


Message: 2
Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2001 13:37:36 +0100
From: reader-list-request at sarai.net
To: announcements at sarai.net
Subject: [Announcements] Welcome to the "Reader-list" mailing list

Welcome to the Reader-list at sarai.net mailing list! Welcome to the
Sarai Reader List.

The Reader List partly serves as a platform for online discussion on
the themes that emerged in the Sarai Reader 01, and partly to create a
lively community that discusses and debates key issues in new & old
media  practice and theory and reflects on the experience of the
everyday, as well as technology, culture and politics in city spaces.
The Sarai Reader's concern with the theme of the Public Domain means
that the list is especially open to reflections on what is the nature
of a free public space in our cities, and in our various practices,
and what it might come to mean. The people who often post on the list
include social theorists, activists, filmmakers, telecommunications
engineers, artists and software programmers.

LOCATING THE LIST The list is administered out of Sarai in Delhi, on a
server located in Amsterdam, and our members are spread over many
parts of the world, with strong concentrations in Delhi, Mumbai,
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Atlantic seaboard (including New York), Brisbane, Sydney and London.
You could say that the List is beginning to be truly reflective of the
dispersed nature of internet culture, although we do need more people
from places that are nearer (in geographic terms) and perhaps more
distant (in virtual terms). It would be great to get postings from
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list, to people and places both far and near, please do so! I would
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LURKERS AND POSTERS As in all lists, (and especially new lists) the
majority of subscribers are also lurkers, (everyone who has ever been
on an online discussion has lurked for some time - there is nothing
wrong with lurking as long as it does not last for ever). I am sure
you would agree with me that over time one can even recognise
personalities and quirks of regular posters, and that we look forward
to our personal favourite correspondent who has been silent for some
time. So do lurk, but only for a while, and we look forward to reading
what you have to say.

DIRECTION(S)? We at Sarai who have been involved with the list on a
day to day basis feel that future directions for and on the list
should emerge from the community of subscribers. To this end, we
propose that we spend some time discussing the list itself and how
best to make it as lively and convivial as possible, how best to
maintain a provocative edge so that there is always room for fresh and
new perspectives, and how to ensure the broadest possible
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private agenda, but a true digital commons, very much in the 'public
domain', where everything that is relevant to cities, media and the
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and talked about.

WHAT SHOULD THE LIST DISCUSS So far, there has been a tendency on the
list to have a great deal of discussion on computer technology,
(especially free software) the internet, online surveillance, privacy,
even water. Even though these strands may look quite disparate,
interestingly enough, a common binding principle has been reflecting
on public access to resources. Some of these may have seemed to speak
to and from specialists, but we are sure that most people got the
gist/essence of the discussion, although we urge all posters that they
try and make their postings sufficiently accessible to non-technical
people. The habit of using metaphors and experiences from outside
one's immediate discipline and experience is a good one, it connects
people with 'idea bridges' and the more 'idea bridges' there are the
more walking across can be done.

Anyway, what we do realize is that it is not necessary for these
issues to dominate the list to the exclusion of all other issues. So
please go ahead and post on things that seem relevant and important to

CONVERSATIONS Please be willing to enter into an argument, post
something that is interesting, and take issue with each other, in a
frank and civilised manner - we can then have a reasonable yet an
interesting online culture of debate. 

inter-disciplinary conversation, and that can happen if techies,
artists, activists and the theorists who are on the list realize that
they are not talking to people of their own kind alone.

This list is as much about the last film that you saw that made you
sit up and think, as much as it is about the last piece of code that
challenged your humanity. It is also as much about the delight and the
rage of living in a city, and it is especially looking for resonances
between urban experiences located in different places.

The list needs to have a sustained take on other issues of
significance, like the presence of media in urban spaces, the politics
of information, spaces of autonomy and freedom in contemporary culture
- the aesthetics, ethics and politics of representation - all of these
are equally important to us, and we need to talk about all these as

GLOBAL/LOCAL What is also important is the ability of the list to have
a sustained reflection on what goes on around us in the immediate
vicinity of our lives. For example, there has been a reasonably active
discussion thread on online surveillance and the politics of
information which at times wove in the realities of many places, (esp.
Delhi and Amsterdam) onto a complex map of what happens when
information and power coalesce, but such discussions have tended to be
limited to thoughts on the 'Digital Domain' alone. 

This skews the list into a mirror of the activity that happens 'in
other places' and a silent, mute bystander to what goes on close to
our own offline realities. We all know how easily our sense of what
constitutes our reality is defined by the mainstream media. How the
filters that are locked into place by the big media also ensure that
many things that concern us remain unexpressed, unknown and
unarticulated. This is particularly true of the happenings and
realities in South Asian cities. This list can then be seen as a space
for the free encounters  for the ideas, reports and reflections that
either slipped out of, or were suppressed by the 'big' (old & new)

Over time, we can see a whole cluster of lists emerging around the
Reader List, with sub-themes, and perhaps with invited moderations, or
proposals for discussions on specific topics. All this can happen, and
will depend on how much initiative and energy we all put into the

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE For starters, we have a few  suggestions.
These are not mandatory, but we would like you to give them due
consideration, as a sketchy roadmap of where the list can go.

1. That people on the list write a paragraph about themselves and
their interests and and send this to me (the list administrator). This
will help us all get a sense of who we are, and allow many lurkers to
have their say. I will prepare digests of these postings and put them
back into the list.

2. That topics and threads for discussion be proposed for discussion,
within the broad ambit of the interconnections between old and new
media practices, city spaces, info-politics and net criticism.

3. That the list spends some time discussing itself, and what
direction(s) it wants to take.

3, That we try and ensure that as much material that reflects South
Asian realities gets into the list as do news and views from

4. That Original postings constantly keep coming into the list, and
that the list does not turn into a cooking pot of 'forwards' and
'announcements' alone.

5. That no one uses the list for spamming, private agendas,
propaganda, personal aggrandizement, pet hates and advertising.

This is a long and perhaps unusual welcome note, but I hope that it
provides something to chew (and then post) on. I would welcome any
responses, and urge that they be made on the list itself, and I hope
we can spark a thread of discussions on discussion itself.

Warm regards, and welcome again. For old threads, do check the
archives. The reader is also available online at

Monica Narula List Administrator.

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