[Reader-list] shahar ke NissanII

jha sadan jhasadan at hotmail.com
Thu Dec 26 10:39:10 IST 2002

Dear Friends,
For some time, We have been working on the issue of visual representations 
that a city produces and which in tern construct the images of city. As a 
part of Sarai independent fellowship programme we did a small study on this 
subject last year. we have taken some pictures (now part of sarai archive). 
On the other hand, we tried to analyse the politics that go into the making 
of this visual city. Our aim was not just to collect photos of ordinary 
looking visual representations(signs, graffiti, advertisements etc) but the 
field work was primarily oriented towards getting an understanding of the 
public sphere of Delhi. In the context of Delhi, this exercise, we felt is 
more crucial as we do not have much to read on the subject. In the context 
of the wider arena of acedemic writings on public sphere, the intervention 
of our exercise wishes to open up the issue of visual public and the subject 
of gaze for a debate that has largely been ignored by the scholars working 
in the framework of Habermass. In recent decades, we have seen a sudden 
outburst on the subject of gaze, especially coming from scholars working in 
different aspects of gender politcis. However, because most of these studies 
are coming from the corner of gender studies, the general tendency has been 
to reduce the location of public sphere as a site primarily oriented towards 
the politics of gendered gaze. Gender, is no doubt a central strategy in the 
construction of public sphere but it is certainly not the only one. Recent 
writings on the gaze and public sphere sadly do not address other dimensions 
of the gaze and public sphere. In brief, we tried to locate the question of 
gaze by  bringing into account of themes  like, city's 'other', claims of 
state aand their resistence, the fuzzy geography of city etc.that go into 
the making of city in the eyes and imagination of citizens. However, i must 
make it clear that at this stage, all these issues have not been analysed in 
exhaustive fashion and the study merely provides an entry into field of 
visual public sphere.
Now our work is in second stage and we are working on the economy of this 
visual  city. A brief proposal is given below(as attachment file). We would 
like to have your comments and observations.
Thanking You
Sadan Jha
Prabhas Ranjan.

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