Meeta Jain

Arts Education

Grant Period: One year

Meeta Jain is an architect and designer based in Bangalore. She is the founder of Mapbee, a collaborative interdisciplinary practice that facilitates making of mobile structures and spaces addressing diverse needs and purposes, through use of relevant design and technology.

In 2015, IFA supported Meeta to work with the students of Government Primary school at Sulthanpet village, Devanahalli, Chikkaballapura district. In this project, she conducted a series of activities and converted the local Kalyani (step well) as an active cultural centre for the students and the community. The current project is an extension of her previous work. In this project, she will work with students of the same school with the Kalyani at the centre of their work.

Meeta wants to bring the Kalyani back into being a central part of the lives of the people through a game that will unite children as well as adults. The game will be both educational and fun, connecting their current lives meaningfully to their historical heritage. One hopes, this will instill in everyone a strong sense of responsibility to protect the historical architecture of their village. This knowledge will also play a vital role in how they shape their own futures in sustainable ways.

Meeta is planning to enable this process through an engagement which is known as Discovering through Playing and Playing to Discover. This is an exploratory process with three components which she has planned, keeping in mind the school space, the home and the neighbourhood. In the form of narratives and stories she hopes to develop smaller games within the classroom and school premises along with children using paper, bamboo, fabric and other found material in the environment. She will also involve experts like visual and theatre artists to engage children in storytelling and other activities. Through this process she wants to develop a larger game that can be played in the Kalyani. She hopes that this game will become part of their culture in understanding the infinitely intricate relationship of water and life. The goal is for a game to emerge organically from this collaboration. She wishes the community to take ownership of the game and change it as they wish including the making and use of props as well as coming up with songs and performances around it.

The outcome will be an exhibition and a public performance. The Grantee’s deliverables to IFA with the final report will be audio-visual documentation of the workshops, images, and a ten to twelve minute video document of the entire project.

This grant is made possible with support from Citi India.