When murals are in harmony with the city

murales in Lodhi Art District


Perhaps not everyone knows that in Delhi there is a neighborhood where the murals have not arisen in the span of a night, away from prying eyes, without the authorization of the owners of the walls, but are instead part of a beautiful project aimed at making art accessible to a wider public and to make some areas of the city more pleasant for those who live in there.

The energy these murals develop is good and the vibrations spread are high.

This project was born in 2014 under the name of St+art India Foundation, thanks to Arjun Bahl, Hanif Kureshi, the Italian Giulia Ambrogi, Akshat Nauriyal and Thanish Thomas and is a non-profit organization. Their projects include murals, street art and experimental public art installations in residential spaces, including slums, urban villages, bus and subway stations. The themes, shared with the various artists from all over the world, range from climate change and queer rights to Indian mythology and the daily life of ordinary people.




Unlike most of these works, generally considered vandalism and removed by the authorities, the St+art murals also appear on some government buildings, they are always authorized by the inhabitants and the authorities, the idea is to establish a direct link with local communities that also interact with artists at work.

I remember when it all started,back then I didn't know that the murals suddenly appeared in Shahpur Jat, an urban village in Delhi, were painted as part of such a larger project. I thought they were the work of graffiti artists. A friend, who shot a short film in that area at that time, immortalized some in his film.

Then a gigantic Mahatma Gandhi appeared at the Delhi police headquarters, not far from Old Delhi, 48 meters tall and Mumbai's turn came.




In 2015, Lodhi Colony in Delhi, a government residential complex built in the late 1940s, which was in a fairly evident state of decay, began to flourish again thanks to the contribution of artists who gave a soul to the entrances to the courtyards of the various groups of houses.
Lodhi Art District thus became India's first public art district.

Today you can visit others in Hyderabad in MS Maqta neighborhood, the slums of Mahim East and Dharavi in Mumbai, Panjim in Goa, in Bangalore and Chennai.




St+art then started to organize public art festivals and exhibitions as well.

St+art initiatives have been funded by various institutions, including public government bodies such as the Delhi Municipal Corporation and the Central Department of Public Works, and private companies such as Asian Paints, which also supplies the paints.

If you come to Delhi, and you have the time to include a visit to the Lodhi Art District, it will be a pleasant discovery!

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Lodhi+Art+District/@28.5862489,77.2226361,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m6!3m5!1s0x390ce3153812bcf7:0x9d9a5ec4d7038b3e!8m2!3d28.5862489!4 d77. 225211!16s%2Fg%2F11h07w35ty?entry=ttu

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