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Enabling Dissent - reconfiguring spaces for demonstration

Part 2 Project 2007
Neha Sabnis
Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute Mumbai India
Civil society generates problems of exclusions, difference, diversity and politics of identity. Suppressing conflict is suppressing freedom, because the privilege to engage in conflict is a part of freedom. Public life is best cultivated in many democratic spaces where obstinate differences in power, material status and hence interest can find expression. Public space cannot be fully inclusive but must be the site of political activity. The thesis aims to link the public space to the exercise of free speech rights, to challenge the current proliferation of sanitized urban spaces, to provide space where difference and conflict is not just tolerated but valorized.
Neha Sabnis

Thesis at KRVIA is imagined as an important platform of inquiry into systems of architectural production; and experimentation in forms of practice to intervene within these systems. Often these challenge fundamental assumptions regarding spatial practices within the city. Neha was interested in the way spaces for dissent, an integral part of the democratic process are being gradually neutralized by restricting the domains in which they can exist. Her programmatic and architectural strategy was able to find, within existing institutional and spatial frameworks, spaces to blur the distinction between the with’in’ and the with’out’. Here dissent and protest could find its space un-inscribed within the rigid structures prescribed by the State.

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