Mumbai mill land stories (2008)
Rupali Gupte & Prasad Shetty
shown at Manifesta 7, Bolzano, curated by the Raqs Media Collective
10 years ago we were involved in the making of a map of the mill lands of Mumbai. Here, for the first time 57 cotton textile mills were seen in a dense city fabric. The map became a powerful instrument to imagine the place and prompted several kinds of interventions. However, this cartographic imagination limited the lenses through which the mill lands could be seen. It drove the debate for open spaces in the city for some, housing rights for the mill workers championed by other activists and arguments for opening up dead real-estate in the area by yet others. Now, after 10 tumultuous years of transformation, a new map of the mill lands is imagined. This was an attempt at rebuilding the map of Mumbai’s mill lands beyond its cartographic skin into the thicknesses of its lived spaces, its memories and its convoluted narratives. This multimedia story-map of the Mumbai mill lands measures 7’X7’x 6”. The mill land map, printed on its surface, pink in colour, is transformed with several areas of the Parel landscape replaced with other geographies from New Delhi, Juhu, Fort, Bhiwandi that were connected to the mill lands in many ways. The pink map speaks of a new anatomy of the city. Embedded within this map are 6 screens a. romance of the mill lands b. policy, visions and plans c. phoenix mill and other stories d. politics of dilapidation e. property and madness f. reorganizations. Besides the screens, embedded in the map, are 7 eye pieces, projecting out of the map like giant industrial bolts. Within these are nestled the multiple desires of various people who had multiple stakes in the mill lands.
Find a detailed presentation of this work: Multifarious Nows