Culture and society have been profoundly affected and altered by the new technologies of the contemporary world, blurring all kinds of boundaries (national, cultural, political, gender) and sharply highlighting the complexities and contrasts of the world we live in: the global versus the local; indigenous knowledge systems versus new media; identity in a culturally diverse society.
The Mohile Parikh Center for the Contemporary was established in 2004 by Anuradha Parikh and is assisted by an advisory group comprising of Niti Sampat Patel and Radhika Desai. The Center seeks to review and reconstruct Indian contemporary culture through a dynamic, open, ever-changing process that reflects the complex relations between modernization, globalization, local traditions and the environment. Committed to the promotion of new ways of seeing and thinking in and through the arts, the center adopts an interdisciplinary approach using academia, architecture, cinema, indigenous knowledge and folk-traditions to explore contemporary Indian culture.
These interactive research labs in diverse areas of cultural studies will be held in order to forge a relationship between theorizing and the reality of actual practice. Scholars, activists, people from industry and various other walks of life will be brought together to engage in discussions on various theoretical and practical issues related to the state of ‘culture’. The purpose of these labs is to create a platform for like-minded cultural organizations and also to collect and analyze data and disseminate information to encourage people from different walks of life to think actively and more responsibly about ‘culture’ and its relevance in building a healthy and inclusive society.
‘Dialogues’ will emphasize the power of discourse to increase the understanding of multiple perspectives and to create new possibilities and mechanisms that will address various cultural issues through lectures, discussions, book-readings. Through these events, the Center for the Contemporary aims to set up a platform to explore the assumptions in thinking, meaning, communication and their socio-cultural effects at large.
The series entitled ‘First Principles’ will re-examine concepts ranging from ‘identity’, ‘the secular’ and ‘terrorism’ from the point of view of why and how these terms were originally used and their genealogies of change, thereby seeking useful meanings for a contemporary world.
Sustainability ensures, without discontinuity, an opportunity for evolution and development in contemporary society and culture. The ‘Sustainability’ program will be held to give recognition, exposure and support to the few spaces and institutes that are committed to new ways of seeing and thinking. There is a need to recognize the capacity of these institutions to endure, as these alternative spaces embody truth, courage and conscience and serve as effective catalysts for significant cultural change toward a more humane and sustainable society. This program will provide a platform where the people behind these organizations & institutions can share with each other and the participative audience their experiences, difficulties, achievements and their need for studied changes in their own forms to suit each contemporary moment.