Arzu Mistry is an educator and artist. She teaches at the Srishti Institute for Art Design and Technology in Bangalore. Arzu maintains a high level of dedication and enthusiasm for the arts, as mediums for pedagogy, advocacy, transformation, and intervention for the building of sustainable inclusive communities. Arzu facilitates the Art in Transit and placeARTS public art projects in Bangalore and internationally with the hope that art can facilitate dialogue between people and the urban spaces they inhabit. Arzu co-facilitates the Accordion Book Project and is the co-creator of the artist book Unfolding Practice: Reflections on Learning and Teaching. Her art and education practice connects teachers, youth and families with place using memory, story, play and art and design practices through inter- disciplinary education and public community art projects, livelihoods training, teacher professional development and educational research and practice.
Indira Chowdhury is an oral historian passionate about collecting people’s stories. Her career journey has been exciting and diverse: a PhD in history, professor of English, an encyclopedia editor, a translator, a lexicographer, an archivist, a historian of science, an entrepreneur and a writer. Indira was awarded the Tagore Prize in 2001 for her book The Frail Hero and Virile History (OUP, 1998). She was awarded the New India Fellowship to work on an institutional history of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, published from OUP in 2016, titled, Growing the Tree of Science: Homi Bhabha and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. Indira is the Director of the Centre for Public History at the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bengaluru.
This year’s speaker, Karthik Vaidyanathan, is an Engineer-MBA by qualification, who works in music, radio and telecom at international companies, where he still consults in design. His project, “Varnam Craft Collective” was born during a trip to Mysore enroute Channapatna. The colourful toys of Channapatna left him fascinated and a few visits later, the designs of the Varnam Collective were published. Today, Karthik is a pioneer in reinventing traditional toy craft.
Ketaki Sheth has been a photographer for 30 years. She works on self-commissioned projects which sometimes take years to complete. Her work includes a 4 year project on Patel Twins in Britain and India (Twinspotting, Dewi Lewis Publishing, UK, 1999), 20 years of photographing Bombay’s streets (Bombay Mix, Dewi Lewis Publishing 2007), A Certain Grace: The Sidi, Indians of African Descent (Photoink, New Delhi, 2012) and her just completed first work in colour “Still Lives” due for publication. Having been exhibited in India and overseas including the National Gallery of Modern Art New Delhi, Photoink New Delhi, National Portrait Gallery London, Tate Modern London, Emile Zola Galler, Aix en Provence, amongst others, she has won the Sanskriti Award in India and the Higashikawa award in Japan for her work.
Ramaswamy Subramanian is a scientist and a teacher whose laboratory interests lie in a few areas. Currently a senior professor at Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine (inStem), he believes that science is a social activity. According to him, the best science happens when people of different views and expertise collide. He spends a lot of his time thinking about methods to create an environment to increase collisions and increase the probability of catalysing a disruptive innovation.
Vijayasimha Ajarananda is a tinkerer, inventor, entrepreneur, mentor and a medical technology evangelist. He has established 9 distinct running enterprises across 4 continents in the area of analytical sciences, biotechnology and bioprocess engineering, semiconductor fabrication, factory automation, aerospace and medical devices.