Behind White Storeys is the final year project as part of Geetanjali’s Year 2 of MA in Narrative Environments at Central Saint Martins, London and won the Knight Frank award for best Spatial design project in Narrative Environments.
The project is located in an 84 year old heritage structure called Connaught Place in the centre of New Delhi and questions government’s current strategies to preserve India’s intangible cultural heritage which currently merely looks at preserving the built heritage and false beautification of the outer facades. Intangible cultural heritage entails traditional knowledge, skills, oral histories, performing arts, social practices which reflects the human side of culture which we inherit from the past.
Behind White Storeys was conceptualised and executed after months of researching and repeatedly walking through the streets of Middle Circle, documenting the other side of Connaught Place. The process consisted of anecdotes in the form of conversations with a tea maker hidden in a staircase, building caretakers on the rooftops, multiple courtyards, other pathways endlessly leading to one another and discovering people whose families have lived through generations of Middle Circle’s life. These stories and spaces have always been hidden and are diminishing behind the while Georgian facades of Connaught Place, while limiting the perception of Middle Circle to being a shabby service lane.
One ordinary evening of 26th March, 2017, Behind White Storeys showcased these narratives in the form of an audio- visual night walk, where 40 participants are taken through a series of hidden staircases, courtyards and installations which gives them an opportunity to reconstruct its identity in their memories forever.
Special Thanks to: Patricia Austin (Course Leader), Saurabh Suryan (Photographs), Anushi Garg + Arunima Agarwal (Research), Juhi Saklani (Content Writing), Anshul Kapoor (Videography) and Shreya Poddar Tanna (Content Editing).
Photograph: Sanjay Sekhri, Hindustan Times
Link to project webpage- https://behindwhitestoreys.wordpress.com/