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SIMPLY BANGALORE tracks the journey of the women who had the ability to dream big
COMMUNITY ART ARCHANA PRASAD
Walking down Richmond Road, one can’t help but notice Jaaga. What was once an empty space has now been converted into a free-standing structure made out of pallet racking and plywood by Archana Prasad, 33 and her team. But what makes Jaaga special are the people who walk into it. From artists to techies, poets, writers and sculptors, Jaaga has become an open community space for locals to ideate, exhibit and create. Be it an exhibition of paintings, or a workshop on front-end coding and design, Prasad’s small project has already served over 3,000 people. “Being an artist in India can be quite frustrating if you lack the money and experience. Very few galleries want to take a chance and exhibit your work; juggling a full-time job to fund your work is also draining,” says Prasad, who has a post-graduation diploma in animation from National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. Prasad, who held a TedX talk in Mumbai recently, is also a fellow of the Art Think South Asia 2010 programme. “I worked for about two-and-a-half years with Microsoft Research as a design researcher. It was a great learning experience but eventually I realised I want to work in a more creative field. I quit my job with plans to start an artist-run gallery in Bangalore,” she says. However, when landlords repeatedly refused to give her a space to start a gallery, Prasad decided to take matters in her own hands and Jaaga was born. Now it is nomadic and experimental, both in terms of architecture and the art is displays. “We can always mould and shift the structure according to the land owner. But the enthusiasm, bonding and passion always remains steady,” says Prasad.