Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Project Haat

The Haat: Present, Past and Future

The contemporary urban haats in India are seen as a cultural oasis where craftsmen, artisans, merchants and artists from all over the country assemble.

The haat gives them an opportunity to directly market their wares. You can see jewellery, handicrafts, lampshades, pottery, ceramics... the mehendi artist, the micro calligrapher who'll write your name on a grain of rice, the magician, astrologers... and spices!

It is a cultural extravaganza because visitors get to see the diversity in India, witness spectacular performances and also savour Indian Food.
While contemporary haats stay at some defined urban locations and spaces, and the craftspeople change from time to time, the traditional haat orginated as an impermanent village market that is either set up on certain days or moves from one place to another.

The traditional haats were thus reinvented quite successfully to set up contemporary haats, so village goods find their way to a more urban and global market while at the same time prevent exploitation in this exchange.

The Delhi Haat in New Delhi and Swabhumi in Calcutta are examples of such spaces that offer a kaleidoscopic view of Indian Culture through its Arts, Crafts, etc.

My Brief

To study examples of both the contemporary urban haats and the traditional haats, understand and represent these models visually, assimilating information from various perspectives as follows:

1. Social and Cultural Perspective

2. Business and Sales Perspective

3. Environment and Exhibition Spaces

In effect, through all this I want to define the problems and opportunity areas around the concept of HAAT.

Gaurav Bhushan.

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