Do Din – simply meaning ‘two days’ is a multiplex event that was first organised in Hyderabad in December 2013. It was initially conceived as an urban techno arts festival where several different things would be happening simultaneously as they do in cities. It was specifically about celebrating Hyderabad but also about reflecting on cities in India and elsewhere. There were film screenings, workshops, talks and exhibitions parallelly all at the same venue. Hyderabad Urban Lab was nominally coordinating it all.
At the end of the first Do Din, arose the question, “who owns the event?” The Do Din organizing committee was not an organization and we sensed that it would not be possible to bring it back together in the same way for another iteration of the event. Also to take decisions and organise effectively we needed a group working on it through the year. This led to Hyderabad Urban Lab taking responsibility for organising and hosting the event in successive years. It is always in the third or fourth week of December, year after year.
Our venue, Vidyaranya School was an examined decision too. It was central and therefore easily accessible both in terms of public transport and in terms of internal design. It is known to be a place of non-competitive learning, a symbol of non-aggressive non hostile urban spaces, that we hoped Do Din would performatively create.
Do Din at Vidyaranya, brings together friends, it brings together ideas, sparks new ideas and new commitments for people who are thinking about cities, living working and dreaming cities.
The central theme of Do Din this year is PRECARITY or
Precarity is defined as ‘a precarious or uncertain existence, lacking in predictability, job security, material or psychological welfare.’
In the present moment precarity seems to have grown into a large beast. It is no longer subtle, invisible, experienced only by the last and the least.
When the woman who runs a breakfast bandi (cart) on the side of road sets out to work in the morning, it is uncertain whether her place on the street is secure; if she will even find her bandi or the pavement in one piece. It is uncertain whether the pedestrian will survive a walk through a flooded city in the monsoon. Details of our identity such as fingerprints, bank details and addresses are floating through unprotected databases. An elderly person trying to walk down an uneven, pothole filled, traffic packed street experiences precarity.
Precarity is experienced in all forms and magnitudes, by everyone who inhabits the urban space. It is something that cuts across age, class, caste and gender. Our deliberations at Do Din this year are around precarity.
How can students be targeted and singled out on campus for forming and expressing opinions?
How does any educational institution sidestep its responsibility of creating a strong aware sensible citizen?
Why does a place of learning exceed its brief of teaching and indulge in pushing youth to the brink and yet enjoy complete impunity?
What relevance does a caste certificate have inside a classroom?
At Do Din we will be looking at these and similar elements of precarity that students are experiencing in places where they should be safest.
What is it like to be permanently temporary?
How do you protect yourself, the precious little you possess and your documents
when you are always under threat of being flooded or evicted or dislocated?
If you can no longer work from home how do you get to a work place safely?
Do walls and roofs ensure safety?
How many women are safe in their own home?
How do you survive when your occupation is a hazard?
On who should the onus of a worker’s well being be?
Who Is to take care of those that take care of the city?
If the constitution guarantees THE RIGHT TO WORK why does
the cattle dealer get killed for his work?
Work, wages, welfare and wellbeing.
Why should my attire, language, food preference, age, faith, gender, caste, class, sexual orientation, ideological leaning, make me a target?
Democratising of violence is only a bold step in the direction of normalising it.
In a situation where the threat to life and liberty is forever present, what alliances can be forged to create networks of safety not for one individual or community but for each potential target.
A threat to one life or one group at one location is not just that. It is the rusting and disintegration of society, one assault at a time. What kind of collective action is possible under such unusual circumstances?
Women as Urbanists 1 | Women as Urbanists 2
Yes there is a difference between women as urbanists and men as urbanists. Women bring to their reading of the city a certain perspective that is integrally connected to their own experience of the urban which more often than not is fraught with challenges. They see and sense things in a way that can only come from an everyday grappling with challenges. We look forward to a dynamic conversation on both days amongst women who make the city and women who study the city and women who study the city even as they make it. These urbanists include scholars, activists, workers, planners, artists, students and others.
The Perils of Learning
Precarity in spaces of higher learning: a discussion amongst teachers, parents and concerned citizens about the ways in which students get pushed into positions of extreme vulnerability and their lives get imperilled.
At times, shelters that are treacherous make for even greater
threats than homelessness.
Presentation by barefoot researchers from Pukar, Bombay Discussion on precarious housing
Life threatening Livelihoods
Work gives us the wages to live. This session will be a free flowing interaction with a few people who work at jobs that can bring disease, injury and even death.
Literature and Art
Our literary resource persons will be reading and reciting original compositions and translations in prose and verse representing the lives of the precariat.
Iconart founder and other artists from the city invite you to view their installations and art works dealing with the challenges of life in the city.
The installations will be on display during the event but at a slated time, you can also meet and talk to the artists.
There will also be a curated photo exhibition based on the Do Din theme.
Lunches and Teas
Identity @ and as a Risk
A monk narrates their journey of self discovery from adolescence in a small town to researcher and activist in the big city to a Buddhist teacher in Buddha’s land.
Caring for the Caregiver
A teacher and psychologist shares her insights from her
ongoing research on caregivers for the terminally ill.
Music, Movement and More music
The sessions this year will be punctuated by musical bursts and
we will wrap up the event with a musical concert.
Interested participants are welcome to join in two concurrent workshops during Do Din, one on neighbourhood mapping and the other on participatory art work.
A social gerontologist talks about and answers questions on how ageing need not be a despair filled experience.
Football, Boxing and Beauty
Listen to the experiences of the researcher activists working with at risk adolescent girls and young women to equip them with unusually enriching skills.
Risks of Overinvesting
Planners and urbanists will look at how a city becomes a threat to itself and all those who dwell on it due to excessive zeal for growth.
10:00 – 10:15 | Introduction of Informal Workers
10:15 – 10:20 | Song and dance : Sinjini B
10:20 – 10:45 | Keynote
10:45 – 11:00 | Tea
11:00 – 12:30 | Women as Urbanists – I : Amita B, Tripta C, Sonal S and Sabah K
Informal city – Prasad S, Rama S and Anant M
Mapping workshop : Srinivas K
12:30 – 12:45 | Vocals : Anusha and Veena
1:00 – 1:45 | Barefoot urban researchers presentations : Pukar Team
Tashi’s journey with Kinnera M
1:45 – 2:30 | Lunch
2:30 – 2:45 | Instrumental music : Teja and Trilok
2:45 – 3:30 | Risky cities : Prasad S, Maheep S and Anant M
3:30 – 3:45 | Tea
3:45 – 5:30 | Livelihood Skills : Godrej CSR Team
Women Migrants : Anveshi Team
Boxing and Football for girls : Parcham
5:30 – 7:30 | Poetry and Music : Panini, Sabika, Anupam and Sridhar
10:00 – 10:15 | Poetry reading : Panini A and Gauhar R
10:15 – 10:45 | Walking as method : Jane’s Walk by Anant M
10:45 – 11:00 | Tea
11:00 – 12:00 | Perils of learning : Murali K, Rama S, Anant M and Sujatha S
12:00 – 1:45 | Women as urbanists – II : Lalitha K, Kinnera M and Hemalatha
Ageing in the city : Dobaara Team
Cancer care navigation : Mahati C
1:45 to 2:30 | Lunch
2:30-2:45 | Story Telling : Deepa K
2:45 – 3:30 | Literature readings : Rama S
Installations : Meet the artists
Waterscapes of Hyderabad : Manish B, Vanshika S and Subhash R
3:30 – 3:45 | Tea
3:45 – 4:30 | Housing and Legality: Kinjal S and Lalita K
4:30 – 5:00 | Media and Precarity : Panini Anand
5:00 – 5:30 PM | Valedictory
5:30 – 7:00 | Music : Rahul, Akhil, Neha, Gopika and Saurabh
This is now, the fourth edition of Do Din. As we reflect on the event we are becoming aware of the ideas and values that have shaped Do Din. One characteristic feature of Do Din is the nature of interactions at Do Din where a variety of urban dwellers meet each other. New ideas arise and get shared without any compulsion to force them into any single agenda or call to action. It is a reflexive space. It allows people time to think and absorb. Over the years, many ideas that are spoken about at Do Din have been picked up and implemented by participants at DD. Much of our own work at Hyderabad Urban Lab is shaped by these conversations. At Do Din, we witness many different ways of seeing, being and acting in the city. These ideas lead to lasting associations. This year, we decided to nudge people to think in terms of action agendas for the coming year. Please feel free to create your own agendas, or organise do din like events in your own neighborhoods, cities. Do Din is about creating new communities of practice and the best way to participate is to do it again, repeatedly and discover new ways to do things.
DISCOVER NEW WAYS TO BE IN THE CITY
Prof Amita Bhide is the Chairperson of the Centre of Urban Planning, Policy and Governance at the School of Habitat Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). She has been teaching there forever and has additionally been deeply involved in issues relating to urban poor, community organisation, housing rights movements and tribal development and rural governance. It is her unease about the non recognition of women as urbanists that inspired us to have two sessions dedicated to women urbanists.
Scientist, poet, film maker, activist and teacher of communication will be sharing his poems with us and also participate in the panel on Perils of Learning.
An award winning photo journalist himself, Harsha has once again kindly agreed to procure and curate a collection of photographs related to the Do Din theme. Going by his previous exhibits it is not something to be missed.
Kinjal is an activist sociologist assisting iihs on a project enquiring into the architectural history of homes in a resettlement colony near the North- West border of Delhi. She will be sharing her work as a woman urbanist.
Former Dean (Academics) at the Administrative Staff College of India, ASCI is a Do Din regular. She is an official advisor to government and corporate establishments on gender, management and productivity. She also curates films for Moving Images and loves books, food and travel.
Dr. Chittem will be talking about the vulnerability of the caregivers of terminal patients. She teaches at IIT Hyderabad and her research focuses on Psycho-oncology which deals with the pathways to care, , communication, coping, quality of life, illness representations, and end-oflabeling-life issues and decision-making, adherence to healthy behaviours/doctor’s recommendations, especially among chronically ill populations.
The uphill task of convincing government agencies to think and act in rational ways that will support and not endanger lives in cities has been Maheep Singh’s most trying tasks. But he is not a planner to give up. He will be talking about the precarity of the city, the vulnerability that over investment subjects it to.
Founder Director of Dobaara, Mateen ji firmly believes that age is not synonymous with disease and despair. As a social gerontologist, her attempt has been to find creative ways of reaching out to the ageing and the elderly n the urban space and offering them positive experiences through community building and new interactions.
An academic juggle and a fence hitter is how Professor Murali Krishna describes himself. He came to academics upon discovering that intellectual labour fetches global credentials unlike the construction labour. As a high school and college student he taught children of adda coolies in the evenings. In his Ph. D he has attempted to understand the history of Dalit emancipation. He will talk to us about the precarity of students on university campuses.
This young editor of Aaj Tak online is an accomplished poet and columnist and has very rich experience in the broadcast media. He loves food and is a great cook. He is a keen political observer and analyst.
Urbanist, economist, a consultant to several national and international bodies related to infrastructure, finance and cities, Partha is also a senior fellow at Centre for Policy Research. We are hoping he will deliver our keynote address failing which we will get him to do the valedictory which he does each year anyway.
Poulomi is an avid reader and she travels and she collects fabulous tales. She heads the CSR wing at Godrej which is responsible for training young and not so young women in livelihood skills. She and her team will be talking about their work and the work of the women they train.
Another regular at Do Din, Prasad Shetty is a planner, urbanist and teacher by profession. He also writes. He will be sharing stories of his city, Bombay.
Rama is a third generation Tamil from Calcutta who can boast of being more Bengali than native Bengals. Apart from translating Bengali literature and Bengali Dalit literature he also travels a lot and has been a housing rights and education activist for many decades.
Sabah Khan describes herself as an “as non-confirming as possible” feminist activist, working on Minority rights with focus on girls and women. One of the founder members of Parcham, she has helped form the adolescent girls’ football team of Mumbra. She has edited a book of Urdu poems ‘bebaak qalam’ on the theme of identity.
Writer, poet, performer, activist, learner and in our informed opinion quite a clear headed young person. She was on her way home to Lucknow but agreed to stop at Hyderabad for Do Din, at a very short notice. Please be there for her sessions.
Srinivas Kodali is a inter disciplinary researcher working on data, cities and internet. He graduated from IIT Madras with a Bachelor of Technology in Civil Engineering. He has been associated with various internet communities and movements in India. As part of these communities, he has been advocating data standards, open data and cyber security in India.
Maps are beautiful, but they are not easy to make always. Earlier days of cartographers spent years making maps. Digitals tools have made the process much easier and simple with just few clicks. The workshop will explain basic concepts of map making, data collection and representing them beautifully for your publications.
Sonal is an architect planner by education. She guides the urban planning and gender strategy, research and capacity building initiatives at the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP). She also writes in academic books and journals.
Sujatha Surepally is an activist cum academician, currently serving as Principal of the University College of Arts, Social Science and Commerce with the Satavahana University, Karimangar. She teaches Sociology when she is not campaigning against or writing about SEZs, dams, caste and gender disparity, Adivasi rights, environmental issues, natural resources and challenges in Telangana.
From Navadeep to Tashi, from a child in Nalgonda to activist researcher in Hyderabad to Buddhist monk learner in Bodhgaya… our young friend will share their quest for truth and self.
Tripta is a boxer, researcher and handy woman. Among her friends she counts Asha didi who runs the neighbourhood hardware store. As a post-doctoral fellow at iihs her focus has been on exploring the everyday negotiations on the margins. She would like to talk about listening as a methodological interface to engage, question and co-exist with the ‘Other’. We hope she will share her plans of a boxing gym for girls in a Delhi slum.
Deepa Kiran the founder of Story Arts India is a storyteller, education consultant, writer and voice-over artist who lives in Hyderabad and holds her shows and workshops across the country.
She will be performing at Do Din this year.
One of Anveshi’s research projects focuses on the aspiring class of migrant women such as low income mall workers, nurses, corporate employees as well as students from state and central universities. Their team will present their findings which indicate that the uncertainty, instability, and lack of control that women experience is intimately connected to gender and not just reducible to their other social location.
Avani Rao Gandra
Sabika Abbas Naqvi
These young barefoot researchers have seen precarity up close and experienced it their city, Mumbai. They will be giving us a glimpse into their own lives and into the research they have done on other precarious lives.
Hyderabad Urban Lab (HUL) began in mid 2012 as a programme of the Right to the City Foundation (TRTCF), a public charitable trust based in Hyderabad. The aim of the programme was to conduct research on urban issues in a way that would bridge the gap between academic urban research and life at ground zero.
The governing body of TRTCF had as its members, Dr. Biju Mathew, Mr Ashar Farhan, Mr. Bharat Bhushan, Dr. Vamsi Vakulabharanam, Dr. Vinay Gidwani and Dr. Anant Maringanti who served as the Executive Director of HUL.
In January 2016, when the programme was sufficiently grounded and had acquired its own life, the governing board of HUL, decided to reincorporate it as a non-profit company (section 8) under the name Hyderabad Urban Lab Foundation.
While the reincorporation (in June 2016) gives HUL, a legal existence, in spirit it has enabled us to continue to work towards the objectives that HUL set up for itself in 2012.
The HUL logo represents the urban grid, an interconnected network of resources and opportunities that should ideally be available and accessible to everyone who stakes a claim to them. In other words the logo represents the city as a space of resource sharing and opportunity generation for everyone that is part of it.
Earlier this year, Hyderabad Urban Lab became part of a collaborative research network involving three premier research and educational centres: Centre for Policy Research in Delhi, Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai and Indian Institute of Human Settlements in Bangalore. Lead researchers from all four of these institutions are going to be working together as part of a network called Tacit Urban Research Network. The primary motivation for this research network comes from a shared understanding that formal knowledges of our cities often leave out substantial dimensions of urban dynamics. Inhabitants of cities, individuals, groups and institutions hold tacit knowledges which do not make it into policy making realms. Tapping into these knowledges, each member of the network will continue some aspects of their previous work, build on each other’s strengths and also begin new trajectories of research. This year’s Do Din 2017 is supported by this network titled: TURN.
Technical Support and Special Inputs – Sridhar P, Dr. Anant M
Design, Execution and Graphics – Ishwarya T
Visuals – Neha V
Video Shoot – Ashish K
Background Music – Snippet of song from film Mera Naam Joker, and harmonica by Zoha R
Photographs – HUL team
Text and Audio Telugu – Dr. Anant M
Text and Audio Urdu – Syed Riyasat Ali
Concept and Text – Ma’am B
Logo Visual and Poster Design – Neha V
Photographs – HUL team
Concept and Text – Ma’am B
Animation, Graphics and Social Media – Ishwarya T
Distribution – Ashish, Pullanna, Sinjini, Amit
Dr. Anant M and Ma’am B
Planning – Ma’am B and Dr. Anant M
Logistics – Vinay and Ma’am B
Video Documentation – Ashish K, Vilasini K and Ishwarya T
Rapporteuring – Tirthankar C, Saeb K, Mridula G and Sinjini B
Set sound and Lights – Vedeka Events
Printing – Maruthi Printers, Siva Graphics
Venue Coordination – Vinay, Ashish, Ma’am B
Hospitality – Surya and Dine hill
Cab Standby – Faheem
Auto Standby – Azeem
On-spot Support – Neha V
Registration – Ma’am B
Leg work, Setting up, Clearing up – HUL team
Venue – Security, Maintenance and Admin staff of Vidyaranya