ACTS OF COLLECTIVE MEMORY
-A case of the local Gandhi Museum
The thesis intents to imagine the history that is lived and experienced in the contemporary through Architecture of Memory. The idea of history invokes notions of human agency, change, the role of material circumstances in human affairs. A connection with history in an urban landscape raises the possibility of learning from it and it suggests the chances of better understanding ourselves in the present, by comprehending the forces, choices, and circumstances that brought us to our current situation.
In an urban setting time often lays flat and the history of a place remains static. Kora Kendra lands in the Borivali suburb traces its history from post-independence in 1948 when the Mumbai Suburban District Village Industries Association (MSDAIA) purchased the lands from the government to promote Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophical and political ideologies. Extensive agricultural and small-scale industrial practices began in the neighborhood with the core ideas of self-reliance, integrity, hands-on labor and vocational training. The Gandhi Museum in the locality is a symbol of our citizenship and also acts as a ‘Mnemonic Device’ for people as it resonates Gandhi’s ideas and philosophies through its programs and spatial features. Over the years the land has been exploited and has failed to serve its purpose. The museum is not visited much and is unknown to many as it fails to function in a new participatory manner.
The thesis aims to reinterpret the idea of a museum in contemporary. It also attempts to understand the relevance of Mahatma Gandhi’s ideologies and how can it sculpt our lives in the present by reimagining the practices of a Body, of Learning, of Building Communities, and Acts of our Citizenship in a suburban and metropolitan context. This will be done through an extensive study of existing Gandhian institutions and the urban neighborhood of Borivali.