City Scripts 2018 | Delhi

9 – 11 Mar, 2018


City writing has gained popularity in the mainstream space in India over the last two decades across various genres. Aman Sethi’s A Free Man, Naresh Fernandes’ City Adrift and Vivek Shanbhag’s Ooru Bhanga are some examples of narratives that archive the moments, people and practices that make and unmake a city over the years. With the city increasingly becoming the locus of a complex landscape of claims, writing about the city has become akin to a political act. To write about the city is to stake a right to represent, re-imagine and re-tell a city’s stories through personal prisms.


With a commitment to catalysing discourse around urban issues in the global south, IIHS envisaged CityScripts – a three-day celebration of city writings. Since 2016, the festival has brought together eminent authors, journalists, architects, poets, artists and others, and centre-staged writing of various kinds through conversations, readings, panel discussions and workshops. City Scripts 2018 will build on these conversations through different modes of engagement including masterclasses, walks, poetry sessions, live art and installations, panel discussions and workshops.


The first edition of City Scripts–Delhi was held at the India International Centre (IIC) Annexe and the Goethe Institut/ Max Mueller Bhavan in March 2017. The three-day festival hosted a series of readings, conversations and moderated panel discussions around a range of themes including poetry, violence, cinema, masculinities, reportage and walking in the city. Noted panelists included Ravish Kumar, Kiran Nagarkar, Shahid Amin, Sachin Ketkar and Monalisa Changkija, among several others.


This year, the festival is slated for March 9-11th at the Goethe Institut/ Max Mueller Bhavan in Delhi. We take form as a critical lens— from fiction, newspapers, new media, academic and research writing, to music, film and art—and talk about how they frame/inform urban discourses in specific ways. We focus on context, the power dynamics between the writer and reader, and how the medium and message speak to each other and to people at large.


The festival will include masterclasses, walking/writing workshops, poetry sessions, readings and more.



Please Register here for City Scripts 2018

City Scripts 2018 | Delhi

Registrations for Sessions

9 – 11 Mar, 2018


Walking Writing Workshops
Walk: Saturday | 10 March 2018 | 8:30 am – 10:15 am
Discussion around written pieces: Sunday | 11 March 2018 | 11:30 am – 1:00 pm


How do we read and write spaces? Accompany urbanists for a walk around a neighbourhood and uncover its many layers and stories. The idea is to take cues from your surroundings and use them to write short pieces. These could be reflections in the form of blogs, essays, or even fiction, poetry. The next day, the participants gather to share their stories of these spaces.



The Gurgaon Walk
Rupali Gupte & Prasad Shetty


Discussions about poor infrastructure, degrading environment, absent government, developer-driven planning, growing consumerism, neo-liberal civil society, and inadequate cultural life have dominated characterisations of Gurgaon. At the same time, its speedy financial growth, driven by a large number of corporate enterprises, has created a promise of prosperity. The walk will aim at traversing a cross section of Gurgaon that has transformed in the past 15 years. It is aimed at complicating the above perspectives on Gurgaon that oscillate between a critique of its awkward urbanity and a celebration of its tremendous promise. The walk is based on the project: ‘Gurgaon Glossaries’, that is a compilation of ‘terms’ – the micro-narratives of new practices and relationships that have emerged during the settling of Gurgaon. ‘Settling’ here is not a resolution of urban forces or differences. It is rather a set of processes by which things get worked out—the elaborate mechanics that keep the city in a perpetual state of becoming. The form of the glossary allows simultaneous construction, dismantling and reconstructions of Gurgaon. The micro-narratives of the glossary have the capacity to complicate the easy meta-narratives, to get out of the problem-intervention-problem rat-race, to generate and sustain an interest in living in and loving the city, to offer nuanced readings of the city and to find creative ways of engaging with it.



The Govindpuri Walk
Tripta Chandola


The cosmos of Govindpuri jhuggis – a settlement almost 30 years old, and comprising of three camps – opens up avenues to reflect upon the compelling, ingenious and intersecting negotiations of everyday living on the margins/peripheries in the city.

We will walk along the neighbourhoods and markets with which the jhuggis share these spaces of co-habitation(s) to reflect on possible new forms and ways of urban living.



Masterclass: City as Texts
Gautam Bhan
11 March 2018 | 3:15 pm – 4:30 pm


What kind of texts does one read to understand, engage, listen to, and even read the city? This seminar will think about the city as a series of texts: plans, built form, novels, poems, data, maps, graffiti, among others, and think about the many forms of writing the city, the key theme of City Scripts 2018. This will be application based. No pre-requisites, any discipline, any level of education is fine. Curiosity is the only requirement.



IIHS-Wikipedia City Translate-a-thon
10 March 2018 | 11:45 am – 18:45 pm | Max Mueller Bhavan, Library


Come together to translate texts about the city that better serve and reflect the many languages that we read, speak, write, think and live in. The idea is to have a dedicated group of people translate articles about key urban concepts like the city, slum, into as many languages as possible. The list of languages could be, but is not limited to Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali, Tamil and Marathi.

Meet other translators; brainstorm about vocabularies around the urban across languages; and spend a day serving our many language communities. We kick off with a session on finding the city in translation, with Arunava Sinha, Vinutha Mallya, and Rizio Yohannan Raj. And we take care of lunch, coffee and snacks.

We have only 10 seats, so hurry!


Participation by prior registration only


To register write to with the name of the session you want to register for in the subject line.



Ajmal Kamal

Ajmal Kamal edits and publishes two literary journals from Karachi, Aaj in Urdu since 1989, and City in English since 2017. He has been running a small bookshop since 1998 which was a venue of a film club till 2005. He is currently a PhD scholar at the South Asian University, New Delhi.

Akhil Katyal

Akhil Katyal‘s second book of poems How Many Countries Does the Indus Cross won the Editor’s Choice Award by The Great Indian Poetry Collective and will be out soon. His first book of poems Night Charge Extra was shortlisted for the Muse India Satish Verma National Young Writer Award. His translation of Ravish Kumar’s Ishq Mein Shahar Hona is forthcoming with Speaking Tiger as The City Within Love. He was the University of Iowa International Writing Fellow in Fall 2016. He teaches Creative Writing at Ambedkar University Delhi.

Amita Baviskar

Amita Baviskar is Professor of Sociology at the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi. Her research focuses on the cultural politics of environment and development in rural and urban India. Her first book In the Belly of the River: Tribal Conflicts over Development in the Narmada Valley and other publications explore the themes of resource rights, popular resistance and discourses of environmentalism. She is currently studying food and agrarian environments in western India. Her recent publications include the edited books Contested Grounds: Essays on Nature, Culture and Power; Elite and Everyman: The Cultural Politics of the Indian Middle Classes (with Raka Ray); and First Garden of the Republic: Nature on the President’s Estate.


She was awarded the 2005 Malcolm Adiseshiah Award for Distinguished Contributions to Development Studies, the 2008 VKRV Rao Prize for Social Science Research, and the 2010 Infosys Prize for Social Sciences.

Aromar Revi

Aromar Revi is the Director of the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS)




Arunava Sinha

Arunava Sinha translated classic, modern and contemporary Bengali fiction, non-fiction and poetry from India and Bangladesh into English. He teaches undergraduate classes at Ashoka University, edits the Library of Bangladesh series, and co-curates the India List for Seagull Books. He is Editor, Book, at

Avantika Tewari

Avantika Tewari is an activist and member of Pinjra Tod, an autonomous women’s movement that is based out of Delhi. She holds a postgraduate degree in Political Science from Delhi University. She is currently a part of a study on discrimination based on non-normative genders and sexualities, housed at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

Awadhendra Sharan

Awadhendra Sharan is an Associate Professor at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi. He trained as a historian at Delhi University and subsequently at the University of Chicago from where he obtained his Ph.D. His research interests are in the fields of urban and environmental histories.  He is the author of In the City, Out of Place: Nuisance, Pollution and Dwelling in Delhi, c. 1850-2000 (OUP, 2014). He is currently working towards a book titled Dust and Smoke, which is a history of air pollution in India, especially in Bombay and Calcutta.

Chandrahas Choudhury

Chandrahas Choudhury is the author of the Mumbai novel Clouds, published in January 2018 by Simon & Schuster. His first novel, Arzee the Dwarf, was published by HarperCollins, shortlisted for the Commonwealth First Book Prize, translated into German and Spanish, and chosen by World Literature Today in 2010 as one of “60 Essential Works of Modern Indian Literature in English”. He is also the editor of a short introduction to the pleasures of Indian literature called India: A Traveler’s Literary Companion.  His book reviews appear in the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. He was formerly the Fiction & Poetry editor of The Caravan.

Chandan Gowda

Chandan Gowda teaches at Azim Premji University, Bengaluru. He has edited The Way I See It: A Gauri Lankesh Reader. He has also translated UR Ananthamurthy’s novella, Bara, and edited Theatres of Democracy: Selected Essays of Shiv Visvanathan. A Life in the World, a book of autobiographical interviews he did with UR Ananthamurthy will be published soon. He writes regularly for newspapers, including a weekly column on culture and politics in Bangalore Mirror.

Dhiren Borisa

Dhiren Borisa: Barely surviving the city as a space of desires and aspirations while negotiating class and caste positions, Dhiren wrote about the same in his recently submitted Ph.D. at JNU on Queer Cartographies of Desires in Delhi. He is currently teaching as guest faculty at Miranda House, Delhi University. His research interests include gender, sexuality and space and how they constitute our everyday geographies in myriad ways. He attempts at looking at these issues especially in the South Asian context where caste is intrinsically linked with sexuality and both are mutually constitutive. How can one think about this geographically as one navigates, explores and writes about the cities we live in, dream of and aspire to create? He is also part of the queering dalit collective and likes to believe his politics as influenced by anti-caste and feminist and queer activism. Sometimes he takes refuge in poetry to survive the city, and queerness, and often what we call and believe as our communities — queer or otherwise.

Dhrubo Jyoti

Dhrubo Jyoti is a journalist working with the Hindustan Times in Delhi. They write on national affairs at the intersection of caste, gender and sexuality. In their spare time, they are looking for love in academic panels.



Diya Mehra

Diya Mehra is Assistant Professor of Sociology at South Asian University where she has taught since 2012. Her research and writing centres on three main areas namely the history of Delhi’s urbanization in the 20th century; economic liberalization and its impact on Indian metropolitan cities, and contemporary urbanization processes as witnessed in small Indian towns. Her academic writing has appeared in numerous journals and edited volumes on urban India. She has also been visiting faculty at the School of Planning and Architecture, as well as a researcher at Sarai-CSDS, and a postdoctoral fellow in the Urban Dynamics programme of the Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH), New Delhi.

Elizabeth Kuruvilla

Elizabeth Kuruvilla is a journalist with The Hindu. She has  previously worked with and written on arts and culture for Mint, Open, Hindustan Times and The Indian Express.

Ghazala Jamil

Ghazala Jamil is Assistant Professor at the Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, J​awaharlal ​Nehru ​U​niversity, New Delhi​. She has earlier taught at the Department of Social Work, University of Delhi, ​and School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), New Delhi. ​Her core interests include Urbanisation, Materiality and Spatiality of Culture, and ​​Soci​al Movements. ​She is associated with several grassroots collectives working in the areas of social justice and communal amity. She also serves Council for Social Development-Sage journal Social Change as book reviews editor. ​


Dr Jamil is interested in poetry of protest and has translated works from Hindi/Urdu, Punjabi to English. She has co-translated a popular retelling of history of Delhi by Intizar Hussain from Urdu to English titled, Once There Was a City Named Dilli (Yoda Press, 2017).


Her book Accumulation by Segregation: Muslim Localities in Delhi (Oxford University Press, 2017) deals with the issue of spatial segregation of Muslims in Delhi and theorises upon the discursive and material bases of urban segregation. Her most recent book Muslim Women Speak: Of Dreams and Shackles (Sage-Yoda Press, 2018) is an outcome of a study of narratives of everyday life and aspirations of young Muslim women in India. It not only seeks to bring forth the ‘voices’ that have long been considered ‘silent’ but also dwells upon the epistemological and socio-political concerns of this ‘silencing’.

Githa Hariharan

Githa Hariharan has, over the years, been a cultural commentator through her essays, lectures and activism. She has written novels, short fiction and essays over the last three decades including children’s stories; and edited a collection of translated short fiction, A Southern Harvest, and the essay collection From India to Palestine: Essays in Solidarity.

Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar

Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar is the author of a novel, The Mysterious Ailment Of Rupi Baskey, which won the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar 2015 and has been translated so far into Tamil, and a collection of short stories, The Adivasi Will Not Dance, which has been translated so far into Hindi, Marathi, and Tamil.

Hemant Divate

Hemant Divate is a poet, editor, publisher and translator. Poetrywala has recently published his Selected Poems 1990-2015. He has a book each in Spanish, Irish, Arabic, German and Estonian apart from four in English. Hemant changed the Marathi literary scene through his little magazine AbhidhaNantar and the Indian English poetry scene through Poetrywala.

Manoranjan Byapari

Manoranjan Byapari is a writer who has never been to school. Famous as the rickshaw-puller who accidentally met Mahasweta Devi and took to writing, he writes in the Bangla language. In 2014, he won the Suprabha Majumdar  Smarak Puraskar, awarded by the Paschim Banga Bangla Akademi and the television channel 24 Ghanta’s Ananya Samman in 2013. A few of his books include his autobiography, Itibritte Chandal Jiban (translated into English as Interrogating My Chandal Life: Autobiography of a Dalit, Sage Samya, 2018), Batashe Baruder Gandha, Maronsagar Pare Tomra Amar, Matua Ek Mukti Sena.

Michael Creighton

Michael Creighton is a middle school teacher and library movement activist who’s lived in Delhi since 2005. His first collection of poetry, New Delhi Love Songs, was published in December, 2017 by Speaking Tiger in association with the Jehangir Sabavala Foundation. His poetry has appeared in a variety of places including Wasafiri, Softblow, Plume Poetry,, Mint Lounge, and The Daily O.

Mohammad Sayeed

Mohammad Sayeed is an urban anthropologist, whose work brings together ethnography, architecture, theology and mathematics to understand contemporary city spaces. His doctoral thesis explores density as an urban condition through his fieldwork in a congested neighbourhood of Delhi. He currently teaches sociology at Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi. Apart from Delhi, he is also obsessed with chess and Borges. He blogs at

Mohsin Alam Bhat

Mohsin Alam Bhat is a lawyer and teaches at Jindal Law School. He is interested in legal and constitutional theory, questions of discrimination and exclusion, and everything that the label of ‘law and society’ can accommodate. He researches on discrimination in urban spaces and the criminal justice system, and constitutional politics of minority groups. He is currently leading an empirical research project on rental housing discrimination against Muslims in Delhi and Mumbai.

Mridula Koshy

Mridula Koshy is a community organizer and writer. She brings people together to create libraries in communities that would not otherwise have access to books and reading. You can read more about her library work here: She has published three books:  Bicycle Dreaming (Speaking Tiger), Not Only the Things That Have Happened (Harper Collins India) and If It Is Sweet (Tranquebar Press and Brass Monkey, Australia).

Nidhi Rawat

Nidhi Rawat is an information professional with more than 9 years’ experience in the library and information domain, which includes approximately 7 years’ with Goethe-Institut, New Delhi. Prior to this, she had worked as a subject cataloger with and Library Assistant at Maharaja Agrasen institute of Management, GGSIP University.


She has been the content writer of two modules on Biotechnological libraries for platform ‘e-PG Pathshala’, An initiative of Ministry of Human Resource & Development (Govt. of India) in 2016 and ‘’Biographies of German authors’’ for the Indo-German online magazine of Goethe-Institut/ Max Mueller Bhavan, India for the project “Encountering the Strange” in 2017.

Nirupama Dutt

Nirupama Dutt is a poet, translator, journalist, and author of many seasons. Her books include: Gulzar’s ‘Pluto’, ‘Stories of the Soil’, Memoirs and poems of Lal Singh Dil: Poet of the Revolution, Yatindra Mishra’s ‘The Last weave’ (Translation),  ‘The Ballad of Bant Singh’ (Biography), ‘The Black Woman’, ‘Ik Nadi Sanwali Jehi’, ‘Buri Auraton ki Fehrist Se’ (Poetry)  ‘Children of the Night’ and ‘Half the Sky’ and ‘Our Voices: SAARC poetry’ (Edited).

Orijit Sen

Orijit Sen is is a graphic artist, cartoonist and designer based in New Delhi, India. He studied graphic design at the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad. He is a co- founder of People Tree – a collaborative studio and store for artists, designers and craftspeople that has grown, since its inception in 1990, into a widely regarded name associated with the promotion of artisanal innovation, creative community building and social advocacy. Along with his wife and fellow designer Gurpreet Sidhu, he leads People Tree’s in-house design studios in New Delhi and Goa.


Orijit started collecting and drawing comics in his early teens, and has been deeply involved with the development of comics and graphic novels in India. His pioneering work River of Stories (Kalpavriksh 1994) is considered to be India’s first graphic novel. Orijit is also co-founder of the Pao Collective of graphic artists, and a key figure behind the award winning Pao: The Anthology of Comics (Penguin 2012). His comics and graphic art have been widely published and exhibited internationally.


Between 2009 and 2011, Orijit conceptualized—and led a team that executed—one of the world’s largest hand-painted murals, installed at the Virasat-e- Khalsa museum in Anandpur Sahib, Punjab. Orijit is Mario Miranda Chair visiting professor at Goa University, where he has initiated an experimental arts research project entitled ‘Mapping Mapusa Market Project’ involving students, educationists and artists.


In 2015-16, he was engaged in an Indo-Palestinian project on cultural exchange and resistance in collaboration with theatre artists from both countries. He is a fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar.

Peter Ronald deSouza

Peter Ronald deSouza is a professor at CSDS and held the Dr S. Radhakrishnan Chair of Rajya Sabha till April 2017. He was director of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS), Shimla, where he served two terms from 2007 till 2013. He works on issues of democratic politics and in the comparative politics of South Asia. Favouring an eclectic approach to unpacking the problems of politics he searches for the ‘inconvenient fact’ and ‘ambivalences’ that trouble established ways of talking about the politics of India. He has recently published a collection of his essays In the Hall of Mirrors: Reflections on Indian Democracy (Orient Blackswan, 2018) and edited a collection of articles of D.L.Sheth At Home with Democracy: A Theory of Indian Politics, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018)

Prasad Shetty

Prasad Shetty is an urbanist based in Mumbai. He is trained as an architect and specialises in urban management. He currently teaches at the School of Environment and Architecture (, which he has co-founded. He is also a co-founder of the urban research network, CRIT ( Earlier he has worked with: Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority as Urban Manager, MMR – Heritage and Environment Society as Secretary, Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture as Lecturer, Town Administration of Mendefera, Eritrea as Urban Management expert. His works are around cultural dimensions of urban economy and property.

Rizio Yohannan Raj

Rizio Yohannan Raj is a writer, educationist, translator and governance thinker. Her multi-dynamic professional experience spans two decades of work in journalism, book publishing, academics and institution-building. She is the Founder and Executive Director of LILA Foundation for Translocal Initiatives, a think-tank engaged in multidisciplinary and intercultural knowledge production, dissemination and conservation. Currently, she curates ILF Samanvay, the annual Indian Languages Festival of the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.

Rupali Gupte

Rupali Gupte is an architect, urban designer and an artist based in Mumbai. She is currently an Associate Professor at the School of Environment and Architecture (, which she has co-founded. She is also a co-founder of the urban research network, CRIT ( Earlier she has worked as: Assistant Professor at the Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture, Consulting Urban Designer to the Town Administration of Mendefera, Eritrea and Architect at the Kohn Pederson Fox Associates, New York. Her works are largely around tactical practices in cities and their spatial implications.

Samina Mishra

Samina Mishra is a documentary filmmaker, writer and teacher based in New Delhi, with a special interest in media for and about children. Her films include The Teacher and The World (2016), Jagriti Yatra (2013), Two Lives (2007), The House on Gulmohar Avenue (2005) and Stories of Girlhood (2001). She has also created a multi-media exhibition, Home and Away (2004) and written children’s books published by Scholastic, Tulika, Young Zubaan, The Wisdom Tree and Penguin. She worked on Nehru’s Children, an archival research project on the archive of the Children’s Film Society of India for the India Foundation for the Arts. Her interest in the ways that the arts can be included in education led her to head programming at the Nehru Learning Centre for Children and Youth for two years. Her recently-published book, My Sweet Home: Childhood Stories from a Corner of the City (Mapin 2017) comes out of a creative writing and art workshop designed to reflect the world through children’s self-expression and creative practice. She is a board member of IAWRT India and is the co-curator of Soundphiles, an experimental listening experience, at IAWRT India’s Asian Women’s Film Festival. She is currently teaching the International Baccalaureate Film programme at Pathways School Noida and collaborating on Torchlight, a web journal on libraries and bookish love. She is also the Curator of Half Ticket, the children’s section at the MAMI Mumbai Film Festival.

Samprati Pani

Samprati Pani is currently a doctoral scholar at the department of sociology, Shiv Nadar University. Her research looks at the making of weekly bazaars in Delhi through intersections of urban informality, design and spatial practices. She has previously worked in academic publishing and is also the co-founder of Dsgn Unplugged, a studio that specializes in book design. Her interests include ordinary aesthetics, city spaces, street typography, street vending practices, and experimental forms of ethnography. She blogs at

Sandip Kuriakose

Sandip Kuriakose graduated with an MVA (Painting) from MS University, Baroda (2014) and a BFA (Painting) from the College of Art, New Delhi. He has participated in various group shows including FotoFest International 2018 Biennial Central Exhibition INDIA – Contemporary Photographic and New Media Art, Houston (upcoming); Where is Queer? When is Queer? What is Queer?, Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, New Delhi; the 6th European Month of Photography, Das Foto Image Factory, Berlin; Art For Young Collectors, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai; and United Art Fair, New Delhi among others. He lives and works in New Delhi.

Sarover Zaidi

Sarover Zaidi is a social anthropologist who has worked on religious architecture, everyday life and urban space in Bombay. She curates ‘Elementary forms and the city’, an interdisciplinary forum on art, architecture and anthropology. She teaches at the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi, and at Jindal School of Art & Architecture, Sonipat. Her current research focuses on material cultures, Islamic iconography and modernist architecture. She blogs at

Shreya Ila Anasuya

Shreya Ila Anasuya is a writer, journalist and the managing editor of Skin Stories, the weekly essay series by the Sexuality and Disability programme at Mumbai-based feminist non-profit Point of View.




Shuddhabrata Sengupta

Shuddhabrata Sengupta is an artist and writer with the Raqs Media Collective, Delhi.




Sipra Mukherjee

Sipra Mukherjee is Professor, Department of English, West Bengal State University, India. Her research interests are modern literature, religion, caste, and power. She has published research with Brill Books, Oxford University Press, McGill-Queen’s University Press, Sage, Sahitya Akademi, Samya, Ravi Dayal, Routledge and Permanent Black. Her publications include Interrogating My Chandal life, a translation of Manoranjan Byapari’s Itibritte Chandal Jeeban (Sage Samya, 2018),  The Calcutta Mosaic: Minority Communities of Calcutta (co-editor, London: Anthem Press, 2009).

Supriya Nair

Supriya Nair is a writer from Mumbai. She is an editor at Brown Paper Bag, and the editor of The Caravan Book of Profiles. Her work has appeared in Vogue, Wisden, The New Republic and other publications.Supriya Nair is a writer from Mumbai. She is an editor at Brown Paper Bag, and the editor of The Caravan Book of Profiles. Her work has appeared in Vogue, Wisden, The New Republic and other publications.

Thomas Meyer

Thomas Meyer is the new Director for Information Services for the region South Asia. He has master’s degree in Arts Management and works at the Goethe-Institut since 2011 in various positions in Munich and Mexico City. He is in charge of the quality assurance of the libraries and the content on the digital channels of region which includes India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Tripta Chandola

Tripta Chandola is a an urban ethnographer. Her work explores the compelling, ingenious and intersecting negotiations of everyday living on the margins/peripheries in the city. She emphasises on listening as a strategic methodological interface to engage, question and co-exist with that of the hearings of the Other. Presently, she is a postdoctoral fellow at IIHS.

Vani Subramanian

Vani Subramanian: One-time advertising writer, Vani has been a women’s rights activist and documentary filmmaker since the nineties. Her work as a filmmaker explores the connections between everyday practices and larger political questions, be they in the areas of culture, economic globalisation, primary education, urban development, communalism, sex selective abortions, matters of identity embedded in food practices, or even the death penalty. In recent years, Vani has also extended her practice to video art in performance, as well as mixed media installation. Through her work in films, installations and neighbourhood museums, she lives out her long standing interest in the interconnectedness of oral histories, community knowledge, and creative expression.

Vinutha Mallya

Vinutha Mallya is a journalist with more than 15 years of experience in publishing as a book editor. She has written and spoken about  biblio culture  and the publishing industry in a variety of forums.

City Scripts 2018 | Bengaluru

16 – 18 Feb, 2018


City Scripts 2018 in Bangalore pushed towards thinking about how the city itself is produced and reproduced through different forms of writing-from novels to Wikipedia, poetry to law, hashtags to essays, ethnography to children’s books. Keeping with its theme of ‘Mapping the city through its many stories’, the three-day festival hosted sessions on open data and knowledge sharing, alternative smaller media movements reporting ground-up narratives, Bengaluru’s platform economy, and the city’s public and private libraries and imaginations for their future. The closing day featured back-to-back sessions centre-staging namma ooru and those who weave its stories and take it to the world-through books, music, sketches and skits.


Aastha Chauhan

Aastha studied sculpture at the Panjab and later Delhi University. Her art practise can be defined as public, socially engaged and site specific. She has worked in the neighbourhood of Khirkee in South Delhi since 2005, initially with KHOJ International Artists Association as their Community Arts coordinator till 2011 and independently since. Her projects are collaborative, multidisciplinary in nature and mostly self-funded/self sustained long term engagements. She has taught at the Ambedkar University, Delhi and is currently working with Srishti Institute of Art Design and Technology. She lives and works between Delhi and Bangalore.

Aditi Surie

Aditi Surie is a sociologist at IIHS. She enjoys getting lost in big cities, memes and exploring late capitalism’s technology-heavy structuring of everyday life. She has a 4.46 rating on Uber (a bit lower on Ola).




Amogh Arakali

As Senior Associate, Academics & Research, Amogh Arakali’s work focuses on the study of institutions, their structures, behaviour, and evolution within urban political economies. In particular, his focus of work is on analysing how institutions evolve, adapt, and influence in the face of urbanisation in India.


At present, he is working on institutions of resource use and management in Indian cities, specifically Bengaluru. Some of his work also deals with ideas and concepts of the urban commons, and he recently co-authored a teaching case on lake conservation movements in Bengaluru with Jayaraj Sundaresan, examining lakes and lake systems as a commons.  Additionally, he is studying institutions of environmental governance as part of IIHS’ research under ASSAR. Specifically, he is examining the current institutional frameworks at national and state levels in India for climate change adaptation, with a specific focus on budgetary spending.


Amogh’s previous research involved assisting on a project that studied links between industrial corridors and urbanisation in India, using the case of the Delhi-Mumbai Infrastructure Corridor in Gujarat and Rajasthan. ​Amogh has​ also been involved in developing a series of teaching films on cash transfers and urban food security under the RF-IIHS Urban India Policy Support Partnership. Additionally, ​he​ participated in conducting a study of water vulnerabilities in Bengaluru in 2014.


He currently teaches in IIHS’ Urban Fellows Programme (UFP), particularly on topics of  economy, institutions, and governance,as well as issues of the commons. He is also assisting with the co-ordination of the overall UFP – in particular, curriculum development for the commons term, and general logistics of the programme.​


Amogh ha​​s been involved with organising several IIHS events in the past. These include the Annual Research Conference at IIHS (2017 and 2018), the Annual PhD workshops (2017 and 2018) the Urban Policy Dialogues (2015), the Programme for Working Professionals in Urban Development (PWP-UD) 2012 and the National Student Challenges in 2011 and 2012. Furthermore, ​he is a member of IIHS’ Library Committee, assisting in the development of the IIHS Library.

Ananda Byrappa

Anjum Hasan

Anjum Hasan is the author of the novels ‘The Cosmopolitans’, ‘Neti, Neti’ and ‘Lunatic in my Head’, the short story collection ‘Difficult Pleasures’, and ‘Street on the Hill’, a book of poems. Her books have been nominated for various awards including the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, the Hindu Best Fiction Award and the Crossword Fiction Award. Her new collection of stories, A Day in the Life, is forthcoming from Penguin India.

Aravani Art Project

Archana Kashyap

Archana Kashyap is a computer science engineer with a decade of experience in the healthcare industry. She is currently head of campaigns at SWMRT. She uses her passion for change and skills to design, plan and carry out influential campaigns like 2bin1bag, SwachaGraha and Trashonomics that create awareness and behavioural change in the SWM field. She has co-authored the Trashonomics guide for middle school children.

Aromar Revi

Aromar Revi is the founding Director of IIHS. Aromar is one of the world’s leading experts on global environmental change, especially climate change. He is a Coordinating Lead Author of the 2018 IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C that will define potential implementation pathways for the Paris Climate accord. He is Editor of the journal Urbanisation, which is anchored at IIHS and aims to publish comparative as well as collaborative interdisciplinary scholarship that will illuminate the global urban condition beginning with a firm footprint in the Global South.

Ashwin Mahesh (tbc)

Ayushi Saxena

Ayushi Saxena likes to travel and eat momos. In between, she edits, designs and argues with the press. Some days, she is a platypus.



Bijal Vachharajani

When Bijal Vachharajani is not reading Harry Potter, she can be found traipsing around the jungles of India. In her spare time, she works as a consultant editor with Pratham Books and writes about education for sustainable development. Bijal has a Masters in Environment Security and Peace from the University of Peace in Costa Rica. She is the author of two children’s book, So You Want to Know About the Environment, which was shortlisted for the best children’s book of 2017 by Publishing Next, and What’s Neema Eating Today?

Bruce Lee Mani

Bruce Lee Mani: Yes, that’s his real name. As founding member and front man of what is arguably India’s most respected rock band—Thermal And A Quarter (TAAQ)—Bruce Lee Mani has earned widespread admiration and acclaim at home and abroad. Primarily self-taught, his style has been called ‘instantly recognisable’ by Rolling Stone Magazine and has served as an inspiration for many up-and-coming musicians. The primary lyricist and songwriter for TAAQ, his work has led to the band being lauded as ‘the most prolific band in Indian Rock’. Also a committed educator, Bruce is the co-founder of ‘Taaqademy’, Bangalore’s premier space to learn, create, record and play music.


Dinesh, and Janastu, work on issues like Web content accessibility for our diversity of literacy needs. Their work brings together tools and techniques for negotiation of community archives by all, use of 3D methods for location interpretation and spatial navigation, social semantic web concepts for storytelling, and facilitation of audio Annotations on a browser.


Deepu co-founded Pedestrian Pictures, a Bangalore-based film collective in 2001. He has directed 8 documentary films and is actively engaged in film screenings and cultural and political activism. He is also a cinematographer with several narrative feature films, ad films and documentaries to his credit. He worked as a camera person in 41 documentaries. Some of the prominent directors he worked with are Jim Burroughs, Rakesh Sharma, T. Jayasree and  K.P.Sasi.

Divya Narayanan

Divya Narayanan is the campaigns manager for air pollution and climate change work at With a a background in public health and human rights, she has been in the environment and health space for over 5 years now. At she works primarily on air pollution and climate change campaigns.

Gautam Bhan

Part of the School of Human Development at IIHS, Gautam teaches, researches and writes on the politics of urban poverty and inequality, urban and planning theory, housing, and identity and social practice. At IIHS, Gautam has taught under several programmes, including the Urban Fellows Programme, the Urban Practitioners Programme and the PWP-UD.


He anchors IIHS role as a National Resource Centre with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, and is part of IIHS’ work in affordable housing policy and practice. His previous research has focused on displacement and resettlement of the urban poor in Delhi, and his new work engages with regimes of urban welfare and social security, including work on urban health. He has been an active part of urban social movements on sexuality as well as housing rights, and currently advises and trains governmental agencies at local, state and national levels on housing policy.


He is the author of In the Public’s Interest: Evictions, Citizenship and Inequality in Contemporary Delhi  (University  of Georgia Press 2017; Orient Blackswan 2017), co-editor of the Routledge Companion to Planning in the Global South (Routledge 2018), co-author of Swept off the Map: Surviving Eviction and Resettlement in Delhi (2008), and co-editor of Because I have a Voice: Queer Politics in India (2006), in addition to numerous academic articles. He also writes frequently in public intellectual spaces and frequently in Caravan, India Today, Tehelka, Indian Express, the Hindustan Times and the Times of India.

Hamsa Kalyani

Hamsa Kalyani has a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science. In addition, she has completed a course on Information Technology Applications at NCSI, IISc, Bengaluru. After a brief stint at the British Library, she has been working at the National Institute of Advanced Studies since 1991 and is currently Library and Information Officer. She has designed and set up the library, institutional website as well as repository of NIAS.

Isaac Arul Selva

Isaac Arul Selva is editor and publisher of Slum Jagatthu (meaning Slum World), a magazine he launched in 2000. Printed in Kannada, it provides its readers with information and resources to take advantage of existing government programs designed to alleviate poverty.

Kabir Arora

Kabir Arora is a geographer. Having lived in eight different cities of India, he is trying to make sense of prevailing urbanity. To earn his livelihood, Kabir coordinates Alliance of Indian Wastepickers—an informal network of organisations, cooperatives, and companies working on waste management with the help of wastepickers and is based in Bengaluru. He has a deep interest in informal economy and is on a learning journey of exploring ways in which informal workers contribute to the making of urban in global south. He writes irregularly on the issues of waste management and climate change on

Kanchan Kaur

Kanchan Kaur is Dean at IIHNM. She has about two decades experience in journalism, and has worked, among other newspapers, in The Gulf News, too. She has covered a gamut of topics—from crime to art profiles. As a crime reporter, she was known for digging out the unusual. Her features in the Gulf News’ weekly magazine Friday, more often than not, became cover stories. At IIJNM she teaches students news gathering, reporting and writing skills. She now focuses on news literacy and fact-checking and thinks there is the need to counter the blight of fake news.

Kaveri Gill

Kaveri Gill is Associate Professor, Department of International Relations and Governance Studies at Shiv Nadar University. She has published widely, including a monograph with Oxford University Press, Of Poverty and Plastic: Scavenging and Scrap Trading Entrepreneurs in India’s Urban Informal Economy (2009). Her research interests include the political economy of urbanisation, development, informality and the environment; inequality and social policy for development; development policies and the status of adivasis in mainland India; and the political economy of public health policy and practice.

Kavita Wankhede

Kavita Wankhede has a Masters in City Design and Social Sciences from the London School of Economics, U.K Trained in architecture, urban design and social sciences, Kavita’s work primarily revolves around urban service delivery and the interface between physical infrastructure and socio-economic dynamics. Kavita has worked as a researcher, project manager, educator and has built her expertise through a rich mix of field research, managing complex projects with multiple stakeholders, teaching and training. She has engaged with various state governments in India, multilateral institutions, and with public sector enterprises in the UK. Some of her recent research and consultancy projects have included the review of the urban sanitation sector in India that contributed to the development of the National Urban Sanitation Policy 2008; and also impact assessment of the JNNURM in selected urban locations.


At IIHS, Kavita is Senior Lead – Practice. Currently, she leads the Tamil Nadu Urban Sanitation Support Programme (TNUSSP) that is working to establish two model towns in Tamil Nadu, as well as enabling state-wide scaling up. Kavita has managed the International Curriculum Development Project at IIHS with a team of over 180 leading academics, practitioners and policy makers from across the world. She also co-led the 9-month IIHS Programme for Working Professionals in Urban Development (PWP-UD) that tested the interdisciplinary MUP framework and pedagogic approach.


She is a faculty member in the IIHS team’s LBSNAA’s Phases IV, III, II programmes on urban water and sanitation. She also completed a three-month Urban Knowledge Network Asia (UKNA) fellowship at the Development Planning Unit, University College London in 2014. She has anchored the development of a national policy paper on water and sanitation in urban India; carried out monitoring and evaluation of an urban sanitation project in Katihar (Bihar), provided knowledge support to a national groundwater sanitation nexus programme.

Kayonaaz Kalyanwala

Kayonaaz Kalyanwala is a storyteller and communications for development specialist. She works with Video Volunteers.

Keerthi Shastri

Keerthi K. Shastri has worked in the fields of advertising, creative writing and film after completing a Bachelor’s in Communication, Psychology and English literature. Media, digital culture and the internet are her favorite areas of interest and study. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Digital Humanities at Srishti Institute of Art, Technology and Design, Bangalore.

Fields of View

Mallika and Rathnamma

Mallika and Rathnamma belong to a group called Navodayam (which means `new dawn` in Telugu). It was launched on August 15, 2001, in Chittoor district as a government initiative under District Poverty Initiatives Program to create awareness on development issues. It has now turned into a publication which is completely owned and managed by rural women themselves. Launched as a quarterly newsletter in Telugu with just eight pages, it has grown to a 24-page monthly on popular demand.

Mamta Sagar

Mamta Sagar is a Kannada poet, playwright, translator teaching Creative Writing at the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Bengaluru. Mamta is a recipient of poetry residency and official projects of the India Wales Season and the UK India Year of Culture (2017-18). Mamta has collaborated her poetry performance with visual artists, musicians and poets from other language cultures within and outside India. Kaavya Sanje a community poetry event curated by her connects poetry with people.

Meera K

Meera K co-founded Citizen Matters, an award winning digital news media platform. She also initiated Open City, an urban data platform in partnership with Data Meet, and Co Media Lab, a community newsroom  and resource centre. Meera is an Ashoka Fellow, recognised for her work in building open knowledge platforms that allow citizens to collaborate and improve their cities. She is currently an ICFJ fellow, helping newsrooms adopt technology and innovative storytelling.

Mukul Kesavan

Mukul Kesavan is an Indian historian, novelist and political and social essayist. His first book, a novel titled ‘Looking Through Glass’ (Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1994) received international critical acclaim. In 2001 he wrote a political tract titled ‘Secular Common Sense’ published by Penguin India. He teaches social history at Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi. He is also the co-editor of ‘Civil Lines’, the widely respected journal of Indian writing in English. In 2014, The New Republic included his ‘Homeless on Google Earth’ in its list of the year’s best books.

Nagappa Bakkannanavar

Nagappa Bakkannanavar holds a  Ph.D. in Library & Information Science from University of Pune, India. Over the last 13 years he has been working as the Information Resource Centre Head, Tata Consultancy Services, Bangalore. He actively serves on a number of professional bodies at the national and international level including the Governing Council/Executive Committee Member & Joint Secretary of Karnataka State Library Association. He has edited 2 books, published about 15 papers, delivered 100+ talks on various domains, reviewed and edited more than 300 papers submitted for National and International seminars and conferences.

Neha Sami

Neha Sami studies urban and regional development and governance in post-liberalisation India.  Her research focuses on the governance arrangements of mega-projects, regional planning, and on environmental governance questions in Indian cities, particularly around issues of climate change adaptation. Her earlier work focused on the way local urban stakeholders, both within and outside government use their personal social and political networks to shape and facilitate large developmental projects and governance initiatives that are rapidly emerging in contemporary Indian cities. She is currently studying industrial corridor development projects between Indian cities like the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, focusing particularly on governance issues. She is also interested in regional approaches to land use planning. Other ongoing research focuses on questions of environmental governance at sub-national scales, focusing especially on planning for climate change at the city and regional scales. Her writing on some of these issues has been published in the Economic and Political Weekly, the International Journal for Urban and Regional Research (IJURR), and Land Use Policy, as well as through contributions to several edited volumes.


Neha is currently faculty at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements in Bangalore, India where she teaches on questions of urban and regional governance and sustainability, and research methods and ethics. She also anchors the Research Programme at IIHS. Neha is also a member of the Editorial Collective of Urbanisation (published by SAGE).


She holds a Ph.D. in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree in Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Mumbai. Prior to beginning graduate school at the University of Michigan, Sami worked with the Boston Redevelopment Authority as an analyst with the Economic Development Division, as well as with the Environment and Sustainable Development Division of the UN-ESCAP (Bangkok).

Nikhila Anoth

Nisha Susan

Nisha Susan is a writer and a founder of the feminist magazine The Ladies Finger. Previously, she co-managed Yahoo Originals, an award-winning long-form reporting and immersive storytelling destination on Yahoo News. She has been Features Editor at Tehelka magazine. She has also published short fiction with Penguin, Zubaan and n+1 magazine.

N S Gundur

N S Gundur, Professor, Department of Studies and Research in English, Tumkur University, has been a bilingual writer. His areas of research interest include Literary and Critical Theory, European Philosophy, Liberal Education, Kannada Literary and Cultural Studies. Professor Gundur has translated Michel Foucault’s writings into Kannada, besides being the author of Vartamaanada Itihaasakaara: Michel Foucault, a critical introduction to Foucault in Kannada. He has engaged himself in translating philosophical essays from English to Kannada. Apart from publishing research articles in scholarly journals including EPW (Economic and Political Weekly), Dr Gundur contributes articles to dailies like Prajavani, a leading Kannada newspaper. He believes in teaching scholarship and leading a life of the mind.

Padmini Ray Murray

Padmini Ray Murray is the course leader for the MA in Digital Humanities as well as teaching on a range of different courses at Srishti. Padmini’s work has been published in peer-reviewed journals and edited collections across a range of disciplines, and she has received significant funding on several occasions to help develop her research. She is currently Vice-Chair of Global Outlook:Digital Humanities, the Editor in Chief of the SHARP (Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing) newsletter, and Managing Editor of DHCommons.

Paromita Vohra

Paromita Vohra is a filmmaker, writer and devoted antakshari player whose work focuses on feminism, love, desire, urban life and popular culture. She is the director of many documentaries including Partners in Crime, Cosmopolis: Two Tales of A City, and Morality TV as well as the TV series Connected Hum Tum. In 2013, Time Out listed her as one of ten people who have changed the way we look at film in India. She is the founder of Agents of Ishq, a first of its kind multimedia digital project about love, sex and desire which seeks to create a new, inclusive conversation around love, sex and desire for young people in India. She currently writes two weekly newspaper columns Paronormal Activity in Sunday Mid-day and How To Find Indian Love in Mumbai Mirror. Her fiction and non-fiction writing have been published in various anthologies and print and digital media platforms.

Pinky Chandran

Pinky Chandran has over seventeen years of experience spanning careers across international education, research, training, community mobilisation, waste management, livelihood development, policy advocacy, communication and strategy, and community media. she has been instrumental in the launch of Radio Active, a community radio station, in June 2007 in Bangalore. The station is dedicated to providing a space for different groups to come together to create their own media landscape.

Poornima Sukumar

Poornima Sukumar is the founder of Aravani Art Project, which aims to embrace the transgender community and other marginalized populations by creating consciousness and well being through arts, awareness, and social inclusion in in Bangalore, India and beyond. As a muralist, artist, illustrator, and documentary photographer, she uses public spaces – especially through wall-painting – to enable youth voices, engage youth in peacemaking, and to create awareness. Poornima feels privileged to have had the opportunity to work on a variety of social causes and human welfare issues.

Preedip Balaji

Preedip Balaji has a Master’s in Library and Information Science and over ten years of work experience in the field. He has  worked with ICICI Knowledge Park and the Indian School of Business. At IIHS, Preedip is responsible for setting up the library and initiating information services for the IIHS academic and research community, which involves providing reference services, initiatives of knowledge dissemination and information resources management. With a few published papers to his credit, his research areas of interests are knowledge organisation, digital libraries and semantic web.

Priya Kuriyan

Priya Kuriyan is a children’s book author and illustrator. She also creates comics and dabbles in some animation. She has directed educational films for the Sesame street show (India) and the Children’s Film Society of India (CFSI) and illustrated numerous children’s books for various Indian publishers. She has contributed to Indian comics anthologies like Pao, This side that side, Eat the sky drink the ocean and First hand 2 (an anthology of non-fiction comics). She was also part of the Indo German collaboration Elephant in the room published by Zubaan books. She recently collaborated with the writer Devapriya Roy on a graphic biography of Indira Gandhi for young adults.

Raksha Kumar

Raksha Kumar  is a multimedia journalist focusing on human rights, politics and social injustices. In the past six years, she has reported for The New York Times, BBC, Guardian, TIME, South China Morning Post, Scroll and The Hindu. In 2017, she was shortlisted for Kurt Schork Memorial Awards in International Journalism. For her work on land conflicts in India, she was awarded the Chameli Devi Award for Outstanding Media Personality in 2016. With a Fulbright Scholarship for Leadership Development, she went to the Columbia University in New York City to pursue a Masters in Science. As a student, she was offered the Scripps Howard Fellowship to report from Israel and the West Bank. Since 2011, Raksha has reported from 11 countries across the world. Raksha worked as an editor at NDTV, leading English news channel in India. She was the editorial head of a two-hour prime time news show, where she lead a team of about 20 junior journalists.


Rohini Kejriwal

Stemming from a love of art, poetry, music, and all things beautiful, The Alipore Post is a daily newsletter curated by Rohini Kejriwal. What started off as a letter-like email to start the day has now become a Facebook community with over 15,000 followers and an annual festival called The Alipore Post Offline – a curated weekend full of poetry readings, live music, unique workshops, experiential interactions, boards games, etc.


At City Scripts 2018, I will be curating a 3-hour Poetry Appreciation session, which will include poetry readings, writing activities, magnetic poetry and other poetry games, to engage poetry lovers of the city.

Sheshagiri Kulkarni

Shikha Nambiar

Shikha Nambiar is a multidisciplinary illustrator and artist. After graduating from Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, she eventually began Sunny Skies Starry Eyes, which started as a humble attempt to keep snail mail alive through postcards and has developed into a range of illustrated products. Shikha is passionate about illustration and hand-lettering and likes to try out various mediums in her artistic ventures. Her work is inspired by her travels, culinary exploits, music, visual experiences and social exchanges.

Sruthi Krishnan

Shruti Buddhavarapu is an editor, writer and academic. She has a Master’s degree in literature from Jawaharlal Nehru University, and in social justice from the University of British Columbia. Her academic, creative and non-fiction work has been published in international journals and magazines. Shruti currently works in the editorial at Tara Books, Chennai.

Shruti Rao

Shruti Buddhavarapu is an editor, writer and academic. She has a Master’s degree in literature from Jawaharlal Nehru University, and in social justice from the University of British Columbia. Her academic, creative and non-fiction work has been published in international journals and magazines. Shruti currently works in the editorial at Tara Books, Chennai.

Sruthi Krishnan

Sruthi Krishnan is a writer and researcher interested in how technology and culture shape each other, especially in the Indian context. She is one of the co-founders of Fields of View, a not-for-profit research organisation that designs games and simulations to help make better public policy. Previously, she reported at The Hindu, and holds a degree in computer science and engineering.

Srinivas Alavalli

Srinivas Alavalli strongly believes that online activism will not make any real difference and the only way to discipline our political class is by showing up in numbers, on the street, as that’s the only language they seem to understand. He is particularly passionate about using new and effective ways of communication to aggregate #PeoplePower. Srinivas is one of the founding members of #SteelFlyoverBeda movement that galvanised thousands of Bengalureans to action under the Citizens for Bengaluru (CfB) umbrella. All that volunteer energy propelled CfB to march ahead post #SteelFlyoverBeda, switch to ‘Beku’ mode with spirited, highly visible public campaigns #ChukuBukuBeku (for suburban trains) and #BusBhagyaBeku (double the buses, halve the fares). Recently CfB held Beku Beda Santhe to mark one-year anniversary of #SteelFlyoverBeda and published #BekuBedaSantheCitizensManifesto. And yes, he is yet another software professional from Bengaluru!

Sriram Aravamudan

Sriram Aravamudan is an engineer, writer, musician and entrepreneur. He has over 20 years of work experience, including 11 years in IT as a software architect and project manager, 12 years as a writer, and 9 years as an entrepreneur. He is a regular columnist and feature writer for print and online publications. His blog, Bengalooru Banter is a lighthearted take on life in the city and beyond. It has won three Best Blog awards from Explocity’s 080 Magazine and includes cartoons, voice and music snippets. A featured voice-over artist and musician for radio and corporate events, with several performances and viral videos to his credit. He authored and voiced scripts for several comedy cameo characters on radio, like Radio One’s ‘Rajni Saar’, among others. Shit Bangaloreans Say – a cheeky take on Bangalore’s vibrant and diverse culture, is a set of youtube videos that he authors, produces and co-creates. The videos went viral around the time they came out, and the channel now has a collective viewership of over half a million views.


 He has also successfully established two start-ups, My Sunny Balcony and The Bakeaway and has been running it for the last 8 years.

Supriya Nair

Supriya Nair is a writer from Mumbai. She is an editor at Brown Paper Bag, and the editor of The Caravan Book of Profiles. Her work has appeared in Vogue, Wisden, The New Republic and other publications.

Supriya Sharma


Surekha is a visual artist and curator exploring artistic forms through installations, video & photography for the last two decades. Her works investigate how visuality engages with ecology/socio-political aesthetics, negotiating public and private spaces. She is based in Bangalore and the ever altering city itself has been a subject of her artistic representation.  She has been involved in visual art collectives like BAR1, VAG Forum, Khoj and was a founder curator of Rangoli Metro Art Center, Bangalore.

Tanveer Hasan

Vasanthi Hariprakash

Vasanthi Hariprakash is an independent anchor-moderator and media strategist. She is also the founder of a community platform called Pickle Jar that creates and curates film festivals and programs of social relevance and that gave Bangalore city retrospectives of cinema greats like Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Smita Patil. Her past life includes a stint as a special correspondent at NDTV 24×7, documentary anchor of a South-Asia series on BBC World News, awardwinning radio show host of a primetime breakfast show on Radio CIty 91.1 FM and a chief sub-editor at the New Indian Express. She moderates panel discussions in India and outside but loses debates at home to son Anirudh; struggles with devices but is a facebook punter, recites Sanskrit shlokas & sings Tamil classical numbers, speaks five-and-a-half languages, hums half-tunes from films, but loves telling full stories.

Vikram Sridhar

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City Scripts 2017

The second edition of the IIHS urban writings festival City Scripts–Bengaluru was attended by over 500 people in February 2017. It featured eminent authors, journalists and others involved in writing in and about the city. Topics such as music and movies in the city, the Jallikattu protests in Chennai, media and censorship, and public art were discussed over the three days. Panelists included Shubha Mudgal, CS Lakshmi, Kiran Nagarkar and Baradwaj Rangan. The Tejeshwar Singh Memorial Award for Excellence in Writing on the Urban was instituted this year and awarded to Amrita Shah for her book ‘Ahmedabad: A City in the World’.

The first edition of City Scripts–Delhi was held at the India International Centre (IIC) Annexe and the Goethe Institut/ Max Mueller Bhavan in March 2017. The three-day event hosted a series of readings, conversations and moderated panel discussions around a range of themes including poetry, violence, cinema, masculinities, reportage and walking in the city. Noted panelists included Ravish Kumar, Kiran Nagarkar, Shahid Amin and Monalisa Changkija, among several others.


Amrita Shah Aneesh Pradhan Arpita Das Arshia Sattar
A R Venkatachalapathy Aruna Ganesh Ram Amitabh Kumar Baradwaj Rangan
Bina Paul Bridget White-Kumar Claire Rao C S Lakshmi
Dipankar Hamsa Iyer Harsh Mander  Jenny Pinto
Karen Coelho Manogna Shastry Mudnakudu Chinnaswamy Naresh Fernandes
Nisha Abdulla Nisha Susan Paranjoy Guha Thakurta Priya Chetty-Rajagopal
Rakesh Ragunathan Rana Ayyub Rohini Nilekani Rupleena Bose
Samar Halarnkar  Shubha Mudgal  Sidharth Bhatia Subasri Krishnan
Sultan Ismail Supriya Nair Vasanthi Hariprakash Vasudhendra

City Scripts 2016

Over 300 people attended the first edition, which was held between 19 and 21 February 2016. The three days featured moderated panel discussions around city histories, activism in cities, gender and cities, urban reportage in India, and cities and cinema; a master class on writing; conversations with authors on their books; storytelling sessions on the city for parents and kids; book readings; the launch of Gautam Bhan’s In The Public’s Interest; film screenings; and one-on-one author interactions.


Aarti Mohan Anjum Hasan Appupen Aromar Revi
Arpita Das Arshia Sattar A R Venkatachalapathy Danish Sheikh
Disha Mullick Gautam Bhan Harsh Mander Indrajit Hazra
Jairaj Singh Kaiwan Mehta Kalpana Sharma K T Ravindran
Lawrence Liang Naresh Fernandes Nisha Abdulla Nisha Susan
Paromita Vohra Ravikant Rohan Shivkumar Ruchir Joshi
Rupleena Bose Samar Halarnkar Savita Hiremath Spandan Banerjee
Srinath Perur Subasri Krishnan Suresh Jayaram Urvashi Butalia
Vidyun Sabhaney Vinutha Mallya Vishwajyoti Ghosh Vivek Shanbhag
Zac O’Yeah

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Paranjoy Guha-Thakurta in conversation with Nisha Susan