Aastha Chauhan & Malini Kochupillai, Antarrashtriya Khirkee (International Khirkee) community festival, 2014. Photo courtesy Malini Kochupillai.

Date: Friday, 28 November 2014
Times: 17:00 – 18:30
Venue: Delfina Foundation

Free-thinking is a small series of events as part of Delfina Foundation’s autumn programme that explores the relationship between autonomy and various aspects of daily life.

Researcher and writer Pelin Tan and current resident Aastha Chauhan will each present their current research that unpacks the pitfalls and potentialities of socially engaged art and urban practices, in particular:

  • the search for methodology and autonomy in times of resistance, resurrection and co-existence
  • the use of assemblage to develop and dissolve local knowledge into a collective practice
  • the notion of the urban neighbourhood as a micro-cosmology of ethics of localities and as well as the ‘solidarity economies’ (to reference JK Gibson-Graham)


Pelin Tan is a sociologist and art historian. She concluded her PhD on socially engaged art in urban space and her post-doc on methodology of artistic research at MIT. Tan researched artist run spaces and urban justice in Europe (2004), Asia and Japan (2012, 2015). With Anton Vidokle, she is the co-director of sci-fi film episodes 2084 about the future of art. She is a member of video collectives Artıkişler/videoccupy and bak.ma an open digital media archive of political movements in Turkey. Tan is an associate professor at the Architecture Faculty, Mardin Artuklu University, Turkey. Her forthcoming publication is ARAZİ (Sternberg Press, Berlin, 2015).

Aastha Chauhan’s artistic practise is rooted in the urban village of Khirkee in Delhi where she has worked for a decade on projects ranging from an independent zero budget street art festival to projects focusing on urban design and redevelopment. She is also interested in micro broadcasting and works closely with 90.4MHz Henvalvani community radio station in Chamba, Uttarakhand. For six years, Chauhan headed the community based art initiatives at the KHOJ International Artists Association in New Delhi.