• DEMOCRATISING PUBLIC SPACES
  • POLITICISING ARTISTIC PRACTICE
  • STRENGTHENING COMMUNITY MEDIA

Maraa: a Media & Arts Collective

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MARAA

Arts // culture // media // public space

ABOUT MARAA

We are a media and arts collective based in Bangalore. Founded as a charitable public trust, our work is centered around a political creative practice across three domains - media, public space and discourse, subjectivity.

COLLECTIVE

We are structured horizontally. All have different responsibilities but earn the same salary. We are free, even encouraged to disagree with each other even as we come to consensus on key decisions.

ECLECTIC

Our work is not strictly project or donor dependent. A significant part of our work responds to the political, cultural and economic environment. We are open to collaborations with individuals and organisations across disciplines and interests.

PROCESS

We try to pay attention to histories that are suppressed even as the oppressed are held responsible or become hapless victims. At the same time, we emphasise the creative energies that go into daily survival.

What we do

Our work is centred around freedom of speech and expression across three domains - strengthening community media platforms, democratizing usage of urban public spaces through creative practice and deepening rights based campaigns. Our work is diverse and inter-sectional. We are committed and keen to focus on practice and process with a strong culture of dialogue and mutual sharing of knowledge with all those we work with.

Curation

Through its curatorial practice, maraa collaborates with a variety of artists working with different forms like visual arts, performances, aurality, and cinema. We not only hosts artists but also develop creative ways of presenting their works. Our curatorial intent is guided by the need to make arts relevant to the contemporary moment. We encourage new and alternative voices, work in everyday public spaces, and diversify the audience that receives these curated works. Apart from traditional galleries, we curate presentations in parks, playgrounds, sidewalks, bars, and bookshops.

Training

Maraa has been involved in training and setting up some of the first community radio stations in India. We have trained community radio stations in the areas of policy and regulation, programming, editing, management and research. Apart from these, Maraa has special competence and experience in facilitating participatory learning programmes around community health, especially relevant to women and youth.

Production

maraa produces creative content dealing with a diverse range of issues for a variety of platforms. We have produced documentary films on migration and labour that have won national and international acclaim. Our radio documentaries and podcasts have explored a variety of formats like interviews, readings, storytelling, and songs and themes like adolescent sexuality, reproductive health, media censorship, art and literature. We also occasionally undertake documentation for other civil society institutions depending on the subject and process involved.

Research

Maraa undertakes research on media and communications related issues. We have experience and competence to undertake and deploy a mix of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies that are especially suited for media and communication initiatives. These range from simple questionnaires to semiotics and ethnography. We also undertake baseline, end-line, monitoring and evaluation and other kinds of research for civil society institutions and/or media initiatives.

WORKING WITH US

We are interested in working on anything that pertains to creative practice or use of arts, urban experience, public spaces, community media, public service media and media (for) development. We are interested in long term collaborations and partnerships.

  • Developing capacities of media institutions that advance public interest.
  •  Using the arts to strengthen democratic usage and access to public spaces.
  •  Using creative practices to diversify and broaden justice based campaigns.
  •  Developing a critical pedagogy of gender in education.

Over the years, we continue to retain active working relationships with almost all our partners. Maraa prefers to work with like minded organisations in a spirit of open collaboration. We strongly believe in putting our work in the public domain and for public consumption. While we are a small team, we have a large network of experts and consultants who work with us on specific activities or projects.

Get in touch

CREATIVE PRACTICES IN PUBLIC SPACE

At the core of our arts programme are two ideas - resistance and play. Our creative practices are located in and informed by the everyday public spaces of the city. Through walks, projections, installations, and performances we grapple with questions of exclusion, access, and privilege in this rapidly transforming city. Our annual arts festival – October Jam aims to create sensuous spaces which provoke new imaginations and reflections. The festival brings together people from various backgrounds and disciplines. We also curate, facilitate and write about the arts to push its boundaries and find new and dynamic expressions.

Gender

Through our work, we seek to broaden the scope of gender and sexuality from frameworks of biology, health, and focus only on women’s issues. Our work addresses the interplay between discursive and material realities that impact gender roles and stereotypes, sexual violence and access to public services. We believe gender is not formed in a silo, but is realized through intersections with sexuality, caste, class, religion and labour. Gender and sexuality, we believe, are lenses ; a way of looking at the world.

Media

In the age of complex societies, media has assumed significance since it mediates both political economy and culture, structure and agency. Asymmetries in ownership of media and communication platforms is not only reflective of an unequal society but also helps to reproduce and entrench inequality further. Our efforts are to promote independent community owned and managed media towards a resilient, diverse and pluralistic media landscape.

PARTICIPATORY LEARNING

A rigorous method where grassroots communities are involved from planning to evaluation. It includes formative research, building on local partnerships, designing content, integrating mobile phones with face to face communication. We facilitate high quality participatory learning programmes geared towards behaviour change

GENDER TRAINING

Through our facilitation with various groups, we intend to look at gender as a lens across home, school, college, work place, public space. Our modules are playful, interactive and personal. We wish to move away from binaries and instead create spaces for diverse expressions of gender and sexuality.

Research

We have in-house expertise on designing and executing both qualitative and quantitative research projects related to media and communications. These could be related to baseline and endline studies, impact assessment, monitoring and evaluation, comparative research, policy and position papers.

Creative Programming

Community radio often struggle to retain their audience within development paradigms that limit the scope of imagination in content development production. We encourage reporters to approach reporting, recording, presenting, and editing programmes creatively.

Our Team

Our team consists of young people with a background in alternative/community media, arts and public spaces. We have a very small, full time core team of five people spread across Bangalore and Delhi. We also work with a wide range of media professionals, like camera persons, editors, designers, publishers etc for specific activities. Get in touch if you want to work with us for specific projects, full time or even if you want to intern or volunteer with us.

Trustees

Get in Touch

You can contact us through this form or via our social media accounts. Join our mailing list to get updates on our events.