Sambhashane: The Bengaluru Dialogues  on Citizens & Community Media

“The process of communication is in fact the process of community.”—Raymond Williams

Sambhashane – The Bengaluru Dialogues on Citizens & Community Media is a series for media practitioners, producers, industry stakeholders, academicians, journalists, community reporters, citizen journalists, art practitioners, curators and students to forge new relationships learn and understand emerging concepts in a converged media landscape, explore opportunities and network to make new connections.

The first dialogue will set the tone for future festivals as we question, reflect and introspect on the following:

  •        What is the space for local and participatory media
  •        What is happening in the space of traditional media, digital media and community media, and grassroots forums of community theatre, art and music, games and more?
  •        What helps redefine identity, foster community cohesion and build solidarity, promote civic participation and enhance community relations?

The two parallel themes of the first edition are:

  1. a) Re-conceptualising Citizen/Community Media: Media bridges developments, ideas and voices across geography and time. The landscape is traditionally divided into three – the public service media, commercial media and community media. But with the coming of digital technology and social media, there is power in the hands of anyone with a mobile phone and access to internet. How have these changes blurred the distinctions between different types of media? Who is the producer, who is the consumer?
  2. b) Changing Boundaries of Media and Art: We explore changing boundaries within the world of art from a media space -digital and community media perspective. Digitisation has changed the way we create and communicate, and that in turn changes our perceptions, challenging our stand and offering a platform to express ourselves. Art, from time immemorial has been used to express, represent and foster dialogues. What happens when the two intersect? How then is the word “community”, redefined in the media and art space?

In recent years, Bengaluru popularly known as the IT capital of the country has been increasingly proving its mettle as a cultural capital that is inclusive and creative, embracing elements that connect platforms and forms.  From the revival of wall paintings that speak on identity and gender to musical performances that convey displeasure and protest music, from the city, walks, to poetry in the park, from social media campaigns on menstruation, composting, green living to representing voices, works and exhibitions in public spaces.

Programme : Festival Opening : Day 1

Wednesday, 26th September 2018 5pm to 7.30pm Venue: Atta Galatta, Koramangala


Time Agenda Speakers
4.30pm Registration  
5.00pm Welcome Lakshmi Karunkaran, Radio Active 90.4 MHz


5.10 Introduction to Co Media Lab, Citizen Matters & Radio Active 90.4

The importance of Cross-border collaboration and knowledge-sharing between media practitioners and scholars in Australia and India with focus on the Australia India Council Grants

·         Meera K, Co-Founder, Citizen Matters

·         Pinky Chandran, Co-Founder, Radio Active 90.4


5.20m Special Address: Capacity-building and knowledge-sharing in citizen journalism enterprise Usha M Rodrigues, Senior Lecturer, Journalism, Deakin University, Australia


5.30pm Key Note Address:   Sambhashane: Conversations Long Pending on Community Art Projects Arundhati Ghosh India Foundation for Arts
6.10pm Context  Setting of Community Media and its role in the larger scheme of things



Ashish Sen , Past President, The World Association of Community radio Broadcasters ( AMARC), Theatre Actor and Director

in conversation with Ramakrishnan Nagarajan, Executive Director, Ideosync Media Combine  and Jon Bisset, CEO, Community Broadcasting Association of Australia

6.30pm to 7.30pm Panel Discussion: Bengaluru’s Community Media: A space for all


How have Bengaluru citizens been empowered and enabled with citizen/community oriented media? Is Bengaluru’s media reflecting voices across the spectrum? Or are a few loud voices capturing the narrative? The panel will explore the following:

What is the true potential of Citizen Journalism & Community Media?  How do we enable participation? How do we open up access, production and distribution of media, especially to the marginalised and minorities. What can break boundaries? What has helped connect, mobilise and call to action? Is Social Media playing the role of a community media? Who benefits from social media? Is it creating a new set of elite or have we overcome the digital divide?



Moderator: Ashish Sen




·         Madhu Bhushan, Producer/ Script Writer, Sikkidare Shikari Illdidre Bhikari

·         Pranav K Jha, Co-Founder

·         Shilpa Mudbi, Urban Folk Project

·         Uma, Founder, Ananya Magazine for Sexual Minorities

·         Zahid H Javali, Editor, Residents Watch



7.30pm to 8.00pm Networking and Snacks


Day 2 Thursday, 27th September 2018 Venue: Jain University, Palace Road 9.30am to 4.00pm


9.00am Registration  
9:30 am Youth and Media


Do young people care about news and public affairs? What media reflects your needs? What are the mediums you use to learn, keep track, and be in sync with society and the world.

On the other hand, what are the platforms that help voice your opinion and share your stories? Is social media serving that need? What should community media and mainstream media do better and be more inclusive of the youth voice?


Anchored  by students of IIJNM
11.00am to 11.15am Tea Break
11.15am Panel: Participatory Democracy in the age of digital media


Digital technology has revitalized the media landscape and in doing so, enabled the core element of “voice” of all members of the society, thus redefining the term participatory democracy and citizen participation in governance.

The citizens of Bengaluru have used a plethora of ways to mobilise communities, build awareness, raise issues, used art or personal blogs to call to action and work with the government. From signature campaigns and petitions, to townhall meetings/protests and community forums, from human chain and flash mob, to feedback polls and online campaigns, the city has seen it all. The session seeks to understand motivations, deconstruct layers of participation and understand ways to sustain.



Anchored by The Takshashila Institution, Bangalore




·         Priya Chetty Rajagopal,

#DoggedBangalore , #Steelflyovercampaign, #HertiageBeku

·         Smita Kulkarni, Member, Bangalore Eco Team ( BET)

·         Suma ( Sana), Ondede


Presentation: Freedem Sarai project by Venu Arora, Cofounder Ideosync Media Combine

1.00pm to 1.30pm






1.30 pm to 4.30pm Colouring Public Spaces: Street Art and Graffiti

From adding life to public wall, to speaking to people about important issues plaguing the city/country in the form of a social commentary, to murals and graffiti that light up your imagination, writings on the wall are a serious business.


Anchored by the Aravani Art Project, which provides a space for the transgender community to express themselves through street art.


Poornima Sukumar and Shanti Munniswamy in conversation with Aastha Chauhan, Sristhi School of Design




Evening Session: Venue:  Lahe Lahe 5.30pm to 8.30pm


5.45 Welcome Beula Anthony
5.50 Special Talk: Origins of Lahe Lahe as a space for cultural and community gatherings Speaker from Lahe Lahe
6.00pm Poetry and Performance of the City


Poetry feeds on urban life, and has moved from the four walls, to cafes and parks.

It’s is creating newer forms of seeing and experiencing the city.


From garbage and smoke to gender and identity, from occupation and employment, from nostalgia to protest, poems across are creating new languages.



Catherine Webb, Poet, Radio Jockey


Shanti Munniswamy, Artist, Radio Jockey and Poet


Shreya Krishnan, CSR Specialist, Poet, Anchor, Pagent Winner, TedXSpeaker, Dancer, Model, Earth Warrior


Urmila Chanam, Menstrual Hygiene Advocate,Founder Breaking the Silence, Water-Sanitation-Hygiene, Public Health, Gender & Journalist, Poet



6.30pm Reclaiming the City


Urban planning is not gender neutral, and societies are not binary or homogenous and community media artists have used different forms to draw attention to inequalities or to just highlight the need to claim place and space



Walks in Public Space, Suresh Jayaram


On Dance and Other Performances by  Avril Stormy Unger , The Storm Factory


Nihal, on Democratising Public Spaces by Maraa


8.00pm Networking and Quick Bites  



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