Consulate General of Sweden and Red Dot Foundation launch ‘Sustainable and Inclusive Urbanism’ awareness campaign at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival

The initiative includes a Photo-exhibition, Panel discussion & Heritage Walk along with several partners near Goethe-Institut Max Mueller Bhavan, Fort

The Consulate General of Sweden, Mumbai in collaboration with Red Dot Foundation, Swedish Institute and Millefotto will be participating in the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival from February 1st to 9th to increase awareness about ‘Sustainable and Inclusive Urbanism’. They will jointly host a Photo-exhibition, Panel discussion and Heritage Walk that will highlight challenges in the unequal urban landscape and discuss solutions to enable equality, accessibility and inclusivity in our cities.

Anna Lekvall, Counsel General of Sweden in Mumbai said, “Every human has the right to live with dignity irrespective of socio-economic or physical challenges. The Consulate General of Sweden in Mumbai is glad to partner with Red Dot Foundation and Kala Ghoda Arts Festival to highlight the importance of building sustainable and inclusive cities to ensure equality and accessibility for all.”

Elsa Marie DSilva, Founder CEO of Red Dot Foundation said, “We are excited to partner with the Consulate General of Sweden in Mumbai to discuss important issues like access and inequality that impacts the quality of urbanism. By 2050, 70% of the world’s population will live in cities and this will put a strain on the existing infrastructure. Therefore, it is important to have these conversations so that we plan for the future whilst learning from the past in order to not leave anyone behind irrespective of gender, ability or economic status.”

The initiative kickstarts with a photo exhibition from February 1 to 9, 2020 which will highlight two primary inequalities observed in an urban setting: the very tangible result of socio-economic disparity in Mumbai and the inaccessibility purview of differently-abled Indians and Swedes.

The socio-economic urban inequality is being represented by the Mumbai version of Photographer Johnny Miller’s globally renowned ‘Unequal Scenes’ project. Commenting on his well-acclaimed work, Johnny Miller said, “Mumbai is a city of contradictions and this was evident from the aerial scenes that exhibited exceedingly sharp contrasts between single-story slums and developed areas. The project aligns itself with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, specifically in the fight against extreme inequality, climate change, and sustainable cities and communities. Through this initiative, I hope to provoke a positive dialogue which can begin to address the issues of inequality and exclusion in a constructive and peaceful manner.”

‘The need to provide accessibility in urban settings is being depicted by the Swedish Institute’s ‘AccessAbility’ project that features portraits by Sunil Thakkar (Indian photographer) and Marcus Marcetic (Swedish photographer). It explores the personal stories of differently-abled individuals in India and Sweden, describing their dreams, sorrows, joys, jobs, families and loved ones. It further tells how they cope in inaccessible environments to live independently. Commenting on the project, Sunil Thakkar said, “The project aims to increase awareness about the need for accessibility and inclusivity so that all citizens can live with dignity.”

The initiative also entails a panel discussion on February 7, 2020 that will highlight the current challenges and discuss possible solutions for making Mumbai a sustainable and inclusive city. The panelists include Ms. Anna Lekvall, Consul General of Sweden in Mumbai; Dr. Sangita Hasnale, Assistant Commissioner – Planning, MCGM; Ms. Prathima Manohar, Founder and CEO – The Urban Vision; Mr. Nilabh Nagar, Urbanist and Architect, Hafeez Contractor; Mr. Suhas Karnik, Honorary Secretary, National Association of the Blind (NAB) and Ms. Elsa Marie DSilva, Founder and CEO – Red Dot Foundation (Moderator).

The initiative concludes with an informative heritage walk on February 8, 2020 with the objective of analysing the current architecture of Mumbai’s most important heritage precinct and towards actively planning, designing and utilizing urban spaces in the most sustainable way. This walk will start from Asiatic Library and will conclude at Flora Fountain.

RSVP for the Inauguration of the Photoexhibition and the Panel discussion –

Tickets for the Heritage Walk are available on the Kalaghoda website. Only 20 spots available.

Inauguration of the photo-exhibition on 1st Feb at Noon

Panel Discussion on 7th Feb at 0430-0530 pm

 Heritage Walk on 8th Feb at 11 am


About Red Dot Foundation (SafeCity)

The Red Dot Foundation Group works at the intersection of gender, technology, data and urban planning and Safecity is its flagship program. Safecity is a platform that crowdsources personal stories of sexual harassment and abuse in public spaces. This data which maybe anonymous, gets aggregated as hot spots on a map indicating trends at a local level. The idea is to make this data useful for individuals, local communities and local administration to identify factors that causes behavior that leads to violence and work on strategies for solutions. Red Dot Foundation aims to make cities safer by encouraging equal access to public spaces for everyone especially women, through the use of crowdsourced data and technology.

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About Consulate General of Sweden, Mumbai

The Consulate General of Sweden will aid to develop good and broad relations between Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa and Sweden. The Consulate is engaged in a wide variety of activities to promote Swedish produces, investments in Sweden, exchange in research and higher education, cultural exchange as well as tourism.

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About MilleFoto

Johnny Miller / MilleFoto is a photographer, activist, and multimedia storyteller based in Cape Town, South Africa. He is interested in exploring architectures, displacement, urban issues, and climate justice from the ground and from the air. His photographic project Unequal Scenes has garnered widespread praise and been featured in many of the world’s top publications.

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About Swedish Institute

The Swedish Institute is a public agency that promotes interest and trust in Sweden around the world. We work in the fields of culture, education, science and business to strengthen international relations and development.

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About Urban Vision

The Urban Vision is a social venture & a think-do-tank which was instituted to inspire next generation urbanization. The organization focuses on solutions driven research; advocates & consults on best practices in policy and design; facilitates public dialogue on policy choices.

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