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    Aastha Chauhan

    Map Academy

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    An artist and curator, Aastha Chauhan is known for her public art and community engagement projects in New Delhi, particularly in the urban village of Khirkee. Her own art practice, as well as her organisational and curatorial work, is multidisciplinary, low budget and aims at fostering a sense of community among its participants and viewers.

    Chauhan was born in Ajmer, Rajasthan. She received her BFA in sculpture from the Government College of Art, Chandigarh, and enrolled in the MFA programme at the College of Art, New Delhi in 2002. During her MFA, she participated in the second edition of the PEERS residency at KHOJ International Artists’ Association in 2004. She undertook a community engagement program called Khirkee Ki Kahani later that same year, and joined KHOJ to lead its initiative for sustained community-building between itself and the residents of Khirkee. She continued to work at KHOJ for the next six years, where a major project under her purview was Khirkee-ki-Khoj (2005) — a series of community outreach programs that included workshops on photography and kite-making for children, an installation at the local Sai Baba temple, and wall art for shops in the Khirkee area. She left KHOJ in 2011, but continues to be involved with the Khirkee community through projects such as {Khirkee 17}, a hip-hop group and clothing brand.

    In 2009, Chauhan participated in 1MILE², a three-year project under which she mapped the social and ecological landscape of Khirkee. She has also worked with community-run radio channels such as Radio Khirki and the 90.4MHz Henvalvani radio station in Chamba, Uttarakhand. Along with filmmaker Thomas Ellis, she is the founder of Delhi, I Love You, an initiative focussed on building affinity between the city of Delhi and its residents through public art and heritage walks. She was the director of the Delhi Walk Festival in 2017.

    Chauhan has participated in several exhibitions and cultural events over the years. Her work appeared in the group shows Negotiating Routes: Ecologies of the Byways I (2010) and Evidence Room (2017), and she curated the exhibition Aapki Sadak at KHOJ in 2013. In 2011, she received a grant from the Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation to participate in a residency programme at UNIDEE, Italy. She was also the recipient of the Brooks Travelling Fellowship in 2014.

    The artist lives and works in New Delhi.


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