To decode the architectural complexity of Khirki village, a unique walk is being organised on July 20 that will take participants through the streets of the crammed urban village. The aim is to understand how slums, modern apartments coexist here.
Decoding Khirki will be conducted by Polish artists Simone De Iacobis and Malgorzata Kuciewicz. The artists will walk around the densely populated area replete with grocery, barber, electronic and other shops, pass through residential areas, Khirki mosque and Sai Baba temple. Participants will also get an opportunity to visit Khoj Studios to study a map made out of sketches and drawings of Khirki area vis-à-vis its architectural relevance in Delhi.
“Khirki is a sample of reality. It offers room for a thorough observation of pure architectural elements. Jaali panels, space frame structures and chhaajjas are just some of the features we are going to explore in an hour-long tour,” said Simone.
Both the artists work and live in Warsaw, Poland. What attracted them about Khirki was its complex architectural nature. Khirki gets its name from the intricate windows on the mosque there, one of the finest examples of Sultanate-era architecture. From the mosque’s roof, the residential buildings are so close, one can speak across terraces.
“Khirki village’s architecture will help us in understanding its history, climate responsive designs and even anthropological behaviour,” said Simone.
The event being organised by Khoj Studios will take place between 5 pm and 6 pm. “The walk will be a dynamic, fluid process where anyone from the area and outside is free to come,” said Sitara Chowfla, curator at Khoj Studios.
Residents are looking forward to the walk. Rajesh Kumar, who is from Uttar Pradesh, has been living in Khirki village for more than a decade now and has witnessed the changes the area has gone through over the years. Kumar worries that the locality is expanding in an unplanned manner at an alarming rate.
“People from various regions and countries have made Khirki village their home. Apart from African nationals, many from UP and Bihar have come here. Khirki village has become a multicultural place and small units are being constructed in every corner. It is said that the cultural identity of a place is reflected through its architecture. And this is something that the walk will be about,” said Kumar.
Apart from the walk, two more events are lined up on the same day. There will be an exhibition by Iranian artist Hoora Soleimani and Hyderabad-based Indian-Iranian Soghra Khurasani. The artworks will highlight issue of individual freedom. There will also be a poetry session by Akhil Katyal between 7pm and 7.30pm. He is a bilingual writer and translator from Delhi.