Buffaloes on zebra crossings - The Gurgaon story

04 May 2011   |   by Ajay Jaiman   |    photo-features

Our documentary film was first shown as part of an exhibition & seminar ‘What makes India urban?’ at AEDES Am Pfefferberg, Berlin, a gallery that focuses on architecture.

In less than two decades, the rural landscape of Gurgaon has taken on an urban identity. Yet, without a shared vocabulary for spaces, zebra crossings are “peopled” by buffaloes and busy mall roads have “herds” of shoppers making suicidal attempts to criss-cross a sea of racing vehicles.

In Gurgaon’s patchy landscape of high-rise apartments, glass-and-steel office buildings, and glitzy malls on the one hand, and village clusters, slum sprawls, buffaloes and cows on the other, the old and the new are reinventing old spaces, and creating new spaces that often exclude more than they include. This audio-visual documentary explores the ongoing negotiation of space and meaning in a rapidly urbanizing semi-rural environment in India.

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