Social Street Art Poster Project | Marine Drive, Mumbai
It all stems from people who look around and figure that something's not quite right with the world we live in...we can see the poverty, the crime, all that social unrest, and deep seeded unhappiness rooted within so many of us, and surely something’s got to give, something's got to happen, something’s got to change. It seemingly all masked over by the consumerist societies we’ve built, lost and driven by the notion that somehow possessions will make our lives better.
Within our cities, (and outside them, wherever there is a concentration of people), there is no direction where one can turn without being presented by a publicity image. They pass us and we pass them continually. And continually, we are confronted by a perceived image of a better future, for us as individuals or as a collective, so long as we belong to the group that the image represents. Those groups, however, are perceived as exclusive, and thereby they breed envy within ourselves and further instigate a perception that if we were able to attain to them we would be the envy of others. Thus, perpetuating the impression of superiority over our fellow man by way of the objects we possess, or the groups to which we belong...to economic class, religious belief, patriotism, physicality, intellect, or any other competitive comparison that divides as opposed to unites.
This is not of course a suggestion that the publicity image is wholly responsible for this negative force, it is only a mechanism of the many factors within our societies that breed such occurrences, whether they be the monetary systems, political systems, or educational systems currently in place, systems that probably need gutting and redivising rather than just merely tweaking. This thought is not unique; there is a gathering momentum and awareness globally that fundamental change is more just an alternative, it is absolutely necessary.
There is a quiet discontent and despondency that the happiness proposed by the publicity imagery we see is no more than false promise, and that object of desire only ever gives temporary satisfaction. Some of us may continue to acquire more to reaffirm that temporal thrill, and others may tire of that and seek something different. Unfortunately there are little obvious alternatives at present, apart from perhaps laying idle in sulkiness or lethargy...or, perhaps not, there’s always the option to turn a negative into a positive, or towards romanticism, or maybe even towards an idealistic image of a billboard that sends out positive, non-commercial messages with selfless intentions in the hope of some change, no matter how insignificant...to do that little bit, to make a little difference, or as a far more determined man once said, “to be the change you want to see in the world”...
The project ran from late 2013 and throughout 2014, and was devised and executed in collaboration with Prashant Kansara, with contributions by Sejal Dani. Works were displayed on a 8 feet by 6 feet billboard inside the most prominent footbridge in South Mumbai.