From Bus Windows to Shops: How ‘Sadakchap’ Took Art to the Streets

Want a peek at the ‘Sadakchap’ exhibiton in Pune? Leave your vehicle at home and take a trip on a PMPML bus.

Published
Lifestyle
4 min read
‘Sadakchap’ has quite literally taken art to the streets. (Photo Courtesy: Prachee Kulkarni)

A less crowded bus and a place to sit were all that Sonal was expecting while boarding a PMPML bus on Sunday morning.

But she was surprised when she entered the bus. Not only did she get what she wished for but she also found some wonderful photographs and poems displayed all over the windows inside the bus.

Advertisements from employment agencies and some baba Bengali stuff is all that we normally get to see inside the bus – besides, of course, the regular instructions that the authorities display.
The photographs displayed were a part of the third exhibition curated by a group of photographers and artists from Pune. (Photo Courtesy: Prachee Kulkarni)
The photographs displayed were a part of the third exhibition curated by a group of photographers and artists from Pune. (Photo Courtesy: Prachee Kulkarni)

She has been regularly commuting by PMPML for the last two years. But this was the first time that the view inside the bus made her happy.

The photographs displayed were a part of the third exhibition curated by a group of photographers and artists from Pune. ‘Sadakchap’ – as they call it – is a public art project that aims at bringing art on street. A group of enthusiastic photographers from Pune came up with this idea three years ago.

For the first exhibition, photographs were displayed on the shutters of the closed shops. (Photo Courtesy: Prachee Kulkarni)
For the first exhibition, photographs were displayed on the shutters of the closed shops. (Photo Courtesy: Prachee Kulkarni)
Normally, art and photography exhibitions are organised in the confined space of an art gallery. This limits the access to common people. Only those who are keenly interested in the exhibition make it a point to visit the art galleries. So we wanted to take the art to common people. We wanted to question who gets to see the art. We wanted to make it accessible. And hence we decided to take it to the street.
Abhijeet Patil, one of the organisers and a photographer by profession

For the first exhibition they chose the busy streets of Tulsi Baug, the shopping market in Pune. Photographs were displayed on the shutters of the closed shops. This exhibition got largely appreciated by people. The second venue of the exhibition was the famous Sambhaji Garden located on Jangli Maharaj or JM road of Pune. This exhibition was theme based and the photographs of only a few photographers were selected.

For the third exhibition, the organisers were looking for something which would take their art to multiple places in Pune at the same time. One of the team members came up with the idea of putting up the exhibition on the public transport buses.

This exhibition was largely appreciated by people. (Photo Courtesy: Prachee Kulkarni)
This exhibition was largely appreciated by people. (Photo Courtesy: Prachee Kulkarni)
The reach of these buses is vast. The kind of demography and the variety of class that we can reach through this was not possible in any other way.
Abhijeet Patil

This year, apart from the photographs, they also decided to include other art forms along with poetry and essays. The art work is being displayed on 22 buses that travel to different routes in the city. This year, almost 25 artists have participated. Although most of the photographs and the art work is created by the artists themselves, there were a few who worked in a different way.

The team. (Photo Courtesy: Prachee Kulkarni)
The team. (Photo Courtesy: Prachee Kulkarni)

Pune based photographer Nupur Nanal wanted to see the life of people from their perspective. So she handed over cameras to her domestic help and her friends and asked them to click what they were interested in. The outcome was interesting and it is being displayed as a part of this exhibition on one of the buses.

If you want to visit the exhibition, don’t forget to keep your own vehicle at home and take a ride on a PMPML bus in the next few days. (Photo Courtesy: Prachee Kulkarni)
If you want to visit the exhibition, don’t forget to keep your own vehicle at home and take a ride on a PMPML bus in the next few days. (Photo Courtesy: Prachee Kulkarni)

Like Sonal, other commuters were surprised and happy too.

"This made me forget about work stress for a moment,” said Priya.

Rizwan, who has been travelling by PMPML buses for almost five years, said such initiatives can lead to an increase in the number of people travelling by public transport.

So if you want to visit the exhibition don’t forget to keep your own vehicle at home and take a ride on a PMPML bus in the next few days.

(Prachee Kulkarni has worked as a broadcast journalist for the last 8.5 years. She was previously associated with Ibn Lokmat and can be reached @prachikulkarni)

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