As a Doctoral Candidate in Anthropology at Stanford University, Nikhil Anand is researching the social life of water in Mumbai, as it is made to flow from rainfed lakes, through public bodies and into the Arabian Sea. Over the last few years he has also researched Mumbai’s transportation infrastructure projects, activist subjectivity at the World Social Forum (WSF), and the politics of India’s National Biodiversity Planning Process (NBSAP).
Nikhil Anand has a Masters in Environmental Studies from Yale University and a BA in Biology from Reed College.
Himanshu Burte is an architect and writer based in Mumbai. His first book, ‘Space for Engagement’ (Seagull Books, Kolkata, 2008) has received significant critical acclaim. He was a Fulbright Fellow at Project for Public Spaces, New York, and University of California, Berkeley, over 2008-09.
His areas of special interest include public space, contemporary architecture, sustainable design in India, and the design of theatre spaces. Apart from publishing extensively, Burte has been actively involved in building discourse around architecture and urban issues for over a decade by organizing discussions, conferences, and workshops. Burte has also been involved in planning research in Mumbai in the past.
He is currently co-writing two books (with Malini Krishnankutty) related to contemporary architecture in India, including one devoted to sustainable and eco-sensitive design in India, research for which is supported by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Chicago.
Pankaj Joshi is a conservation architect in private practice with projects in Greater Mumbai, Maharashtra and Gujarat. He received his Diploma in Architecture from the Academy of Architecture, Mumbai and his Masters in Architectural Conservation from University of York, the UK. At present, he is the Executive Director of UDRI, Mumbai.
Pankaj Joshi has served on the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee. He is at present a visiting professor at the Academy of Architecture and Rizvi College of Architecture, Mumbai and consultant to the Heritage Conservation Society of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).
He is holds the position of joint convener of the Mumbai Study Group, an interdisciplinary forum, at the Academy of Architecture, Mumbai and a member of SAVE forum, an environment action group in North Mumbai.
Sameera Khan is a journalist, writer and researcher. A former assistant editor at The Times of India in Mumbai, she writes on issues related to urban life, minorities, women, and public health. A founder member of the Network of Women in Media, India, she teaches journalism at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. She researches and writes on the old Muslim neighbourhoods of Mumbai. Her essays feature in the anthology, ‘Bombay, Meri Jaan – Writings on Mumbai’ (Penguin, 2003), the UDRI Mumbai Readers I and II and in ‘Missing Half the Story: Journalism as if Gender Matters’ (Zubaan, 2010).
As a PUKAR research associate, she has been associated with the PUKAR Neighbourhood project as part of which she initiated the Khotachiwadi Cookbook: an ethnographic encounter with community and cuisine. More recently, she has been actively involved with the PUKAR Gender & Space project, funded by IDPAD. She has co-authored a book based on the project, ‘Why Loiter? Women and Risk on Mumbai Streets’ with research associates Shilpa Phadke and Shilpa Ranade to be published by Penguin Books India in late 2010.
She has a BA in History and Anthropology from St. Xavier’s College (University of Bombay), a Diploma in Social Communications Media from Sophia Polytechnic, Mumbai, and an MS in Journalism from Columbia University, New York.
Shilpa Phadke is a sociologist, researcher, writer and pedagogue. She is Assistant Professor at theCentre for Media and Cultural Studies at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. She has been educated at St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, SNDT University and the University ofCambridge, UK. She conceptualised and led the Gender & Space Project at PUKAR from September 2003 to September 2006. Her co-authored book based on this research, titled, Why Loiter: Women and Risk on Mumbai’s Streets will be published later this year from Penguin Viking. She has published both in academic journals and in the popular print media. Her areas ofconcern include gender and the politics of space, the middle classes, sexuality and the body, feminist politics among young women and pedagogic practices. She loves the chaotic city of Mumbai and fantasizes that it will one day have a very large park.
Shilpa Ranade is a practicing architect and researcher. She trained in architecture from CEPT, Ahmedabad and has done her M.A. in cultural studies from the University of Arizona, Tucson. She is a founding partner of the design collaborative DCOOP where her portfolio includes interior, architecture and urban design projects.
She has been associate editor, of the South Asian volume in the series ‘World Architecture 1900-2000: A Critical Mosaic’. Shilpa’s writing on architecture and on gendered spaces has been published in various books, academic journals and professional magazines. She has taught architecture and humanities courses at various colleges in the city.
She has co-authored book based on the Gender and Space project with Shilpa Phadke and Sameera Khan to be published by Penguin Books India in 2010.
Vyjayanthi Rao is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at The New School for Social Research in New York. She is also a research associate of Partners for Urban Knowledge, Action, and Research (PUKAR) and has served as its Co-Director from 2002-2005. Her broader research interests lie in the intersections of planning, design, artistic practice and social transformation.
She has studied contexts of development and modernization in rural South Asia, focusing on questions of trauma, memory and historicity. More recently, she has been studying urban change in relation to the economy, technology, infrastructure, and built form of post-industrial Mumbai and has a number of publications on the topic and a book in preparation, titled The Speculative City.
Vyjayanthi Rao has also worked extensively with Mumbai based artist, Sudarshan Shetty and collaborated on artistic projects with other artists including the Chinese artist Xu Bing and the fellows in residence at Vera List Center for Art and Politics in New York. She is currently the co-chair of the The New School’s Design and Social Science Faculty Committee.
She lives and works in New York but travels frequently to Mumbai.
Abhay Sardesai has been the Editor of ART India, the premier art magazine of India, since November 2002. Under his editorship, the magazine has developed a Culture Studies-oriented approach and has become more inter-disciplinary in its theme-based explorations. He has been a Visiting Faculty in Aesthetics at the Department of English, University of Mumbai, and has also been the Chair of Humanities, Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute of Architecture, Mumbai. He teaches at the Smt. P. N. Doshi Women’s College of Arts and also at various other places like Jnanapravaha and TISS. He writes in English and translates from Marathi, Konkani and Gujarati.
An associate of the research collective PUKAR, he was the Director of the Writing Across the City project which explored the inter-relationships between literatures and literary cultures in the city of Mumbai.
He has written widely on Art and Literature and read from his work at various places including the University of Princeton, University of Cambridge, Mumbai University, S.N.D.T. University, Sarai and NGMA.
Paromita Vohra is a filmmaker and writer whose work has focused on gender, politics, urban life and popular culture. Her films as director include Morality TV aur Loving Jehad: Ek Manohar Kahani (Best Short Documentary, IVFK, 2008), Q2P (Best Documentary, IFFLA; Best Documentary, Bollywood and Beyond, Stuttgart, Global Cities exhibit at the Tate Modern), Where’ Sandra? Work In Progress:At the WSF, 2004, Cosmopolis: Two Tales of a City (Award at Indo-British Digital Film Festival), Unlimited Girls (Women’s News Award, WFFIS, South Korea and Aaina Award, Bhuvaneshwar), A Woman’s Place, A Short Film About Time and Annapurna: Goddess of Food. She is the writer of the features Khamosh Pani (Best Screenplay, Kara Film Festival, Golden Leopard, Locarno Film Festival), and the documentaries A Few Things I Know About Her (Silver Conch, MIFF 2002 and National Award for Best Film, 2003), If You Pause, The Stuntment of Bollywod and Skin Deep.
She is actively involved in cuurating and screening documentaries and short films. Her writings both fiction and non-fiction have been published in various anthologies including Electric Feather: The Tranquebar Book of Erotica, Recess: The Penguin Book of Schooldays, Bombay Meri Jaan and First Proof.
She has worked extensively with young people doing workshops on creativity and politics. She teaches writing for film as visiting faculty in different universities around the world. She is currently working on a film about copyright and culture, two screenplays as well as a non-fiction book about love in India and writes a weekly column in Sunday Mid-day.