India Features

Anatomy Of An Indian Art District: Photos From Chennai’s Kannagi Nagar

Kannagi Nagar, off Old Mahabalipuram Road, is Chennai’s first art district. St+art, a not-for-profit that wants to democratise art by bringing art out of galleries and into public spaces, along with Asian Paints and the Greater Chennai Corporation, has made this public art project possible over the last couple of months. Residents of the area have all faced the trauma of resettlement – either after the tsunami, or the Chennai floods of 2015, or as part of eviction drives of settlements around Chennai’s rivers. Over the years, the area has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. In December 2017, The Newsminute ran an article about how those resettled in Kannagi Nagar were unable to find jobs, as they are stuck in a neighbourhood with a tainted reputation. Over the last few weeks, however, a different Kannagi Nagar has emerged from the shadows. Perhaps the change, at this point is only cosmetic, this is all window-dressing, you could argue, but the residents themselves seem to be welcoming this splash of colour and the buzz of outsiders coming in.

Silverscreen India’s photojournalist Dani Charles walked the streets of Kannagi Nagar, made friends with artists and locals, was reminded of his ooru, and of course, took several frame-worthy photos. Join Dani as he takes a deep dive into life in the new art district. 












More photos from the Kannagi Nagar photoshoot