Alternative proposals to future Bhubaneswars, Arnika Ahldag, Printed text/photos, 2018.
When futurity collapses into contemporaneity, Arnika Ahldag, Video work, 2018.
“Nobody really is from Bhubaneswar” a young student from Bhubaneswar told me when I had just started asking around what the city is like. He hinted the city’s relatively short modern history, having been established just after Independence. Bhubaneswar became one of the fastest developing cities in India and the “best city to do business in India” according to the World Bank rating of 2014. The city already seems to be what India’s future should be like and therefore becomes the test bed for data collection.
When futurity collapses into contemporaneity seeks to juxtapose the history and structures that have made contemporary India and the future that is being modelled upon its cities excluding communities that are not possible customers as residents of what the city as a gated community could be. Bhubaneswar has been built by many, by the bureaucrats, the migrant workers, the IT employees and now the smart city mission. Alternative proposals to future Bhubaneswars are fictionalised proposals to alternative dreams and aspirations for the city.