Delhi Dallying

Delhi Dallying is an independent project founded by Bhavika Aggarwal, Rohan Patankar and Varun Bajaj.

In January - February 2014 New Delhi was host to the St.ART Delhi, India's largest street art festival. Artists were invited from India and all over the world to participate in a month long celebration of urban art on the walls of some of the oldest parts of Delhi: it's urban villages.

Delhi Dallying was commissioned by the festival to lead a curated walk through the streets and art of Shahpur Jat, the site for the first phase. We led three public walks on February 2, 2014, as well as an additional two for special invitees.

Our intent with this project was to introduce our audience to the festival, the artists and the incredible work they had done - but also to initiate conversation about the many historical and social layers of Shahpur Jat and about their ongoing encounter with international street art. We explored the founding and bloody history of the thirteenth century village, its development and urbanization, and most recently its gentrification. However, our walk was focused on weaving a contemporary narrative of this urban village in Delhi today.

Delhi Dallying also curated special packages for every participant to take home - producing which was a task on its own!

Each cardboard box contained A5 cards on the St.ART Delhi Festival and the village of Shahpur Jat, as well as a route map. Also included were a stencil, a blank card, two postcards and two The Moving Delhi Project cards.

St.ART Delhi cards
Every participant now owns a unique piece of original artwork by one of the festival artists. We printed the reverse of four cards on one A3, organized several of these on a newspaper carpet - and got the artists to do whatever they wanted on the blank sides. Cut to size, we got 120 unique cards, worked on by five artists and showcasing their unique styles : brush, stencil, spray, monochrome, colour.

Shahpur Jat cards
Even though the Festival published a lovely map, Delhi Dallying went ahead and made their own handy route map of the walk - in a similar vein to what we've done for our earlier events. We also decided to add in some more information about the village: the beautiful collage tells the story of street art in Shahpur Jat - and the reverse puts it into words.

Postcards + Moving Delhi
Each kit contained two of the five postcards we made especially for the walk, as well as a couple of the brilliant Moving Delhi cards.

Now the fun part! Armed with spray paint and the stencils that they got, our participants got their hands dirty and a wall very pretty.

All of these keepsakes of course go into a nifty reusable cardboard box, sealed with a bright green sticker and sporting the official Delhi Dallying stamp. We also hand stamped the St.ART Delhi cards and the blank cards - this project was, literally, a labour of love.

This walk was a lot of work - but so, so worth it. Delhi Dallying loved every moment of it: researching, organizing, curating, producing, walking. A big shout out for the kind folks over at the St.ART festival for inviting us to collaborate, and a massive hug for those who took the two hours out of their weekend to join us for the walk.