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MA in Art Practices


Pathway : Public Pedagogy and Art Practice

“The planet does not need more successful people. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds” - Dalai Lama

De’cARt - A public interactive installation at Festival of Stories #8, by faculty Sai Krishna Mulpuru and the Experimental Media Arts Department, using live weather data and mapping this data to augmented and virtual reality experiences around Cubbon Park Metro Station.

Mission Statement

The Public Pedagogy and Art Practice pathway, develops public pedagogues who facilitate public learning acts with sensitivity through cultural practice. Students in this program will develop the ability to work with transdisciplinary creative practices for civic learning and public participation. The arts have the transformative ability to encourage and foster positive change. Especially in India the Kalakaar is often considered to be an integral part of society and is accepted as creator of rasa, the one who touches the heart and spirit of our very core.


The stand up comic or the wandering mystic, the political poet or the master craftswoman who paints the walls of her community, the crafty marketing genius, the puppeteer, the radio jockey are all public pedagogues. They use public spaces and public forms of dialogue to learn and speak about the human condition. Public practices as a form of transmitting ideas that influence, communicate and provoke are age old. Simultaneously, our ability to learn from the public sphere is constant, but is not acknowledged as a valid form of education. Further, questions about the very value of mainstream education that has become devoid of culture, with its narrow focus of catering to a limited job market, has spurred multiple popular people-education-movements that emerges from cultural practice and creates cultural capital across class and geography. These are forms of public pedagogy.

This pathway brings together a rich set of public practices from cultural activism, public art, urban and rural studies and local knowledge practices into an emerging area of study that looks at traditional and contemporary public creative practices that are used to educate, inspire and provoke a larger public. These forms draw from a diversity of public practices, evoke the absurd, catalyse agency for social action and emerge from many different sites of on-the-ground experimentation. They are community based, multi-age and focus on social transformation that challenges mainstream elite forms of knowledge production.

We are cognizant of the paradox of a course in Public Pedagogy and Art Practice at a center for higher education, a field that resists institutionalised education, but by developing consistent public process of knowledge production and sharing, public pedagogues have much to teach the mainstream. The program looks at taking learning back to the street by understanding practices and practitioners that have rejected the elite institution for people science, people medicine, peoples’ history and peoples’ education.

Students and Faculty from the People Place Project share hidden stories of Bangalore at the Cubbon Park Metro Station. Curated by Mamta Sagar.

Key Values in the Curriculum

“The function of art is to do more than tell it like it is - it's to imagine what is possible.” - Bell Hooks

Paradox and Action
Diversity and Disagreement
Empathy and Agency
Participation and Belonging
Informal Learning and Emancipatory Learning
Love and Essence

Families visiting the Festival of Stories #8, engage with live weather and pollution data gathered at Cubbon Park and then experience this data in Virtual Reality experiences.

Course Structure

  • Disciplinary Studies
  • Trans-disciplinary Projects
  • Theory and Understanding Units
  • Practice
  • Self-Directed Inquiry/Research
  • Knowledge Enhancement (Ability or Skills)

Learning Approach

The Public Pedagogy and Art Practice pathway is a blend of theory and practice. The course looks at traditional and contemporary forms of public pedagogy and art practice, inviting diverse practitioners to share what, how and why they are engaged in public pedagogy through creative practice, in the form of lectures, performances, site visits, workshops, and case studies. Simultaneously students will have the option of varied on-site field experiences and internships to learn from and emerge frameworks of practice from:

  1. Working with communities
  2. Reading and responding to a place critically and creatively
  3. Developing creative public pedagogic practices.
  4. Documenting and positioning the practice out in the world through communication, proposals and other traditional and contemporary forms of knowledge production.

Srishti students interview Aruna Roy (RTI activist) and members of the MKSS (Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan)


Capability for Contextual Inquiry: as evidenced by articulating and sustaining a questions; developing tools for observation and documentation; creating strategies to read a place; use of participatory tools and action research processes to develop contextual understanding.

Capability for Creative and Critical Public Presence: as evidenced by the ability to design and implement public actions;  Iterate, self reflect, and adapt; animate self to facilitate; develop and use tools of research and practice from the fields of social science and socially engaged art; participating with respect and sensitivity.

Capability to Co-Create and Collaborate: as evidenced by the ability to navigating complexity; seek possibility and resourcefulness in a context; openness to emergence and adaptation; embracing challenges as opportunity; understanding dynamics of power and diversity; understanding vulnerabilities.

Free public workshop at Cubbon Park Metro Station on creating and publishing Memory Maps of the City of Bangalore. In the background is a light installation by Art in Transit student Urvika Chabra.

Opportunities for Graduates

Graduates of the Public Pedagogy and Art Practice Master’s course will be equipped to work in.

Education and Community Learning Environments:

  • Teachers and After School Program Facilitators
  • Program Developers and Education Design for alternative learning environments
  • Non-Profit Organisations in the Development Sector that require Community Facilitators

Government Sector:

  • Urban Planning Departments
  • Tourism Sector
  • Education Sector
  • Creative practices in public sector services like police, planning, public works and resource departments
  • Activism and Political Office
  • Development of Public Policy

Craft and Art Sector:

  • Art, Architecture and Urban Planning Organisations
  • Event Planning, Art Festivals and Biennials
  • Revive and develop contemporary forms of community mapping
  • Revive and develop contemporary forms of traditional craft and art practices

Corporate Environments

  • Corporate Trainers
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Teams
  • Human Resources and Team Management Environments

Non-Profit Sector

  • Reimagining funding and sustainability for the not for profit sector. This includes self help groups, not for profit trusts, and other registered NGOs.
  • Facilitating community based research studies

Students create graphic material in support of a protest for pensions on Senior Citizens Day

Modes of Learning

Public Pedagogy and Art Practice course is a full time practice based research course that allows practitioners (both novice and experienced) to develop and extend their professional practice.

The course is taught in two modes
MODE 1. Course Work over 2 years: This mode is designed for those practitioners who seek onsite guidance through studios, workshops and short projects on a regular basis. Field practice will be encouraged through internship as well as guided research within the learning units. Fieldwork is on-campus and in Bangalore.
MODE 2. Intensive Coursework + Practice Led
This mode is designed with seven weeks per academic year of induction followed by guided practice based study. 5 weeks of onsite participation will focus on theory of semester 1 and an introduction to semester 2 coursework. For two weeks, students avail of workshops at Srishti Manipal towards their course electives. Field work and research are located at a site of students choice and will be guided by faculty.

Srishti Student Karthika Sakthivel facilitates Cyanotype Picnic a participatory art making event at Cubbon Park.


For more information about this program, kindly email Arzu Mistry at or
Aastha Chauhan at

Threshold by artists and faculty Jackson Porretta and Evan Hastings in collaboration with Art in TRansit Festival of Stories # 1

Disciplinary Intersections

This course is informed by the following learning disciplines:

Research and Collaboration.

Dancer Hema Bharathi Palani and Srishti students perform at the Cubbon Park Metro Station as part of Srishti Manipal Interim.

Current Partners and Past Collaborators

Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation
St+art India
PlaceARTS Youth Collective
Hasirudala Waste Pickers Association
Asian Art Museum, San Francisco
Cumulus DESIS Network
Bangalore San Francisco Sister City Initiative
Karnataka Udyog Mitra
Science Gallery, Bangalore
Vishweswaraya Technology Museum
Karnataka Horticulture Department
Neighbourhood Resident Welfare Associations and Trade Associations


Festival of Stories 1

Festival of Stories 2

Festival of Stories 3


View Eligibility for Admission, Fee Schedule, Application Form & Other information for this Program >>