Anita Markmiller


The Outcome 

“After our first visit, I was fascinated by the energy flow of the street, its chaotic yet pulsating rhythm and its sensual landscape. I wanted to capture and reflect this through my lens and decided to make a video.

The many personal experiences were followed by intense collaborative discussions about how the space of Dharampura Street becomes a place, how people fill it with life and create a sense of belonging, how they use the infrastructure of the street and how this shapes movement, and how nature is an important part of the city.

What was originally intended to be short social media snippets became a five-minute experience, using different perspectives and sometimes divergent audio and video to recreate the sensory activation on site.“

Shaping Space and Experiencing Place: Tea stalls in Shahjahanabad as spatial and temporal speed bumps

I came to India with vague expectations and left with vigorous impressions.

Being an art history student with a focus on material culture in the early modern period, it was all the more exiting to go beyond physical products and investigate how the cultural heritage of Delhi, the people being there today, and their changing demands of life get entangled in a vibrant interplay of shaping and experiencing the space nowadays.

The program not only allowed me to engage with students from India and Nepal, but also to draw from a wide spectrum of cultural, personal, and academic knowledge that enabled us to create a thriving environment in which we collectively explored the concept of space-making and belonging in one of Delhi’s historic cities, Shahjahanabad.

Coming together with different approaches to our research question, I could benefit a lot from the various perceptions of the site’s aesthetics and how its space is being incorporated and lived.

Apart from my expectations of a different culture with crowded and noisy places, incredible food, and the emphatic endorsement to only use bottled water, I was amazed by the resembling thoughts, concerns, and visions about our present and future we all shared.


Participants Bio

With an academic background in Art History and Psychology I am intrigued by how the things we see shape our understanding of aesthetics, knowledge, and truth.

As a graduate student of Art History and Transcultural Studies at the University of Heidelberg, I have incorporated my passion for diving into my research through an interdisciplinary approach to how humanity perceives itself in relation to the ocean. In my master's thesis, I am therefore exploring the sea as a contact zone for humanity, human creations, and nature and examine how this is reflected in art made with synthetic materials collected on the beach.