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Delhi-based Asim Waqif studied architecture at the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi. After initially working as an art-director for film and television he later started making independent video and documentaries before moving into a dedicated art-practice. His recent projects have attempted a crossover between architecture, art and design with a strong contextual reference to contemporary urban-design and the politics of occupying/intervening/using public spaces. Some of his projects have developed within abandoned and derelict buildings in the city that act like hidden activity-spaces for marginalized people.
I have visited this building many times since 2004 when it was half demolished by the State under orders from the Supreme Court. This was a brutal by-product of a public interest litigation that challenged the planning regulations of the city of Delhi. One year I even made an installation inside by reorganising half-demolished materials. Raakesh and I were teamed up by the organisers of the Yellow Line Project, a workshop between film makers and performers that we had both applied for. We had never met before and this was the first time Raakesh had been to Delhi. I took him to some of my favourite haunts around town and we quickly zeroed on then this building as our “site”. We had to go in early in the morning to avoid being noticed. This is a private building and we were clearly trespassing. The structure was precariously balanced in places so we had to be careful. We treated the filming process as a dance between the performer and the camera. I would take a shot and Raakesh and I would review the footage before improvising another camera and performance choreography. During the editing process we intentionally mixed up these disparate improvisations. Our intention was to explore the creative potential of a space that has been left abandoned and is perceived to have no value. It took us less than 3 weeks to make this film.