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Architecture Off-Centre

Jun 16, 2022

On a Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago, I drove eastwards to the old city of Ahmedabad to interview Avni Sethi at the Conflictorium, a museum of conflict housed in a 100-something year old building. We talked about her being a cultural practitioner, who foregrounds the issues of caste, violence and oppression in a city with a painful history of riots. We also discussed their exhibits, ongoing thematic inquiries, the function of repetition in public dissent and the potential of museums in being institutions for dialogue, reconciliation and reaching closure.

Avni Sethi is an interdisciplinary practitioner with her primary concerns lying between cultures of violence, memory, space and the body. She has conceptualized and designed the Conflictorium, a Museum of Conflict, in Ahmedabad and Raipur, and Mehnat Manzil, a Museum of Work in Ahmedabad. She is a recipient of the Jane Lombard Prize for Art and Social Justice 2020-2022 housed at the New School, New York.

The museums: