Open Call for South Asian Diaspora Artists: City as Stage

A Serendipity Arts Foundation Initiative

Supported by: British Council

Course Director: Vikram Phukan

Course Advisor: Pooja Ghai, Artistic Director & Joint CEO, Tamasha


How can the performing arts—often involving presence, interaction, assembly—be taken out of auditoriums and amphitheatres in rarefied art districts, to engage with public spaces in the city? Performance (and its attendant kinetics) arguably has the potential to foster community or collectivity against the tide of civic planning that thwarts the potential of contact, through socially segregated spaces. How can sound, theatre, or movement think through, respond to, or reclaim what Jonathan Raban calls the “soft city” of aspiration, failure, delirium, fantasy? How can we tap into the performing arts’ potential to access certain dimensions of urban life in ways that stand to complicate and enrich our understanding of the multicultural, multi-ethnic, and multilingual fabric of Indian cities?

The course ‘City as Stage’ will present a series of interdisciplinary modules that probe the role of the performing arts in chronicling the present of India’s urban centres while reimagining and challenging the ways in which we have traditionally come together to experience, view, and consume art in the city. These online modules will serve as educational resources and practical guides for those interested in the intersection between public space and performance.

Each module will focus on a specific theme pertaining to the activation of public spaces in the city through dance, music, theatre, sound, and movement. These themes are designed to explore critical questions and challenges faced by those attempting to think through urban space with their research and/or practice.

Note: At Serendipity Arts, we strive to make pedagogy and programming as accessible as possible to individuals with varying needs and abilities and from diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.

If you have any questions or require assistance with putting together your application for this course, we are happy to guide you through the process. Please feel free to reach out to us at with the subject line “city as stage”. Individuals from marginalised communities and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.


8 participants in total — 4 (South Asian diaspora) from the UK, 4 from India


We seek applications from

  • performance makers across various disciplines
  • performing arts and/or urban studies researchers
  • architects and spatial designers
  • writers, critics, journalists
  • producers and production designers
  • coders

But we are open to practitioners and professional from all walks of life as long as they have an interest in the themes of the project and in pursuing research and/or creative work around these subjects.


Application Deadline: 10 June
Commencement of Course: 1 July
Mentorship Period: 1 September – 30 November
Programme in Goa: 18 – 22 December

To find out more and apply: Open Call: City as Stage – Serendipity Arts

Published on:
13 Jun 2024


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