The waning of the monsoons in Mumbai marked the commencement of a season of festivals - some linked to the city’s varied religious traditions and others celebrating its popular culture, knowledge, and dynamism. In a city of over twenty million, the popular assumes an impressive scale that is significant locally and also globally relevant. Where does academia figure in this and what role does it have to play?
The day before the houseful performance of the English band, Coldplay, for the Global Citizens’s festival, the Columbia Global Centers | Mumbai organized a workshop with teachers and educators from city schools to investigate and learn about the Sustainable Development Goals so that these may inform pedagogy in the classroom. Through workshops organized by CGC | Mumbai, a network of college teachers and cultural organizations were brought into dialogue with the Mumbai Academy of the Moving Image (MAMI) culminating in new and cutting-edge programs at MAMI’s Mumbai Film Festival. The Mumbai Center’s contribution in widening outreach and making connections for the academic community saw the participation of Sharon Marcus, Columbia University’s Dean of Humanities, as a featured speaker at the Times Litfest. Finally, by organizing scholarly dialogues on urban knowledge and movements for justice in New York and Mumbai during the times of Dr. Ambedkar, we tried to introduce new perspectives on his life and legacy amidst the festivities commemorating his 125th birth anniversary. Dr. Ambedkar was a drafter of the Indian Constitution, a global leader, social reformer, and alumnus of Columbia University.
In 2016, CGC | Mumbai deepened its commitment to the next generation of global citizens by bringing research, education, and knowledge exchange at the forefront of popular events. We plan to take this commitment forward in 2017 with an exciting set of programs in our new space.