The Colombo Hub of the Global Shapers community (an initiative of the World Economic Forum, Geneva) recently collaborated with the International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES) to present a screening and discussion of the documentary film Market Imaginary, featuring the filmmaker Prof. Joanna Grabski. The documentary presented a long term research documented by Prof. Grabski, which dealt with the shape and scope of the market of Colobane located in Dakar, Senegal through the lens of visual experience in urban Africa. The discussion, moderated by Global Shaper Ramla Wahab-Salman, included the examination of the themes of shared experiences in cities of involuntary urban resettlement, an examination of the tensions between scarcity and excess in urban market spaces, and the re-making of spaces, goods and livelihoods. With the new Western Region Megapolis kicking off and continued tensions around regeneration of Colombo, the film and discussion were timely additions to the ongoing debate on urban issues. Grabski, a professor of art history at Denison University, USA, was awarded the 2010 ‘Art Journal Award’ for her work related to urban issues.
Global Shaper Ramla Wahab Salman (L) in conversation with Prof. Joanna Grabski (R)
The event also links closely to a regional conference being held in September – Shape South Asia 2016 - hosted by the Global Shapers Colombo Hub. It will be a space for the meeting of millennial professionals negotiating commerce, culture and a vision for the future of South Asia. Among the many themes, Shape South Asia 2016 will grapple with is cultural and economic identities in an age of a planned renaissance of a South Asian city, under the broader theme of ‘Shaping Identities’.