From 12 – 14 May 2014 a workshop: Cross Currents was held in Bangalore, jointly organised by researchers from dot.rural and IIIT Bangalore. The project website contains the details and the associated twitter conversations can be seen by searching for the hashtag #XCurrents.
The purpose of the workshop was to promote knowledge exchange between academics in the UK and India as well as with IT industries based in Bangalore, concerning how digital technologies can be used to help develop cultural, arts, heritage and relevant business practices at the community level in rural areas. India and the UK both have exceedingly rich, entangled and multi-faceted cultural identities to draw upon and digital technologies offer a further medium in which this can be expressed or developed. Yet, the very activity of doing this is in itself not straightforward as it raises a number of challenges for individuals and communities alike. This workshop began to address this through divulging experiences in a participatory environment.
The workshop included research presentations (showcasing work from the UK and India) and a variety of participatory sessions, whereby participants went into smaller groups to work collaboratively in addressing the workshop aims. To engage more deeply with issues faced by cultural practitioners, a field trip to the Oriental Research Institute in Mysore was arranged to give a more grounded experience of research projects being conducted ‘on-the-ground’ in India.