The Street Corner

8. Street Corner.jpg

The street corner features in our conversations ever so often. One often hears someone say: "Go to the cobbler who sits at the main road junction." Or a friend who asks: "Let us go to the garden for a walk. From there, we can go to the pani puri vendor on the garden's corner, buy some vegetables from the vendor beside him and come back home." When you stop to ask for directions, you are told: "Take a right turn instead from the junction that has that bench under the pink bougainvillaea tree on the corner where one takes the bus from." You might overhear this on a street: "Let us just park our scooty under the tree at the corner of Bobby Tea Stall, relax, and have some chai."

 

In India, street corners are vibrant public spaces where the convergence of streets allows for interactions between people from everywhere. In this competition, we hope to capture the street corners' culture, the various interrelationships between users and the context in which they are situated in the neighbourhood. We urge you to think about street corners that are etched in your memories due to the everyday happenings there. Often, one finds that these corners provide the visibility that vendors and auto drivers desire the most for higher footfall. Sometimes, they are jam-packed with vehicles parked there; at other times, they are entirely pedestrianized, with people bumping into each other as they gather here to shop, eat, sit, chat, read and engage in other activities.

 

In your entries, you can explore a few of these questions: How do one or more street corners act as pause points? Who are the users of these spaces? What are the various activities that they engage in at this corner? Does this street corner serve as a landmark for your neighbourhood, and if so, how? Are there certain elements that support comfort and safety here? How does this corner transform through the day? If you have seen it transform over time, what are the changes that have happened here? Which street corners that you know about are devoid of activities, and what may be the reason for that? Do you think a network of safe and lively street corners can help make a neighbourhood better? If yes, how would one make this happen?

Expected outcome: Your contributions may reflect on the past and the present of the street corner in your neighbourhood or how you’d like it to be in the future!

Deadline: 14th August 2022, Sunday 11 pm

Prize: The two best entries under this theme will receive a BOOK gift voucher of Rs.1500

Each entry will receive a participation certificate, and a few selected entries will be shared here on the Decoding Everyday portal.

We have collated below a few articles and blog posts that reflect upon street corners from India and abroad. We hope that you will find these helpful as references. Below these are a few reference images of street corners that we found interesting, those that have innumerable activities that make our cities both socially and culturally vibrant!!

Submit your entry

You can share your thoughts and observations in the form of a reflective piece of writing, an interview with someone who occupies your neighbourhood's street corner, a photo essay (with a storyline and captions for each image), a video, a sketch, or a personal geography map of the network of street corners. You can share anything that would make us reflect a bit more on this and help make positive changes going forward.

If you have participated and won a prize in any of our earlier competitions, we are happy if you participate again. Your entry would become eligible again for a prize only after a gap of two competition cycles. However, it can still be selected as a 'featured entry' to be shared on our portal in case you choose to take part in consequent competitions.  

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