Surajit Sarkar is currently Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Centre for Community Knowledge at Ambedkar University Delhi. He has been a photocopier salesman, a bank officer, a primary school teacher and developer of curriculum for primary schools. He has created weekly television programmes as well as award winning documentary and educational films. Since 2001, he has worked as a video artist for theatre and dance productions, and has created multimedia installations in museums and galleries in India and abroad.
Working in rural central India with farm labour and small farmer organisations, Surajit Sarkar became a member of the Catapult Arts Caravan in 2004. This travelling video+arts group believes that stimulation of creative skills and cultural life in rural India must reflect an awareness of, and contain a response to the major challenges facing rural India. And such engagement should involve the technologies that shape the twenty-first century horizon.
City born, he has alternated between working in the city and country for most of his working life, and last came to the city for his assignment at the University in Delhi 2011. Since that time, he has been trying to create a continuing exhibition of lived histories of the megacity of Delhi, in the form of Neighbourhood Museums that cover the diversity of the city, one area at a time. Struck by the fact that there is so little is publicly known and available about the city he is most familiar with, the projects under the Mellon programme reflect this interest of building a story of a living city, from the ground upp, and curated locally as it is built.