November 2005, Bangalore


Following on from the rustle TV project, WI city TV transmitted programming to 3000 homes in and around Shivaji Nagar, Bangalore, through an existing 'informal' local cable channel. Local programming generated daily was spun off from World Information City, its themes and participants. This was an 'intervention' into the conference itself, but also pushing outwards into the immediate neighbourhood of spaces, languages and infopolitics.

This project was initiated by Shaina Anand, filmmaker and media artist who lives and works in Mumbai. ChitraKarKhana

One week prior to the conference, a few of us occupied the terrace room of Lawyers Collective in Tasker Town, Shivaji Nagar. Here, WI city TV 's open studio was set up, with the support and cooperation of fellow artists and organizers. With 3 editing computers, and a mixed bag of cameras; the studio was to work around the clock and produce the content for WI city TV -a channel that would serve over 3000 households in Shivaji Nagar, parallel to and independent of the conference.

A crew and sleeping mattresses appeared, and they comprised of film students, media jammers, and DV rookies, eager to hold a camera and learn editing and make a movie. Quick 101's involved forgetting everything you knew about documentary and dreamed you'd do with video, to being aware of your own ungainly frame and social status, while behind the camera. The studio would shift from control room to film school, from P2P learning environment to ruthless TV -style deadlines. Every day was spent chasing an understanding of local info-politics.

This telecast was possible via a direct collaboration with Lokesh, a cable operator from the area, and support from his network of other local operators. The link with Lokesh was carried forward from Rustle TV (a TV channel in Russell market, Shivaji Nagar the previous year). The fact that most cable operators run their own informal channel, often showing pirated movies, is well known. But Lokesh's own eagerness to air WI city TV programming was revelatory. He suggested we go on prime time : 6-10 pm.

These were our only givens. Everything else evolved in the manic days that sped by. Any kind of programming could be generated, within a subset of rules: The content had to be local, covering the spectrum of Shivaji Nagar and Bangalore and should excavate, participate and comment on informal economies or their info-politics.

Films made included Gaurav Chandelya'a film on Elgin talkies- Kahani Elgin Ki, a 110 year old cinema in Shivaji Nagar which was also the site for Ashok Sukumaran's installation. Paul Kellers broken camera, Paul ka fall , and how it was reborn. Jia and Preeti's tete a tete with the people of Shivaji Nagar's Gujri (junk) market. Solly Benjamin's walk the talk down the IT corridor, Sravanthi's film on the demolition of old markets to make way for malls, Mall Practice and Sanjay Bhangar and Sooraj Ravindrans film on piracy and copyright featuring Lawrence Liang: Copyright This. Also made were several promos, some a week prior to WI City TV. It was Lokesh's idea to air them while TV jamming his own transmission. Programming from Rustle TV was also aired.

Stories flew thick and fast in that week, as content was developed. Notable was a meeting with Kashif Haq, a young entrepreneur who had tried to run an Urdu language channel out of his family house in Cox town. His younger sister Safina was chief editor and set designer for 'Suroor TV'. Suroor TV 's twists and trials in going on air, its popularity amongst the large Urdu and Deccani speaking population of Shivaji Nagar,  and its ultimate removal from the air waves by MSO's (multi service operator) after about six months, formed the basis of an uncensored talk show on local media politics and monopolies. Now talking TV featured 3 cable operators from a network in Shivaji Nagar, Suroor TV members, Kashif and Safina and conference speakers Shuddhabrata Sengupta, Jawahar Raja from Sarai and Lawrence Liang from Alternative Law Forum.

WI city TV ,
on channel 2, reached over 3000 homes over 3 days. November 17-20, 2005.

essay on WI C TV
This text is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 Netherlands License.

First published in:
In the Shade of the Commons: Towards a Culture of Open Networks. 2006.
Bansal, Keller, Lovink, eds.
ISBN-10: 90-806-4523-0

WI city TV Crew: Gaurav Chandelya, Sanjay Bhangar, Sravanthi K, Jayshree Reddy, Preeti Prakash, Paul Keller, Sooraj Ravindran, Vasu Dixit, Shaina Anand.

WI city TV Support: Lokesh (Divya Cable Vision) Kashif Haq, Safina Haq (Suroor TV ) Srishti School, Alternative Law Forum, Waag Society, Ashok Sukumaran and Ayisha Abraham.

World Info City Exhibition Curators: Namita Malhotra, Ayisha Abraham, Kiran Subbaiah.


Films / shorts made for WI-City TV

Recycled Market
Elgin in Cinemascope
Paul's Fall
Mall practice
Copyright This
Now Talking TV
RustleTV highlights
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