The ‘Katha Peti’ -or ‘Story Box’ in Hindi- encapsulates a, perhaps, divergent model of what is understood as memorial-architecture.
By locating itself in the open space adjacent to the Gateway of India (Colaba, South Mumbai), it sets itself as a statement of historic diversification within the remembrance of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks of 2008, which took place in the neighbouring Taj Mahal Palace, Leopold Café, and so on.
Instead of structuring a unique narrative that finds metaphoric correspondence in architectural forms -and hence monopolizing the stories and the experience of those involved- we propose a series of impermanent platforms through which a multiplicity of agents can recount their own understandings and visions. We set up the spatial circumstances by which a PLURALITY of anecdotes can be entangled, a diversity of narratives on a subject that is fundamental in the construction of Mumbai´s recent collective memory.
In a practical sense, this proposed intervention consisted in the design of a set of urban devices given to different artistic, academic, activist, political, and institutional groupings interested in the documentation, narration, or speculation on the history of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. In other words, set up the ground for a liquid manifesto of its history.
The basic device in itself -the story box- is composed of a MOVABLE set of SURFACES which can be arranged in a multiplicity of dispositions in order to accommodate the singularity of POTENTIAL CHRONICLES; as a story-telling device, the box unfolds and unravels as its parts are manipulated, as its facades are operated to uncover textures, writings, objects, reflections, and colours. It can become a bench or a shelter, as it can be used as a shrine or a stage; its transformation can range from the idea of a movable museum to the possibility of an open playground.
Architecture then, becomes somewhat irrelevant. It simply becomes a vehicle that coordinates open-ended exchanges and assures the existence of multiple (simultaneous) voices, which can coexist. The story-box project is a prospect of coexistence and the promise of unforeseen negotiations: THE CONSTRUCTION OF A COLLECTIVIZED HISTORY.