A chain of email conversations re: ME2WE Manfiesto

Hi Lab

I understand your worries, but I think that the idea of ME2WE2ME2WE is more than a slogan to help us to approach our project for the general public than a conceptually precise title for our project, I am seeing that slogan as something like yes a nice sound-bit, that can help us to make our project run deeply on the popular fields, it is injecting humor, I know that if we look for the exactly translation of that words will never match perfectly, the way that I am understanding that slogan is about the fascinating relation that exist of privacy as an individual and collective experience and how it morph between this two status, something that I am totally sure that is part of Mumbai culture, also it is universal it is a human behavior that in each culture appear adapted to the specific peculiarities that make it very interesting and rich. Maybe we need to look for the translation of the concepts behind that slogan than the words translation...

I believe that this kind of "easy" slogan is something that is looking to bring our project to a "POP" level, thinking again in the example of Kolavari song by Dhanush, lyrics are not right English, not right hindi or marathi maybe it is a good example of what is happening in Mumbai where we found this amazing crucible of cultures...

As David suggested, we need to make something with lot of humor, fun, to do not be lot in bored programs as many that are running around the world, another lecture program as other, etcetera... I think that there is the importance of programs and tools like flash mob session, parades, flowering de mother lab, etcetera.

If we try to justify them based on the first layer that appear on the surface of course that they do not have any sense with our sophisticate conceptual justification of our project based on privacy topics, but I am sure that contextualizing that ideas deeply in the whole project, seeing them as flexible full of freedom structures, they are making sense principally because they are physical and conceptual vehicles to bring the LAB ideas, manifesto and programs to the real public realm of Mumbai

As we are leaning in Mumbai we need to be flexible, we need to let hair down!!!

I like lot how the Manifesto is already working to put all the concepts and specially all the things that we are leaning on this amazing experience that we are living in Mumbai, the Manifsto is itself a guide that is helping us to explain and understand what we are doing in Mumbai

With things like ME2WE2ME2WE we are translating that to a mumbai pop realms...

Of course that ME2WE2ME2WE can be different it is not a fixed slogan, but I am sure that we need something like that to can have the impact that we are looking in Mumbai, lets believe in simple things to approach our ideas to Mumbai

lets be POP! we have to...

dont be afraid, we do not need to have everything super justify to be a great program.




hi all,

original idea for me2we stems more from the notion that the individual, me, in mumbai both voluntarily and involuntarily becomes part of a communal society, we. So revealing both the beauty and drawbacks of a city that leaves very little room for the private individual.
For me the '2' works well to describe this dynamic transition from the private to the communal, or the in-between state. But it think it's really crucial we keep brainstorming and adding to achieve a richness of ideas and angles, in different logos and different languages. Would be nice to burb this ..


ps Too high-brow maybe, but I have been thinking about luxury, and the role luxury has played throughout history. Privacy is the ultimate form of luxury. Mumbai's crazy tower villa is the best example, not different than the tower palazzo's in northern italy. You literary wall yourself off from the man on the street. While simultaneously you display your power in a display of wealth. In ancient Greece such opulence became such a concern for social stability that it was banned in many forms, such as big funeral parades or private statutes. This actually was the first step towards the invention of direct democracy a few years later. This is interesting because Athens was able to turn private expressions of wealth into public investments, such as the the Acropolis, theatre plays, even city-wide feasts of free meat and wine for every one. Culture, food, water are our topics and just some of the public amenities that are missing. The wealth gap is mumbai's main problem. But this is far from a new or unique problem. The privacy of power and money become the real problem. Mumbai's democratic government is not mediating which means we must accept new forms of governance and finance will be needed. I think we should include these aspects of Mumbai broken public system in the discussions.


On Jun 2, 2012, at 1:12 AM, Aisha Dasgupta wrote:

Hi David,
I agree and am also worried that although it sounds like a nice sound-bite, what the title suggests isn't quite right. Especially because my understanding is that in Indian culture there is more community/group than individual, as we see in the West - and so the title seems a bit western-centric. Wouldn't it be better that we start from the idea then create the title, rather than creating the title first?
I also think that the translation of the title will be important, and so the snappiness of "me2we" might be lost?
I liked much of what was written in the manifesto, but not so much the title.
Apologies for my recent silence. I am trying to catch up, but might not be until next week.

On 1 June 2012 21:43, David van der Leer dvanderleer at guggenheim dot org wrote:

Hi All,

Have also been thinking about ME2WE. Looks great, sounds great, but still concerned that it is not entirely applicable to Mumbai. Isnt it the case that there is much more We than Me to begin with? Should it be ME&WE?



little bit more

maybe the big mistake is that western is trying to impose the western models that are quite new (and now showing that are not the only and best option) to a civilization that has more than 7000 years of successful history,

then when the western models started to infect the indian organic structures is when the problems start to emerge, but even with this contamination that start before the portuguese and British colonizations, the Indian structure proved to have a very sophisticate system to face and adapt to the new conditions, the is not magic there is smartness, adaptability = evolution

maybe I will become vegetarian, ha ha ha

just on sunrise


Hola from São Paulo

flight back home was fine...

Here some reflections about the line

I am not totally convinced of "Magic" it is because I believe that the situation that we are facing in Mumbai is not product of magic, for me it is more as smartness that emerges from the ways that the city and its citizens found to adapt to the radical urban conditions.

I am seeing those adaptability behaviors as something like "smart by nature", e.g. the extremely efficient construction system from the slum's contractors, that can fix the problem of bring "basic" shelter to protect an entire community in a couple of months using the minimum resources with the minimum consumption of energy (energy in a wide sense), of course that they are not building a "perfect inhabitable unit thinking in the normal western standards but as a product of the hard conditions where they have to create a house, provably they are building the most sophisticate solution to face and fix the problems with the resources availables for them. For sure many families from Bandra Station village will sleep in a better dry place during next monsoon.

maybe I will say something wrong but thinking in darwinian ways, that adaptability behaviors mean evolution, only the more adapted organisms to the new environmental conditions and demands will survive. I am almost sure that the western models are not on that path as you can see on most of the western countries...western models are based on the individuality as the capitalism dictate.

Indian food with more that 7000 year of history, promoting smart simple feeding behaviors to survive under the more radical conditions that keep the people healthy. You can see that on Mumbai streets even children living on the streets and more poverty slums looks healthy and full of life, western feeding behaviors brought children to morbid obesity, sedentariness, etc..., it is amazing that now 1 million of americans are over 250 kilograms..., I am not talking about economy, poverty, etc... I am use talking of one of the more basic behaviors of the humans, feeding.

as you know my english is limited, but maybe a word like this can make sense

Mumbai Adeptness - How a metropolis morphs me intro we?

Best from early morning sao paulo jet lag


On May 18, 2012, at 5:09 AM, Neville Mars wrote:

Mumbai Magic - how a metropolis morphes me into we ?

Mumbai, melting pot of disparate rhythms and flavors, religions and cultures seems to defy logic. Models fail and visions disintegrate, yet Mumbai thrives. Confronted with a landscape of harsh social divides and sharp spatial contrasts, both the city and its citizens have found ways to adjust and adapt to a severely compressed urban condition. Both the city’s public spaces and individual private space are extremely limited, yet traditional perceptions of private versus public must be abandoned as they constantly morph into each other. This project sets out to describe this wonderful yet precarious balance of comfort and efficiency.

As we chart this dance across private, public, mind and transient space it becomes clear both individual comfort and urban efficiency are facing their limits. With no room to spare … now participatory model..

Posted by Stephanie Kwai / 7.0 years ago / 1931 hits