Repurposing the Spaces for the Arts

As part of Widening Circles – Pickle factory Season 2 – in November 2019, we take our first steps towards creating a permanent venue by programming a series of conversations around the design, function and impact of repurposed arts spaces in urban environments. We are delighted to have Christophe Knoch from Berlin and Sharvari Sastry from Mumbai to facilitate this.

Christoph Knoch

After studying law, Christophe Knoch worked for different institutions in the fields of opera and theatre. He worked for theatre director and performance artist Christoph Schlingensief as his assistant up until his death in August 2010 when he was entrusted with running operations, notable for the construction of the Opera Village in Burkina Faso.

In Spring 2011 Christophe Knoch started the Mica Moca project in Berlin, which evolved to make a strong transdisciplinary impact on the Berlin venue scene. 

He currently drives the public discussion on how to repurpose public spaces in Berlin. In his last project he combined his commitment to  artistic and urban development in suggesting the creation of a forest in Berlin’s closed airport Tempelhof.


Sharvari Sastry

Sharvari Sastry has been working as a theatre administrator and researcher in Mumbai since 2009. She has worked in an administrative and editorial capacity with Theatre Professionals Pvt. Ltd., Prithvi Theatre, India Theatre Forum and Junoon.

 She has also been involved in the documentation of two SMART (Strategic Management in the Art of Theatre) residencies. She is currently working on a collaborative project that seeks to identify small, alternative performance spaces in various parts of India, document the vision that underlies in the creation and curation of such spaces, and assess their impact within the local and national context.

Sharvari is currently a PhD candidate in the departments of South Asian Languages and Civilizations and Theater and Performance Studies at the University of Chicago. Her dissertation project focuses on archival discourses within modern and contemporary Indian theatre practice, with particular focus on the ways in which “folk” forms like tamasha and lavani are preserved, revived and repurposed in the modern Marathi theatrical context.

Christophe and Sharvari will conduct a five-day workshop with a group of young people from Calcutta, asking them to imagine what repurposed spaces could be, and why they are important and intrinsic to how a city and society sees itself. They will interrogate and explore what qualities such a space should have, where suitable spaces can be found in Calcutta, and how one can engender and enhance them to be appropriate homes for the arts. Responses and results from this workshop will be shared during a roundtable discussion during the ‘Dance and the City’ weekend, feeding into how we imagine the Pickle Factory venue, and how we sow the seeds for its birth, growth and future. 

In addition there’ll be a two-day roundtable at the new ‘Ami Kolkata’ museum in Metcalfe Hall, to discuss how such repurposed spaces may be created and sustained with the active involvement of local communities, artists and administrative organisations. This roundtable will bring together various stakeholders from the spheres of art, architecture, government, urban planning and development, business, real estate, law, etc. from within Calcutta, in dialogue with broader national and global perspectives.

Christophe Knoch and Sarvari Sastry at Widening Circles: Pickle Factory Season 2

10 – 16 November 2019

Workshop by Christophe Knoch and Sarvari Sastry

Repurposing the Spaces for the Arts

16 – 17 November 2019

Roundtable :Season Special

Spaces for Change, Spaces for Roots

Metcalfe Hall

(part of the Dance and the City weekend)