Arjun Bahl is the Co-Founder of St+art India Foundation and the Director of the St+art Festivals. As a Festival Director, he has worked closely with both private sponsors and local government and civic bodies to build what is now the country’s most expansive and sustained public and street art initiative.
The St+art festivals help develop community pride and act as an educative tool for all ages and social classes, thus strengthening the identity of the neighbourhoods they take over. One such neighbourhood has officially developed into an art district in New Delhi, complete with organised walking tours. The festivals provide a platform and an unprecedented level of access to unconventional talent, while the murals help citizens recognise the value of public art, building facades and their own neighbourhoods. The process of creating murals itself has become a vital part of the Clean India Initiative. At a more strategic level, the festivals have brought discussions about urban art back to the political agenda.