Not just a pink city: Jaipur's open 'art galleries' raise awareness about social issues

Updated: Sep 14, 2021

The city of Jaipur has been using art as a medium to get the community together and raise awareness about climate change, animal welfare and many other issues.


When we think Jaipur, we think majestic architecture and an assortment of vibrant, colourful artwork: from clothes and accessories to graffiti on flyovers and buildings! To promote artwork and also raise awareness about social issues, the Jaipur Development Authority as well as the Municipal Corporation chose flyovers which could showcase art, and supported street art.

Areas like Jawahar Nagar were revamped to draw attention to women’s empowerment and environmental conservation. Taking this a step further, India’s first-ever automobile art initiative Cartist and Jaipur Metro came together to transform the city’s Metro stations into art galleries during the Cartist Automobile Art Festival, held at Jaipur in April 2017. Indian and international artists were invited to paint walls across Jaipur, with an objective to make public spaces safer, inclusive, and accessible for all.

Balancing a range of artwork inspired by Rajasthani culture with social awareness, these art galleries highlight the richness and diversity of India’s heritage and throw light on pressing social issues, all embodied in the spirit of the city.

Poornima Sukumar, Director of Aravani Art Project, worked on Vivek Vihar Metro Station, and used art to give a voice to the transgender community and carve out a safe space for them to be heard and seen. Joey Baker, the UK-based artist and muralist, too put in efforts at Vivek Vihar. His mural is known to be a way of acknowledging and thanking the interplay of India’s culture with that of his own. Artist Kahili Young used the platform at Shyam Nagar Metro Station to draw attention to climate change and preservation of wildlife.

Image credit: Kahili Young's artwork

In addition to that, the Contree Foundation’s Rang De Jaipur campaign aims to reclaim public spaces by the citizens of Jaipur by painting walls with their lived experiences, thoughts, and ideas.

This not only enhances how the city looks but also contributes to creating a sense of togetherness among members of different communities.

Thanks to this campaign, areas such as the B2B bypass, Bapu Nagar, Jhalana Basti are full of colour and life. It is no wonder then that art holds immense transformative power: it flashes the spotlight to our culture and lives, and is a source of community-level inspiration, awareness, and change.


Edited by Anjali Hans


Some resources and links to help you learn more about the open 'art galleries':

  1. Rang De Jaipur

  2. Jaipur Metro | Cartist

  3. Aravani Art Project