Context: The legacy of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy and the Site of the Tragedy
Where: Bhopal , India
Venue: Old Benazir College, Shahjehanabad, Bhopal
When: Workshop - 23rd January to 1st February 2011
What: Around 50 students from different disciplines from around the world will participate over 10 days in 5 different units. Each group will be guided by two unit masters with experience and expertise in the relevant theme. The workshop will have guest lectures by experts and a mid-term review. Units are to present their proposals in media of their choice in the Symposium following the workshop. These will be presented and discussed during the symposium that follows.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Unit 1 & 2 - Interpretation and urban resource

Workshop started with merging Units 1 (Authenticity and interpretation) and 2 (Heritage as urban resource) into a new unit. The work has initially been organized along four layers (subunits):
- The landscape/nature/grounds before, during and after UCIL establishment and subsequently disaster, including the history and development of the city of Bhopal.

- The context of establishment - Indian history during primarily the 1960s and 70s. The post-independence vision for the national state of India is in focus but also the history of UC activities in India and the reasons for estbalishing a plant in Bhopal.
- The establishment and growth of the factory site in Bhopal up to the time of the tragedy, with focus to understand the production processes and the different groups of emplyees involved in the different stages. The subunit also works with the toxification of the site including the establishment of vaste dumps as part of the production processes.

- Post disaster events, studying legal processes, the dereliction of the site, what happened with the workforce (from bottom to top), and the growth of settlements around the site.

By nature several questions are interlinked between sub-units which leads to inter-subunit analysis on Indian and Bhopal history, UCIL establishemnt, growth and disaster, and post-disaster events. At mid-workshop the subunits will be reorganized into two:
- Interpretation; formulation of information and narratives that suggestedly could be linked to the different structures on and around the site, derived out of the complex nature of the site and the different types of heritage the site potentially represents.
- Resourse; The material properties and intangible qualities of the site that has been identified thorugh subunits work will be matched towards what has primarily been suggested in the Spacematters material.

Towards the end of the workshop the unit cooperates in formulation and design of more detailed suggestions for how the site and its surroundings could be subject for different actions such as conservation, restoration, reconstruction, construction, decontamination, demolishments, etc., in order to produce a synthesis between interpretations, information, narratives, functions placed at the site as resources for the urban development, and different preservation actions.


  1. Hi Unit 1& 2

    The write up is communicating in a positive healthy way .....
    The more I think about the site, what becomes apparent is that it cannot be defined as a building site for future development.
    It is not a plot or building site.... sorry architects!
    The Benezir college has the potential to host the associated functions because it is in the Old City. This also gives a continuation to Bhopal 2011.

    I have taken out some papers which I'll post today.

    I am sorry I had to leave.

    Nalini Thakur
    Unit Master who had to go away.

  2. Great going guys!
    I am sure you have discovered multiple unheard narratives of the site. However the real challenge would be to interpret these in the context of this site seen as an urban resource.

    Eagerly look forward to the final outputs.
    best wishes

    Rohit Jigyasu
    Unit Master who had to leave rather too early :(

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