TramTactic – The Culture Exchange

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W-11 TRAM an art of journeys

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The project started with Tramjatra, doctor an ongoing project which since 1996 has brought together artists and the tramways communities of Melbourne (Australia) & Kolkata (Calcutta, decease India) to explore their cities through the medium of tramways. In the context of rising environmentalism and debates about the impacts of globalisation, tramjatra has demonstrated how new linkages can be made through a public arts practice of inter-cultural collaboration. Through a time where Kolkata’s struggling tramways have faced a persistent threat of closure and the operation of Melbourne’s tramways has been privatised and automated, the tramjatra project has sought to provoke a broader, global engagement in the culturally enriching and environmentally sustaining contribution that tramways can make to these cities.

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Last friday we finally made it to these wonderful tram ride in Melbourne. I enjoyed the ‘ different’ experience I had on these special Tram. It is a project by an organic non-organisation of people who come together with artist Mick Douglas to undertake art projects in the public domain departing from the potential of tramways. The whole journey on that Friday, 1st December is divided by 3 different performances.

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We took the first one, which is } TRAM OVERBOARD journeys of performance { departs 6.53pm Fridays from Federation Square – Sit, stand or dance your way as guest artists perform a lap of the city. And that’s what we did. We dance and enjoy the sound of ‘Bhangra’ and ‘Indian’ sound of music. The next show is by AZAAD BHANGRA GROUP with infectious dance to dhol drum beats that resonate far from the Punjab. And the last one is } TRAM OTHERWISE – journeys of encounter { which makes laps the city 5.16–6.53pm and 7.43–9.16pm Fridays – Other people, other worlds, and things otherwise. We manage to do this too. So much fun. You should try! More infomation click here!

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My reflection on the journey

It’s really interesting to see how people respond and react to ‘new’ and ‘different’ environment. Nervous, curious and shock. And I don’t blame them. I think it’s natural reflection, I acted the same as soon as I step in the ‘colorful’ deco-tram. And with the loud music as a background, who would have thought this scenario is happening in Melbourne. I’m scared and shy at the beginning of the trip, but then seeing others dancing with the rhythm, I begin to move slowly. Then I felt like I’m free, like I can just move or dance like how I want. It’s like breaking an ice process. Seeing others actually influences me to join the dance. It is just amazing how arts, music, dance can move us. I also felt like I’ve been transfer to an imagenary world. Comparing the normal tram i had everyday in Melbourne with this TramTactic, it’s like living in two different world. If you hop in the normal trap, people are in their own world and there is no eye-contact or even a smile. Not even the tram driver greet you to say ‘hello’ or ‘welcome on board’. This one ‘TramTactic’, it make me move and alive. Sharing the space with others around you, smile and talk to each other. I really enjoyed my journey and had such a nice time with the TramTactic.