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Researcher & Documentary Filmmaker
Founder, Native Place

Date & Time

Wednesday Wed, 7 Oct 2020



TERI Complex, 4th Main, 2nd Cross, Domlur II Stage,
Bengaluru, Karnataka 560 071 India
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080 -25359680

Watch a short film on the subject made by Basav Biradar.

The gold mining industry in Kolar Gold Fields was established during the British Colonial rule in 1880. This labour intensive industry grew rapidly into the most profitable for its British masters and was built with the blood and sweat of thousands of workers recruited from the neighbouring regions.

Celebrated by the Europeans as “Little England” , KGF played host to a unique culture influenced by the westerners and the multilingual and multicultural native workforce. After 120 years of being operational, and years of not being profitable, the mining operations were shut down in 2001 by the Government of India much to the ire of the remaining 3000 odd workers.

Today, although the families of workers have moved on and sought employment beyond KGF, the enormous amount of industrial equipment and mining infrastructure stands as a stark reminder of the times when everything in this town revolved around gold mining. In addition to the built industrial heritage and the history of the mining industry, KGF is also home to significant political and cultural history. This session will explore the various aspects of KGF heritage and history.


Basav Biradar

Researcher & Documentary Filmmaker

Basav Biradar is an independent writer/researcher, documentary filmmaker and theatre-maker based in Bangalore, India.

His first documentary – Before The Third Bell – was the official selection for the 2018 Martin Segal Centre Film Festival on Art in New York. The film seeks to document the theatre-making processes of noted director Abhishek Majumdar through the play Muktidham. Recently, he has finished a short documentary on the history of Kolar Gold Fields.

Biradar teaches two post-graduate courses in Azim Premji University:‘India through the eyes of Parallel Cinema’, and ‘Introduction to Contemporary Theatre in India’.

He has written for several publications on theatre, cinema, travel, history and heritage conservation, including – National Geographic Traveller, Outlook Traveller, The Hindu, New Indian Express, The News Minute and The Caravan.

Besides directing several plays, he is a playwright. His first – The Return of the Sultan – a satire set in contemporary Srirangapatnam, was longlisted for The Hindu Metroplus Playwright Award 2013; currently, he is writing a play on the youth in tier-3 & -4 towns in Northern Karnataka. Recently, he has finished a short documentary on the history of Kolar Gold Fields (Produced by Sahapedia)

Aliyeh Rizvi

Founder, Native Place

Aliyeh Rizvi is a history-travel writer and researcher, curator and founder of Native Place, a collaborative studio for place-based storytelling, where she works with memory and imagination to find new ways in which to connect people to place more meaningfully through stories. This is done through information design-research-based writing, documentation and book publication projects for heritage, travel and culture, and experience design-curatorial practices in place-making that focus on community engagements, story walks and culture tours. Her collaborative curatorial projects include the Chickpete Metro Station Art In Transit public art project, Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, and the Bangalore Metro Neighbourhood Project supported by the Bangalore Metro Rail Company (BMRCL). She was also an invitee to the Bangalore Tourism Advisory Committee (BTAC), initiated by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of Karnataka and co-facilitated ‘The Tiger Comes To Town’ a public history project in association with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), while Curator at the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology.

She is the co-founder, designer/facilitator of The Memory Maps Project, in collaboration with Arzu Mistry, Art In Transit, Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology. The Memory Maps Project is a psycho-geographic exploration that has been visualised as a series of community-arts practice-based, place-making workshops. The project seeks to integrate the memories and experiences of a locality with arts practice to create a response to the city, locate yourself in it and build pride of place. She has over twenty years of experience in working with heritage, craft, design and culture, as well writing for publications and dailies including the National Geographic Traveller and as weekly columnist on Bangalore’s local culture for the Bangalore Mirror.