PrayogIllu is my ancestral house that is an artistically conceptualized site-specific alternate space in a rural area. PrayogIllu is located in Vellulla village, Jagityal district, Telangana state, India. My great grandparents built this house in the late 1800s using traditional methods of building with earth. Four generations have lived in this house: great-grandparents, grandparents, my parents, and me. I was born in my ancestral home, and it was there I first experienced family, connection, and the importance of giving to the world. This home is also where at a young age I saw my family fall apart. When a flood destroyed that ancestral home, in June 2021, I felt that I and everything I was connected to, had perished. The home lay empty for some time, and I relied on my yoga practice to build myself back again. I determined that my ruined home in Vellulla would become a flourishing place of connection and learning. My artistic practice has for many years built thriving communities of connection and learning, through yoga and other social practices. As a result, PrayogIllu: An Interdisciplinary Place in Vellulla, India will build on this earlier work, in the footprint of my ancestral home, to turn a personal loss into a place where people can come to be connected.
This project began on October 2nd, 2021. PrayogIllu is a combination of two words: ‘Prayog’ is a Hindi word that means ‘experiment’, and ‘Illu’ is a Telugu word that means ‘house’. PrayogIllu is an interdisciplinary place that fosters engagement with students in a rural area with various programs like community library, virtual lectures, video screening, digital literacy, experiential learning, foreign languages, group games, arts, artist in residency, artists and community, women empowerment programs and lectures, sports, and competitions.
“PrayogIllu is my ancestral house that is artistically conceptualized site-specific interdisciplinary and alternate place as an experiment in rural-global connection as well as for community that aims to blur and reconfigure both social engagement in the rural world, and rural and global cultures”