Vijay and Sushmita are mathematicians based in Chennai. They also work on documenting working class struggles in Tamilnadu and have been teaching an art class in Besant Nagar for the last year.
For over a year now, Sushmita and I have been running a weekly ‘visual art’ class for kids from working-class communities of Chennai, through the NGO Pudiyador. The kids are between 6 and 12 years old, and come from either the Urur Kupam fishing village next to Besant Nagar beach, or from a handful of cramped houses on Ramasamy Avenue near Vannanthurai bus stand. Many are from the fishing community, but their parents often also work in jobs like ragpicking, dismantling of metal trash, construction work, domestic work, and (among the better-off ones) driving a vehicle.