DIAA is an artist-run organisation situated in Kondagaon, Bastar District, Chhattisgarh, India. It was conceived, designed and developed by Bastar-based Indigenous artists Rajkumar Korram, Shantibai, Gessuram Viswakarma and Navjot Altaf from Mumbai to encourage interaction between local and visiting artists from all over the world.
DIAA has never been a space for producing and exhibiting individual artworks. It was created with the intention and hope of securing a cultural space that would allow for critical reflection and the application of critical thinking that includes local residents. In its formative years (1997 - 2000) the artists, along with art historians Dr Shivaji Paninkar and Bhanu Padamsee, addressed questions concerning arts and crafts as well as interactive, cooperative and collaborative contemporary art practices in India and elsewhere. In 2000, they explored and defined strategies of collaborating, which resulted in site-specific projects such as Nalpar (community hand pump sites) and Pilla Gudis (temples for children). Community members, municipal officials and local schools participate in these ongoing projects.
Additionally, DIAA has established a seminar programme to bring together people from different disciplines and fields who have an interest in interacting with artists and sharing their experiences of these interactions. The seminars have seen the participation of artists, cultural theorists, art historians, art critics, research students, municipal officials, schoolteachers, local poets, writers, theatre groups, farmers, cultural and political activists, technocrats from local NGOs, advocates, newspaper editors and journalists, among others. With their broad inclusivity, the seminars open up possibilities of communication between artists and people from diverse social, political, economic and cultural backgrounds, a process that requires both learning and unlearning.