Learning Center

Centre for Counterculture and Communication

The Centre for Counterculture and Communication (CCC) is a unique, creative initiative of VIDS. Since its inception, Visthar has been involved in a critique of mainstream culture and in evolving counter cultural practices which are inclusive, equitable and communitarian. The CCC aims to develop an appreciation of counterculture movements committed to transformative politics and explore the role of religion, culture and communication in bringing about social change. The Centre will promote expressions of counterculture through media, theatre, visual arts and development communication.

CCC draws from the concept of counterculture coined by Theodore Roszak and the history of counterculture movements worldwide. More specifically, the Centre draws its inspiration from and is significantly influenced by the life and work of Sebastian Kappen, an Indian philosopher and liberation theologian. In his book, Tradition, Modernity, Counter Culture – An Asian Perspective (Visthar,1994) Kappen explores the contours of a counterculture which creatively transcends tradition and modernity, reorients our attitude to nature, overcomes the one-dimensionality of modern science and affirms communities of peace with justice.

Trans-disciplinary, immersive international studies in Counterculture

Besides conversations with critical intellectuals around concepts and theories, participants will get opportunities to learn from activists and social movements. A critique of dominator cultural practices including the caste system and religious and developmental fundamentalisms will be crucial components of the course. Feminist, dalit and tribal trends in poetry, theatre and arts will be explored as examples of counterculture.


The Centre will take up research on the origin, evolution and present status of the Devadasi system in Karnataka and the campaigns to counter the practice. As part of the research, case studies of different generations of Devadasis will be documented.


Stories, case studies, films and posters that challenge misrepresentation, or non-representation of counter cultural trends and movements in the country. The centre will also bring out biographies of ‘dreamers and dissenters’ which will inspire the youth to re-imagine and ‘be the change’.

Counterculture Museum

The Museum is dedicated to promoting countercultural perspectives and practice and will draw inspiration from resistance movements in the country. Through permanent and mobile exhibitions, audio visuals, installations and conversations, the museum will highlight stories of people from the margins. It will also showcase the history of counterculture movements to inspire visitors to get involved in social justice issues. The museum will be housed in the VIDS campus.

Department Contact Info

Centre for Counterculture and Communication

Dr. David Selvaraj


Mon – Fri 9:00A.M. – 5:00P.M.