Waag and the new media initiative Sarai in New Delhi had an intensive collaboration called the Sarai Waag Exchange Platform. From 2000 to 2003, this programme focused on building links and collaborations between programmers, designers, scholars and theorists between Europe and Asia. It facilitated jointly developed bodies of knowledge, skills such as interface design, systems design, low tech solutions, and research collaborations as in workshops and publications.
From its inception, the Exchange has been driven by a vision for certain shared values. In elaborating the idea of the exchange, we would like these values to be maintained, discussed and disseminated in a wide arc of initiatives. In particular, both Sarai and Waag were (and still are) concerned with the following issues:
- Importance of the public domain;
- Access to media tools and innovation in media practices;
- Interdisciplinary research (between research and practice, and across disciplines);
- Setting up contexts for creativity and exploration of expressive means.
Starting in 2004 and building on these experiences and principles the Sarai Waag Exchange was transformed into an Exchange Platform that aimed to integrate more partners into our discussions practices and conversations. In 2004 the Alternative Law Forum in Bangalore, a long time partner of Sarai, joined the Exchange programme. The Alternative Law Forum has been an important collaborator on issues related to intellectual property rights and media censorship.
In 2005 a diverse group of Brazilian new media practitioners participated in the platform, focussing on open source and open content driven popular creativity. In 2006 a number of them have formed the research network des][centro working closely with the Exchange Platform. The Sarai Waag Exchange Platform was supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.