Recording Mumbai’s contradictions to define its identity: that was the theme of the fourth edition of (en)counters, a contemporary art exposition held un Mumbai this past January. Indian and international artists attempted to capture and define the essence of the city with a series of sculptures and installations up and down the sandy beach along the Arabian Sea. The Indian metropolis is famous for its vitality, its economic power, but also for the tears in its social fabric, visible between the new emerging social classes and the ruthless shantytowns. (en)counters tries to put a face on these contrasts. The overall theme of the first edition was water, a crucial element that is so abundant in the monsoon season, and so scarce in the dry periods. Last year was based on the earth, a sacred component of India tradition, a symbol of belonging, but at the same time a factor of social status through ownership of property. The idea is to create new spaces to manage the city, through the exploration of phenomena that are increasingly less taken for granted. The growth of the metropolis has brought changes, hidden by the daily routines that don’t do justice to the new dynamics and needs of the city and its people. This year’s theme – Energy – continues along the same exploratory course: it bursts forth through movement, contact, and the urban migration of 22 million inhabitants. New spaces bring new relationships, unprecedented angles of analysis. This year the Italian presence was significant, a precious sign that the country is not only revered for its artistic past. Claudio Maffioletti, in India since 2007, was one of the driving forces behind the organization. Martina Mazzotta of the Mazzotta Foundation has guided the Italian installation, in particular the Mumbai Traffic Flower, a hydrophone that artist Pietro Pirelli has created to transform the acoustic vibrations of the city into visual melodies using light and water. The curiosity of visitors is coupled with their perception of being witness to an important redefinition of their common spaces. For the first time, the city is questioning its own definition: cultural conquest, an essential landing for economic growth.