World Environment Day 2021: Biodiversity by the Bay launches a virtual gallery that celebrates Mumbai's ecology
In a rather interesting and creative move, Mumbai’s Biodiversity by the Bay has launched a virtual gallery on this World Environment Day. The gallery will showcase diverse artworks that showcase Mumbai’s green cover. The artworks revolve around #MakeArtforMumbaisMangroves, MMM, launched on the Earth day, April 22.
The campaign attracted more than four million viewers and engaged over 240,000 audiences in a matter of 45 days with over 80 submissions. The entire campaign and the virtual showcase of the artworks is by six leading artists such as Nayan Shrimali and Vaishali Chudasama, Svabhu Kohli, Anjali Mehta, Mira Malhotra, Afrah Shafiq and Michelle Poonawalla, is aimed to raise awareness about Mumbai’s unique ecosystem.
The artists have used various mediums and artistic expressions - From Koshy Brahmatmaj’s embroidery work, Aditi Mali’s comic strip art to Samya Ghosh’s use of playing with negative space and typography - their artworks highlight the important role mangroves play in maintaining the ecological balance of the city.
While some artists like Nitasha Nambiar and Mrinmayi Dalvi focus on how mangroves act as natural buffers against coastal erosion and flooding, Tanya Timble and Khyati Patkar’s work show a thriving home to countless species of flora and fauna. The sustainable lifestyle aspects of Mumbai’s Koli communities, who are dependent on the mangroves for their survival, have been vividly captured by artists Gary Curzai and Niyosha Bhagat. On the other hand, illustrators Harmeet Rahal and Sid G displayed the inevitable rise in sea levels through their paintings.
“Art has a way of speaking to people. It draws their attention, visualises their thoughts and weaves a sense of belonging. With the inevitable rise in sea levels, protecting Mumbai’s mangroves and biodiversity is crucial for the city. In the midst of a pandemic when our future looks so uncertain, it's important to protect the things we can depend on,” says Suma Balaram of MMM team.
Visit MMM’s virtual art gallery here:
In addition, the Ministry of Mumbai’s Magic in collaboration with Project Mumbai has also announced an open call for The Green Footprint Fellowship, an opportunity for the youth to become future urban sustainability champions and contribute towards building a green and healthier city for all. The three month fellowship is open to Mumbai residents between 18-30 years of age who have an interest in mapping, urban planning and governance.
“Project Mumbai has always strived to build a sense of ownership for the city across age groups. Engaging young adults through the fellowship to build environment awareness is one more effort from our end,” says Shishir Joshi, CEO and founder of Project Mumbai.
Commenting on the objective of the fellowship program, Rupali Vaidya, head of projects at Project Mumbai says, “The program shall provide opportunities to young Mumbaikars to work closely with the civic authorities and engage with the community with a positive reinforcement towards the city's green spaces. As Green Fellows, they shall also bring out the community survey for building consensus towards the parks and create a community of caretakers across 24 wards of Mumbai.”