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Celebrating the Urban Commons

24 - 26 November 2017

Nature in the city is an urban commons, a space used and managed by people and communities. This event celebrates the urban commons. It showcases the deep connections between urban communities and nature, and spotlights initiatives of citizen protection. All events are free to attend.

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24 - 26 November 2017
11.00 am - 7.00 pm

Vismaya Gallery

Rangoli Metro Art Center, Beside MG Road metro station, MG Road, Bangalore - 560001

The photo exhibition celebrates Bengaluru’s urban commons - lakes, wooded groves, cemeteries, ponds and grazing lands. These commons can be found across cities even as urbanization proceeds at a frenetic pace. The exhibition features photographs by Arati Kumar-Rao. Arati is an independent environmental photographer & writer documenting the slow violence of ecological degradation and climate change on ecosystems & livelihoods along South Asia's rivers. She is based out of Bangalore, India, and is currently working on her first book. Her work is at The exhibition will also highlights the work being done by different communities to protect urban commons in the city, and also presents the challenges faced in protecting them.

25th November 2017
9.30 am - 12.30 pm

Alliance française de Bangalore

108, Thimmaiah Road, Opposite U.N. I Building, Vasant Nagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560052

Liberating Urban Commons

with T M Krishna,
Carnatic Musician and Writer

About the Talk

About the Speaker

T M Krishna is a Carnatic Music Vocalist, and recipient of the 2017 Magsaysay award for bringing about social inclusiveness in culture. His writings and work are wide ranging where he engages with issues of culture, religion, politics and environment.

People and Nature in Bengaluru.

with Harini Nagendra,
Professor at School of Development, Azim Premji University

About the Talk

We all know of the #steelflyoverbeda movement that led to the protection of thousands of trees in north Bengaluru. This talk will take us through the history of Bengaluru’s growth, to see how citizens and communities have been involved in the greening, creation of lakes and improvement of the commons for centuries. When did this relationship change, and what can we do about it?

About the Speaker

Harini Nagendra is a Professor of Sustainability at Azim Premji University, and has conducted research on commons in forests and cities for over 20 years. Her book “Nature in the City: Bengaluru in the Past, Present and Future” examines ecological changes in the region from the 6 th century onwards, identifying the urban commons as a sign of hope for Bengaluru’s sustainable future.

Exploring nature in old Bengaluru:
from Sampangi to Kanteerava (in Kannada)

with Hita Unnikrishnan,
Assistant Professor (Conservation Science) at TransDisciplinary University

About the Talk

This talk will take us through the loss of urban commons in Bangalore with focus on the story of one of its former lakes - the Sampangi to illustrate why urban commons are both important and threatened in the present day.

About the Speaker

Hita Unnikrishnan is an Assistant Professor (Conservation Science) at TransDisciplinary University, Bengaluru India. Her work explores the specific vulnerabilities of the social ecological system represented by the urban lake commons in the south Indian megapolis of Bengaluru. Hita has been a recipient of the Prof. Elinor Ostrom Fellowship on Practice and Policy on the Commons- 2013. She will be heading to the University of Sheffield's Urban Institute in January as an awardee of the prestigious Newton International Fellowship to pursue her post doc around the historical lost lakes of Bengaluru.

26th November 2017

Each of the walks can accommodate only upto 25 people. Please register here.

The Hidden Lives of Insects around Kaikondarahalli Lake
(Bi-Lingual, English + Kannada)

with Divya Uma,
Ecologist and faculty at Azim Premji Unvieristy

9.00 am – 11.00 am

Meeting Point
Kaikondarahalli Lake Main Gate, Sarjapur Road

About the Walk

On a typical day, Bangaloreans are rushing to work, teaching kids dos and don’ts, picking up groceries or visiting neighbors etc. In another world, quite invisible to us, all these and much more is happening! Come let us explore the private lives of insects around Kaikondrihalli lake. Learn how they lead their lives, and how they may affect our own lives!

ಚಿಟ್ಟೆ, ಮಿಡತೆ, ಜೇಡ ಇತ್ಯಾದಿ ಕೀಟಗಳು ಸಣ್ಣದಾದಾರು ಅದರದೇ ಆದ ಜೀವನ ಶೈಲಿಯನ್ನು ಹೊಂದಿರುತ್ತವೆ. ಕೈಕೊಂಡ್ರ ಹಳ್ಳಿ ಕೆರೆಯ ಸುತ್ತಮುತ್ತಲಿನ ಕೀಟಗಳ  ಜೀವನವನ್ನು ತಿಳಿಯೋಣ ಬನ್ನಿ.

About the Guide

Divya Uma is a faculty at the Azim Premji University whose research looks at predator-prey interactions, mimicry and camouflage in plants and animals

Sampangi Lake Walk: A Slice of Urban History
(Bilingual: English + Kannada)

with Hita Unnikrishnan,
Assistant Professor (Conservation Science) at TransDisciplinary University

7.00 am – 9.00 am

Meeting Point
Konark Restaurant in Kanteerva Stadium

About the Walk

This walk will provide you a glimpse of what life around the lake was like when water was still present in it and how it supported diverse socio-cultural uses. It will show you how the landscape has changed over time along with slices of the past in the form of structures that still exist, unknown yet magnificent.  An old temple tank with sculpted walls, a temple whose walls speak of battles and sacrifices unknown – these are some examples of what we will be observing. In addition, we will explore the rich cultural traditions that shape how this landscape is still perceived while at the same time questioning the underlying causes for landscape transformation.

ಹಿಂದೆ ಸಂಪಂಗಿ ಕೆರೆಯಾದ ಶ್ರೀ ಕಾಣ್ತೀರವ ಕ್ರೀಡಾಂಗಳದ ಸುತ್ತಲೂ ಈ ವಾಕ್ ನಡೆಸಲಾಗಿದೆ. ಈ ಭೂದೃಶ್ಯದ ಸುತ್ತಲೂ ಇತಿಹಾಸದ ಯಾವ ಅಂಶಗಳನ್ನು ನಾವು ಇನ್ನೂ ನೋಡಬಹುದೇ?ಅದು ಕೆರೆಯಾಗಲಿ, ರಾಜಕಾಲುವೆಯಾಗಲಿ, ಅಥವಾ ಹಳೇ ಕಾಲದಿಂದ ಉಳಿದು ಬಂದ ಕಲ್ಯಾಣಿ - ಈವೆಲ್ಲ ದೃಶ್ಯಗಳನ್ನು ನೋಡಬಹದು. ಅದಲ್ಲದೆ ನಾವು ಸತಿ ಸಾಂಸ್ಕೃತಿಕ ಪದ್ಧತಿಗಳ ಪುರಾವೆಗಳನ್ನು ನೋಡುತ್ತೇವೆ. ಕೆರೆ ಸುತ್ತಲೂ ಜೀವನವು ಹೇಗೆ ಸುತ್ತುತ್ತದೆ ಮತ್ತು ಈ ಸಂಬಂಧದಲ್ಲಿನ ಬದಲಾವಣೆಗಳು ಕೆರೆವನ್ನು ಕ್ರೀಡಾಂಗಣವಾಗಿ ಪರಿವರ್ತಿಸಿದವು ಎಂಬುದನ್ನು ನಾವು ಚರ್ಚಿಸುತ್ತೇವೆ.

About the Guide

Hita’s interests extend to understanding the challenges of urban sustainability, and what collective action enables protection of urban natural spaces as commons. Her methods are interdisciplinary linking ecology, history and land use analysis.

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