We live in the era of the Anthropocene, where the devastating impacts of humans on the Earth are clear and visible. Global warming, changing rainfall patterns and pollution, accompanied by the loss of biodiversity, signal the need for us to act to protect the environment, with urgency.
At the same time, we see glimpses of hope across the country and the world, where groups of people are working together to preserve the environment and conserve eroding habitats.
These seeds of hope, emanating from local communities, need to be focused on, and better understood, to inspire a larger movement of climate action. Building on the success of the Rivers of Life climate festival, held in November 2022 — which brought in over 10,000 young visitors from schools and colleges — Azim Premji University is pleased to announce the second festival in the series—Forests of Life 2023.
This festival contributes to the focus of the University to take discussions on climate change to a broader audience, sharing diverse perspectives from across the country, and increasing awareness amongst younger generations about our fragile natural habitats.
Forests are repositories of ancient wisdom, a rich concentration of life forms, thriving and evolving, as they support and enrich our lives.
The festival, which showcases the work of young student interns who have traversed the length and breadth of India, celebrates the joy of nature, while incorporating messages of environmental stewardship and an overarching ethic of sustainability amongst young children and adults via an immersive experiential experience. Forests are repositories of ancient wisdom, a rich concentration of life forms, thriving and evolving, as they support and enrich our lives.
Forests of Life is a climate change festival for young people, by young people. The festival engages with youth from various parts of the country, through an internship call. Our interns have collectively traversed across 140 diverse forests within India, bringing fresh light on the challenges and possibilities for forest protection in the era of the Anthropocene, shaping our common and collective future for the greater good.
Join us on a virtual journey through India’s forests, guided through the perspectives of young interns, researchers, and practitioners, through images, art installations, interactive talks, music, art, and forest folklore.
The stories, narratives, exhibits and interactive workshops that form the core of the festival cover a range of themes that speak of the deep association between indigenous communities and nature, challenges of human-animal conflicts, how forest livelihoods can be sustained by enhancing value chains, the richness of biodiversity, and the migration and relocation of wildlife.
The festival also focuses on inspirational stories of individuals and communities conserving and restoring our last remaining natural forest habitats.
We invite you to our world of forests! Join us on a virtual journey through India’s forests, guided through the perspectives of young interns, researchers, and practitioners, through images, art installations, interactive talks, music, art, and forest folklore — as we take a collective pledge to save our forests and protect them — for ourselves, and for future generations to come.
About the authors
Kunal Sharma, Vidya Ramesh, and Arvind Lakshmisha are members of the University and part of the Research Centre.