Silence of the Lands: Lesser-Known Stories from the Marginlands

Explore the marginlands, its ancient wisdom, and the lessons held in its cracks with Arati Kumar Rao, to aid us in undoing centuries of slow violence to our environment.

Arati Kumar 09 Feb 2024 Email Header

In this talk, Arati will lead us into lands and lives that are in equal parts beautiful and fragile, where the misguided human hand, coupled with willful blindness, undermines the innate resilience of the land in the face of climate change.

The talk is based on her book Marginlands: Indian Landscapes on the Brink, where she has combined enthralling nature writing and journalism with immersive art and photography. 

About the Speaker

Working across South Asia, independent photographer, writer, and National Geographic Explorer Arati Kumar Rao documents environmental degradation that has reached cataclysmic levels. She chronicles how drastically depleting groundwater, habitat destruction, and land acquisition for industry devastates biodiversity and shrinks common lands, displacing millions and pushing species towards extinction. Arati was named in BBC’s 100 Influential and Inspiring women from around the world in 2023

Her first book, Marginlands: Indian Landscapes on The Brink, published by Pan Macmillan (Picador) India in June 2023, was shortlisted at both the Atta Galata Bangalore Lit Fest & TataLitLive! Awards 2023 for First-book, Non-fiction.

When not on assignment, she splits her time between a biodiversity hotspot — the Western Ghats — and Bangalore in India, where she plays a happy mother to three rescued cats.

She is currently on a National Geographic grant to document forced human migration in India.