also, as a fertile ground of materials,
monsoon forests, a repository of minerals, a UNESCO world heritage site and a biodiversity
particularly iron, that is exploited by industry. Ecologists see it as a distinctive zone of moist deciduous forest, which absorbs the force of the southwest monsoon and over millennia, has used it to gather a unique natural habitat. Social ecologists and anthropologists see it as a distinctive place of cultures that have made a home for themselves between a particularly active global coast with the Arabian Sea to the west and the Deccan Plateau to the east. On this basis, UNESCO, in July 2012, has sought to designate the Western Ghats a World Heritage Site.
hotspot. In this studio, however, the Western Ghats will be a splice: a joint of two things that does not call attention to itself so much as to the new ‘singularity’ that it creates.
It is a designation that is facing stiff opposition from developers, prospectors and politicians, making the Ghats a contested landscape where environment and development, as much as culture and nature are being predictably positioned in opposition with one another, creating tremendous amount of conflict at multiple levels – from human-animal and development-conservation, to conflicts over natural resources and citizengovernment disconnects.
To say the Western Ghats is a splice is to see
Background Scenario The Western Ghats, also known as the Great Escarpment of India is an area of spectacular scenery, rugged terrain, deep valleys, impressive waterfalls, and dense forest teeming with wildlife. This mountain chain is recognized as one of the world’s eight ‘hottest hotspots’ of biological diversity. The Ghats act as a key barrier, intercepting the rain-laden monsoon winds that sweep in from the southwest during late summer. Although they are considered a barrier or a threshold in many ways, their existence and formation has been creating diverse array of changes on both sides of the mountain range. The nature of these changes is quite ephemeral as there are so many factors affecting each aspect. This dynamic nature contributes in no small measure to the richness of the Western Ghats, both in terms of its cultural significance as well as its biodiversity. Scientists, Researchers, Policy makers, Bureaucrats, Politicians, Villagers and Tribes are just some of the stakeholders who are affected directly by the Western Ghats. They all have varying perspectives and different views on rights and privileges with respect to the Ghats. This lends a state of flux to each aspect that human lives touch in the Western Ghats.
Brief The Ghats are popularly seen as a range of hill on the west coast of India. Geologists see it as an escarpment of basalt in the north turning to gneiss and laterite in the south, but
We believe that an entirely new approach is needed if the UNESCO designation is to become an agent for positive change. In place of a regional or spatial plan, which must inevitably operate by zoning or a regulatory policy that defines boundaries and disconnects complex interdependencies, an approach is necessary that beings with a new visualization of the Ghats and its complexity in space and time. To most people the Western Ghats is a range of hills on the west coast of India covered with
It is common to hear the word splice used to describe the taping of two celluloid strips in making a film, the tying of two ropes in extending a length, the joining of two pieces of wood in crafting an artifact, the juxtaposing of two images in creating a montage, the connecting of two pieces of music to make a performance.
1. a coast that calls attention to a land-sea gradient. 2. an escarpment that unites the ground beneath the Arabian Sea and the Deccan Plateau along a N-S shear that reveals layers of basalt toward the north and a surface of laterite to the south. 3. a threshold that allows the SW monsoon to come through, a moisture-laden wind that drops large amounts of rain between June and September on its way to the Himalayas 4. a ‘wild’ belt that generates networks of roadways, railways and airways to draw people from the urban centers on the Arabian Sea and the Deccan Plateau – people looking for ‘nature’, vacations, recreation, adventure and research. 5. a ground that reveals veins, strata and ore of coveted minerals.