The very popular artist, Pinaki Ranjan Mohanty has grown up seeing the environmental disaster and ecological imbalance that Lake Chilika has carried over the decades. The reason behind this is the prawn culture that has turned out to be profitable and the lack of concern at the hands of the government. So, to bring about a change, this artist has stepped on to make masses aware about the severe damage being caused to the lake. The one finest way he has found is to raise awareness through artistic engagements.
About Mohanty’s Research Project
In an interview, Mohanty put light on his project ‘Chilika Dialogues’ that is going to be showcased in Serendipity Arts Festival, which is going to held in December this year in Panjim, Goa. He mentioned that he has given his two long years in documenting the lake and capturing its condition through pictures, audio recording, videos etc. By using the Serendipity Arts Foundation (SAF) Grant, the artist aims at accomplishing the research phase of his project and showcase it to people in the main festival in December. He believes that it will raise awareness for other water bodies as well.
Changes Witnessed By Mohanty and Transformations
Affecting His Life
Mohanty doesn’t even think for a second before saying that Chilika is his motherland and he would do anything and everything to keep its beauty intact. In his childhood, he witnessed a waterscape and beautiful landscape, which he says is lost now. With the rising trend of prawn culture, people have started intruding the lake and consider it to be their personal property. This culture has deeply and severely affected the Chilika Lake’s environment, biodiversity and ecology. However, the rise in the tourism and the Chilika development policies by the government of Odisha has brought the lake into light. Though the lake is now a part of poet’s poems and writer’s words but the reality is not beautiful as it is in the words.
Core Areas of the Project and the Expected Outcome
The artist made it clear that the SAF grant period will include site-specific installation which will be done by exploiting local materials found in the premises of Lake Chilika. Such kind of artwork is sure to develop understanding, speculation and curiosity among all the existing stakeholders of the lake. In the main festival, the pictures, audios and videos will be showcased to the general public to build their interest. Also, the project’s core aim is to emphasize on the rising need to preserve the water bodies on a global platform. Mohanty expects that the people will be able to understand the importance of water bodies through the lens of folklore and literature. The project will also include interaction with various scholars and pubic to put forth their views on the same.
At the end, Mohanty also mentioned that he feels blessed to receive SAF grant, as it has greatly helped him to contribute to the environment. The grant has helped him to showcase his work and steal eyes of the people around the world. The project is sure to do wonders to Lake Chilika.
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