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Attend this unique summit on eco-conservation to discuss the future of Mumbai

Updated on: 16 April,2024 07:54 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Shriram Iyengar |

A five-day summit on eco-conservation and climate change turns to arts, science and citizen initiatives to discuss and debate the changing future of the metropolis that is Mumbai

Attend this unique summit on eco-conservation to discuss the future of Mumbai

The immersive installation is centred on the city of Mumbai with an audio narrative of stories and dreams shared by citizens

As the temperatures rise every day, something is inevitably changing around Mumbai. From high mercury and pollution levels to development that slowly encroaches upon green spaces, the urban space is a battleground between human needs and natural existence.

Anuradha Parikh, artistic director of G5A, is familiar with this conflict. The upcoming Mumbai Climate Now! summit at the venue is built around this very concern that has only grown in recent years. “Climate change is a serious inevitability and will affect us all. As an arts organisation, it’s important to be a part of that conversation because one could argue that it is shifting culture that will ultimately affect our individual, and therefore collective behaviour,” she says.

Neeraj LohaniNeeraj Lohani

The five-day summit, a part of G5A’s CityLab, will witness talks, artistic presentations and discussions on sustainability built along three lenses — architecture, community and environment. Parikh adds, “Stories are what we remember, carry with us and pass on. It is only through stories that we’d be able to transmit the emotions, the ideas, and the urgency that we so desperately need at this moment in time.”

Among the conversations are panel discussions on subjects as varied as the changing nature of climate in the city, and its effect on residents, the need for conservation of the city’s definitive ecosystems such as mangroves, building a walkable city cued for sustainable living among others. The panellists include names such as environmental activist and founder of Sanctuary Nation Foundation, Bittu Sahgal who says, “Every last rupee we now spend on Mumbai’s infrastructure must pass through a filter that determines whether the investment will result in making Mumbai safer, or more vulnerable, to the impacts of the climate crisis we have foisted upon ourselves.”

Parikh adds, “The panels will cover a wide range of topics and areas. But in essence, they will explore our human relationship with the natural world. How has our relationship with our planet changed, how is it continuing to change, and where must we try and steer that towards?”

Anuradha Parikh and Bittu Sahgal
Anuradha Parikh and Bittu Sahgal 

The visual impact of these discussions will be conveyed through the immersive installation, The Lost Archive, at the heart of the venue. Conceived and designed by Team G5A, the installation will combine the audio/visual portrayal of Mumbai’s journey — from the past to a hypothetical future — as the core for the narrative told by Mumbaikars across time.

The director explains, “The idea began building momentum when we tried to imagine what the stories of our time would be like, what would be remembered today. Imagining an oral history of the future. From there, we explored many multiple avenues, physical and digital, and it felt as though the crux had to be Mumbai. Without our city, so much would not exist.”

Yet, what sets the summit apart is the use of these stories to force the issue. The installation will be supplemented by a series of dramatic readings, a fashion show and performances by artists from the local communities. These range from lyricist Javed Akhtar, theatre makers Yuki Ellias and Naseeruddin Shah, as well as dancer-choreographer Neeraj Lohani. For Lohani, the city’s tradition of dance forms the context of his exploration. He says, “I choose dance as a medium to express the idea of ecological threat and the need for conservation in Mumbai is a powerful and creative choice.”

Parikh points out that the summit will also be a chance to discuss their ongoing work with the BMC on ward-wide projects that look at greening and re-wilding the city. In the end, she says, “We want Mumbai’s citizens to show up for our city, to jointly affirm our love and commitment to our home, and to chart a path forward.”

From: Tomorrow; 12 pm onwards 
Till: April 21
At: G5A Warehouse, Shakti Mills Lane, Mahalaxmi West. 
Log on to: or (RSVP mandatory)

Must-Catch Events

>>Climate and the city
Panel discussion with Anuradha Parikh, Bittu Sahgal, architect PK Das, (above) Dia Mirza and Heeta Lakhani.
ON April 17; 7 pm

>> My love letter to Mumbai
An ode to the city by lyricist Javed Akhtar
ON April 17; 8 pm

>> My love letter to Mumbai
An ode to the city by Naseeruddin Shah and Yuki Ellias.
ON April 19; 9 pm and 9.30 pm

>> Mangroves coalition
A discussion on conservation of the city’s mangrove reserves with Aaran Patel, Lubaina Rangwala and Tejashree Joshi.
ON April 20; 12 pm

>> Walk friendly city
A take on pedestrian-friendly alternatives by Rishi Aggarwal
ON April 20; 6 pm

>> Reimagining Mumbai
Anuradha Parikh speaks with assistant commissioner D Ward, Sharad Ughade, PK Das, Bittu Sahgal and Dia Mirza.
ON April 21; 6 pm

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