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How would you like to spend a Sunday evening telling a fascinating story about a farm up in the air — with your camera?
Somewhere in the middle of a thousand looming towers of glass and iron cleaving through the grey Mumbai sky, is a tiny oasis of green. This verdant farm is perched atop a 6-storey building in the centre of Mumbai. The skyline around, as you imagine correctly, boasts some of the tallest buildings in India. And as the ‘development’ of the city continues unabated, the hazy skyline around only grows taller each day.
The story began a decade ago when a group of passionate urban farmers came together and started growing amla, chikoo, drumsticks, brinjal, varieties of basil, mint, and lemongrass etc., to fulfil their passion for growing their own organic food in the heart of Mumbai.
However, apart from growing their own healthy food, they also grew something else -- a healthy environment for the birds and insects that we share this city with. Now imagine what a hundred, or more, rooftop farms like this one could do to improve the quality of air in Mumbai… the city you call your home!
Unfortunately, not everyone has the time to work or volunteer on this. But there is one simple way in which you can contribute…
… by sharing the story of this amazing farm through a hobby you already enjoy -- photography! :)
At Lenses on Sustainability, we will build processes for you to weave photo-stories on earth-friendly ways of living. By learning and practicing this, you can inspire your audience to explore sustainability in a fun way. At this workshop, we will collectively learn to tell photo-stories that show ways of earth-friendly living and the positive impacts they have on individuals, communities, places and ecosystems they co-exist in.
Photography helps us tell stories faster (and often, more powerfully) as compared to writing. A well-crafted photograph can be a truly emotional experience -- it can move people deeply.
Who is this for?
Aspiring photographers will learn to look past the obvious and shine a light on the stories beneath. For people interested in sustainability and conservation, and CSR & NGO professionals, photography is another powerful and relevant tool that you can use to communicate your message with clarity.
Through photography, we will explore how connecting with people and environments shapes the photo-story. We’ll dive into what makes a photo imprint itself on people and how to write captions that can turn photographs into more insightful stories. The workshop will also simplify sustainability and earth-friendly living, so that they are easy for everyone to understand, even people who may not have heard of these terms before.
You can show up with whichever camera you have, even your smartphone!
The 5-hour workshop in Mumbai will include an hour-and-a-half long practical session at the Urban Leaves terrace farm in the soft evening light. You will learn about the organisation’s decade-long journey, and receive a hands-on introduction into what it takes to set up and run a terrace farm.
Participants will also be given tools and time to make pictures, weave them together to tell a photo-story, and write captions. We will then look at the photographs and captions as a group, and deepen our understanding of the process to tell the stories we want and stories that need to be told.
Some of the topics we will cover are:
About the organisers:
Lenses on Sustainability is an event organised as a part of 'The Playground', a series of monthly events by Journeys with Meaning to share ideas and practices of sustainable living. At The Playground, you will meet like-minded people, hack ideas and practices of sustainability together, and make the switch to an earth-friendly life in a fun and interesting way!
Journeys with Meaning (JwM) is an India-based social enterprise that introduces people to earth-friendly living through travel and city-based events. JwM is the winner of Best Experiential Operator award at the Indian Responsible Travel Awards, 2019.
Lenses of Sustainability will be facilitated by Girish Menon and hormazd (homi). Urban Leaves will host the workshop in Mumbai.
Urban Leaves is a group of passionate, gardening crazy, food-loving friends and volunteers, who find joy in growing their own food, sharing farming techniques, cooking recipes, seeds and inspiring each other to greening rooftops in Mumbai.
Girish Menon made his first pictures in his teens - a set of 36 photographs on a film camera. Already possessing an interest in experiencing wildlife, cultures and ancient knowledge that were quickly fading, he took off on a solo trip to South India after quitting his IT job. He took up photography full time on his return and has been facilitating workshops since 2007.
hormazd (homi) is a facilitator, clown and traveller, who lives a few questions. Are we asking the questions that matter? Do we understand the web of connections that has got us here? Are we walking in a similar direction, even if on different paths?