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16 June 2014

Meeting Amitabh Pawde

I am, along with the other artists, beginning to view ‘Eco- Sani- Erri’ as an art residency accelerating revolutionary movement at Paradsinga village. This community art project is striving for activism at the same trigger resistance against mishandling and misunderstanding ecology sanitation and irrigation in the village.

In the context of the residency Shweta invited Amitabh Pawade for an interactive session. He has been working on ground level for similar concerns keeping the farmer community as his central focus. He is a civil executive engineer where he has worked north east, western and central India and has designed 13 airports in the country. Being a Civil Engineer he served the society in many different ways including his service that he gave during the Bhuj earthquake.

Farmer suicide became one of his major concerns and from the city of Nagpur after he quit his job he migrated to a village in Maharashtra Narkher village 100 km from Nagpur with the intention of farming even when he did not have any knowledge of farming.

In a session that went on for about three hours he discussed his experiences as a farmer. And he brought to light some of the very interesting details of his experience. His talk was informative and inspiring for us. Bringing such people within the residency space to make room for interactive sessions is what determines the success of the residency. This also in a way serves the ultimate aim of the residency which is not to create mere art works and transform the face of the village. Rather the idea is that that each artist should carry back with her/himself seeds of such thoughts to sow them elsewhere.

In residencies which bring together artists of similar genuine concerns the art and the concept, the site and the artists all become channel for such ideas and initiations which can be taken further much after the duration of the residency is over.