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< Back to 28th Parallel North – An Expeditionary Weather Station

False Clouds and Real Deluges

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A stone is a diary of the weather, like a meteorological concentrate. A stone is nothing but weather itself, excluded from atmospheric space and banished to functional space. In order to understand this, you must imagine that all geological changes and displacements can be resolved completely into elements of weather. In this sense, meteorology is more fundamental than mineralogy, which it embraces, washes over, ages, and to which it gives meaning. A stone is an impressionistic diary of weather, accumulated by millions of years of disasters – not only of the past, but also of the future: for it contains periodicity.

Osip Mandelstam

This above quote by the famous Russian poet Osip Mandelstam, one of the four greats from St Petersburg from early 20th century before Stalin silenced him with exile and eventual death.

The 28N Parallel within India would start from the village Gokulpur on the Nepal border to the Ranjeet Pura village almost on the Pakistan border.  This expedition/s traversing the 28N parallel would include collecting ‘samples’ of weather’s history, using Mandelstam’s quote, from locations along the 28N parallel along with photographs, videos and sound footage that such immersive experience may throw up.

I do not plan to follow the straight line of the 28N latitude very strictly but I intend to document the closest villages, the people, the land, roads through the trope of water as has been my inclination over the years. Locations where human presence is palpable, a few degrees north or south of the 28N where the climate /weather change may be most visible would be foregrounded

I plan to be at Ranjeet Pura village in Rajasthan on the summer solstice 22nd June and in Gokulpur on the Nepal border on the winter solstice 21st December. On both these expeditions I intend to start from the village Nuh which is just south of Delhi and is almost on the 28N.

I am also tentatively planning to be at one these locations on the equinoxs’ as well, 21st March and 22nd September, which incidentally would be in the middle of the monsoon in India.

The eventual installation with edited usage of the photographic, video and sound footage will stage the necessary propositions of dire climate conditions immediately around us that data collected may offer. The weather conditions through photographs/video/sound, will be recorded and sent to you periodically during the expeditions at particular times depending on connectivity

Though I would love to travel across borders and transcend geopolitics the scope and permissions of which will not be in my hand. I would like to continue both expeditions further than Gokulpur into Nepal and beyond Ranjeet Pura into Pakistan

I will be using my own car for travel from Delhi and between locations staying at local hotels, villages to gather stories and local histories or in my own tent whichever may be possible and taking short treks and walks locally.

I also intend to make use of GIS and remote sensing data for areas around the 28N which may be available through certain GIS sites for a fee or through institutions.

The world was void,

The populous and the powerful-was a lump

Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless-

A lump of death -a chaos of hard clay.

The rivers, lakes and the ocean all stood still,

And nothing stirred within their silent depths [1]

From ‘Darkness’ by Lord Byron

[1] Ghosh, Amitav . The Great Derangement. Penguin Books. India. 2016.pg91

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