“…no matter how complex or affluent, human societies are nothing but subsystems of the biosphere, the Earth’s thin veneer of life, which is ultimately run by bacteria, fungi and green plants.”
– Vaclav Smil, Czech-Canadian scientist and policy analyst.
Man is a very important and an inextricable link in the evolutionary web. But with the technology and definitions of progress in society evolving and emerging in geometrical progressions, man is alienating himself from Nature in a drastic manner. This awning disconnect with Nature in turn is a key reason for many of the negative impacts of humans on their environment. It is this disconnect that is slowly and steadily disintegrating the core life cycles of the whole environment. The first step to address this destruction and attempt at damage control is to reconnect to Nature. To reconnect is to become more sensitive to our environment, and to create more Nature awareness through what we do, and how we live.
There is an urgent need for people to not just learn scientific facts about our natural world, but also to enhance their sensibility towards Nature and understand the environmental issues in their immediate surroundings. To live more Nature-aware and more sustainably, we need to create educative experiences that help us develop greater sensitivity and appreciation for the natural world. When people work closely with Nature, sensitive response towards Nature becomes a second nature to them.
Art and creativity are synonymous with sensitivity. Often this sensitivity is aligned with nature and environment. In fact, when it comes to learning about nature, art has an ability that conventional approaches lack. Art forms – ranging from painting, literature, poetry and music to dance, sculpture and theatre are embedded in Indian culture, and can be used as a means to develop awareness and a sense of connection to ‘nature.’
In India, several artists and ecologists are working towards sensitizing people about the need to protect nature. While many work separately in their respective fields, some collaborate to bring ecology to the common man through the medium of art. Compared to the individuals working in the urban centres, those making similar efforts in remote parts of the country have less chance of recognition.
Artecology Initiative (AI) is an attempt to connect such individuals working at the grassroots level, who lack access to the mainstream media and to bring forth their work and experience. AI is also a platform for ecologists to connect with artists and form future collaborations.
“The earth has music for those who listen.” — George Santayana.