Sound Installation From up there they were just numbers

By CASP & Kush Badhwar

From Up There They Were Just Numbers is composed of audio recorded in and around the construction site of Navi Mumbai International Airport. The soundscape is made up of poetry, interviews, protest, meetings, field recordings of various environments, house demolition and the daily blasting that takes place to level Ulwe Hill to make way for the airport. The soundscape can be heard in the stairwell of Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Kolkata, and is accompanied by noticeboards that will grow with visual and textual material as the exhibition and the situation at the site unfolds. 

Ulwe Hill is part of the Western Ghats or the Sahyadri, a primarily basalt mountain range that runs parallel to the western coast of the Deccan plateau. At 92 metres high, Ulwe Hill is the largest of a number of hills that are in the process of being levelled to make way for the Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA). Through the metaphors of blasting and bhumipuja, engaging with the sonics of the hill is a starting point for the context of Five Million Incidents. The proposition is to exhibit a changing soundscape of the site. It is hoped that new knowledge will emerge from creating a focused space to listen to this daily incident, from listening on site, recording, editing, making; to how it functions in the exhibition space itself.


Council for Arts and Social Practice (CASP) is a platform for transdisciplinary artistic research and practice to facilitate critical dialogues on cultural sustainability. It aims to integrate research and practice through meaningful conversations, community initiatives and collaborative projects, fostering a relational engagement at both individual and institutional levels. CASP was founded in 2013 and works through four chapters in Navi Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune and New Delhi.
Kush Badhwar is an interdisciplinary practitioner operating across media, art, cinematic and other social contexts. He is interested in ecology, including the life of sound and image across stretches of time and political change.