Performance & Film screening Journey of the Bombay Duck & Finding the Critical in the Local

Critical Zones © Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan

Tue, 29.11.2022

4:00 PM IST

Coomaraswamy Hall

Performance & Film

Journey of the Bombay Duck - Poster © Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Mumbai Journey of the Bombay Duck 
Mummifying Mumbai's staple food
Conducted by: Parag Tandel, Kadambari Tandel, Stéphane Verlet-Bottéro
November 29, 2022
4.00 pm | Natural History Section, CSMVS

About the performance
Bombay has outgrown the indigenous Koli villages (original inhabitants of Mumbai), and has encroached on & poisoned prehistoric natural fish breeding grounds. Local fish are getting scarce. Bombay Duck is one such species, whose numbers are dwindling as the coast is reclaimed and the city’s waste management policy pollutes the waters further.
There was a time when the Bombay Duck was in plenty and excess catch used to be dried and stored, but due to changing climate conditions, increase in water temperature and excessive fishing, it has shifted its breeding grounds. The performance looks at the Bombay Duck as a symbol of loss. Loss of local food, in this case - fish, leads to loss of oral knowledge and indigenous cultural practices. It impacts a community and its knowledge system in its entirety.
The performance is also inspired by the close connection between the mummifying process and the technique of drying fish.

Picture Gallery - Event

This will be followed by a filmscreening:

Finding the Critical in the Local - Poster © Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Mumbai Finding the Critical in the Local 
Film Screening: Bengalis in the World of Fish (28 mins), by Nilanjan Bhattacharya
Discussion: Stéphane Verlet-Bottéro, Nilanjan Bhattacharya, Parag Tandel, Kadambari Tandel
November 29, 2022
6.00 pm | Children's Museum Amphitheatre, CSMVS

About the film
People from neighbouring states have for ages made Bengalis the butt of jokes for their obsession with fish. Considered auspicious, fish has made a special place for itself in the folklore, visual arts, songs, literature and culture of Bengal, whose biodiversity is largely dependent on the rivers that course through it, wetlands that are ideal for fish to flourish, and ponds and tanks that every neighbourhood could be proud of once.
Film-maker Nilanjan Bhattacharya has made a delightful short on this “love story”, titled Bengalis in the World of Fish.

About the artists
Stéphane Verlet-Bottéro (b. 1987) is an artist, ecologist, and curator. His work deals with experiencing, excentering, and unlearning. His practice extends durationally and socially, weaving shared becomings with people and places. It takes the shape of gatherings, performances, films, and multimedia installations. In 2018, he coinitiated The School of Mutants, a collaborative art and research platform in Dakar. His work has been exhibited at ZKM | Karlsruhe; Centre Pompidou Metz; 12th Berlin Biennale; 14th Dakar Biennale; RAW Material Company, Dakar; Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam; 12th Taipei Biennial; 7th Oslo Triennale; Le Lieu Unique, Nantes; CIAP Vassiviere; Science Museum, London. He collaborates regularly with the ZKM | Karlsruhe and has also had institutional collaborations with Taipei Fine Arts Museum, NA Project, Institut Kunst at FHNW Basel, and Documenta 13.

Nilanjan Bhattacharya is a filmmaker, artist and writer from Calcutta, India. For the last fifteen years he has been exploring biodiversity, food cultures and indigenous knowledge systems in India. His works include Johar Welcome To Our World, Ninety Degrees, Rain in The Mirror, Fishing Out of Time, and Quiet Flown the Stream; they were exhibited at Mumbai International Film Festival, Goteberg International Film Festival, European Kunsthalle, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Experimenter Art Gallery and Wellcome Collection Gallery.
Nilanjan received the President’s Award of India in 2005 and 2010.

Kadambari Koli (b 1983), is Mumbai based artist and pedagogue with MVA in creative drawing & painting from SNDT Women’s University Churchgate, Mumbai (2016) and B.F.A in Creative Drawing & Painting from Sir J.J School of Fine Art, Mumbai (2007).
Some of her public art projects comprise, she is Co-Founder of Tandel Fund Of Archives a Pop-up Museum of Fisher folks of Mumbai, India, a ongoing longterm endeavour since 2019. ‘Confluence’- Mumbai Water Naratives curated by Sara Ahmed (2021); ‘Let There Be Bounty Everyday, Surving SQ: A Sunaparata Initiative’(2020); Tandel Fund of Archives, Cycle-1 Chendani Fishing village & Cycle-2 Vitawa Fishing village pop-up museum of fisherfolk, Mumbai (2020 & 2019); ‘(En)counters- Daily Rations’ Public art project, curated by Artoxygen (2017); Geographies of consumptions’, Mumbai (2015); (En)counters- Fluid City, Big Catch, Mumbai, India (2010).
Kadambari currently lives and works in Thane, Mumbai.

Parag Tandel (b. 1978), is a Mumbai-based artist with a post-Diploma in Creative Sculpture from M. S University, Baroda (2005) and Diploma in sculpture and modelling from Sir J.J School of Art, Mumbai (2003). Tandel’s solo exhibitions include Pregnant Room 1 and Pregnant Room 2, both showcased at Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai,( 2008 & 2010) Chronicleat TARQ, Mumbai (2016) and Autopolisphilia curated by Noopur Desai at Sudarshan art gallery, Pune, India (2018). 
Some of his public art projects include Tandel Fund of Archives, pop-up museum of fisherfolk, Mumbai (2020 & 2019); (En)counters- Daily Rations Public art project, curated by Artoxygen, Breathing art works, Mumbai (2017); Geographies of consumptions, Mumbai (2015); Big Catch, Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Mumbai (2012); and Sandarbh, Rajasthan (2011).
He currently lives and works in Thane, Mumbai.

For more information about the work of Parag and Kadambari Tandel with regard to local indigenous Koli cultures, please visit Tandel Fund of Archives