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World Environment Day: Trip to project Majuli's environment concerns

 GUWAHATI: On the occasion of World Environment Day, Indian and French artists began their journey through the largest river island of the world on a specially made mobile boat-on-wheels in a bid to highlight Majuli's environmental concerns.

The artists travelled on the 10-feet-long contraption made of two bicycles and a bamboo boat on their 10-day trip to create awareness on the urgency to save the island.

It is an initiative by the Brahmaputra Cultural Foundation and France-based Globe Trot Art where artists are interacting with various indigenous communities of the island using the medium of art and music. They are trying to sensitize the communities on the local environment, waste reduction, river protection and safe disposal of waste.

"Majuli is a fascinating place with a rich cultural and environmental topography. This is the first time that I am visiting the largest river island of the world. The use of a boat has a reason as it is an intrinsic part of the lives of the island's people," said Tina Hollard, a French artist.

The journey is being documented and the film will be shown in France next year at events and exhibitions.

"This is a rural concept. We will demonstrate how to use plastic bottles as boats. With the onset of monsoon, the transport system slowly switches from bicycles to boats," said Bordoloi, who is also a visiting faculty with the National School of Drama.

The team is being led by Shipika Bordoloi, founder of the Brahmaputra Cultural Foundation, and the entire initiative is a part of her idea called "Katha Yatra" that involves the essence of Majuli and its multi-dimensional cultural and environmental characters.

Of late, the alternative art scene in Assam has been mostly inspired by the Brahmaputra of which "Katha Yatra" began as an attempt to sample Majuli and Brahmaputra's myriad dimensions.


June 09, 2014, The Times of India