A three-week online festival to raise awareness about Mumbai’s climate issues kicked in on October 5 and will go on till October 25
Fantastic initiatives are making sure that we all are in tune with our surroundings, inspite of restrictions on movement and contact. One such ongoing celebration is the Biodiversity By the Bay – a three-week online festival of music, art and comedy. Launched on October 5th, Biodiversity By The Bay is the brainchild of Ministry of Mumbai’s Magic, and will go on till 25th October.
The focus of this festival is to raise awareness about Mumbai’s climate issues – which is becoming unpredictable as a result of global warming, seems to be very timely. Promoted across Instagram and YouTube it includes special performances by 10 artists and designers including Jose Covaco, Shilo Shiv Suleman, Anushka Machanda and more. The festival is split into three sections of music, art and comedy.
Each day a new work was released by participating artists and designers including Priyanka Paul, Pia Alize, Shilo Shiv Suleman, Aaron Pinto, Smish Design, Mehek (Giggling Monkey), Osheen Siva, Aaquib Wani, Shweta Malhotra and Vinu Joseph.
Celebrating Music, Art & Comedy
The first section began with special online music performances including Kolkata based pop duo Parekh + Singh; singer model and actress Anushka Manchanda aka Nuka, who has gone on to have a celebrated and diverse solo career after coming to prominence with Indipop group Viva!; and Blot! who are renowned for pioneering minimal, modern house and techno music in India. Other musicians include Nikhil D’souza , Tejas and Dee MC, live with Poetik Justice.
Flamingoes have been a part of the Mumbai coastline for years and there is a growing awareness to preserve their migration to the city. Shweta Malhotra has used her bold graphic style to depict a Flamingo as a symbol for Mumbaikars to understand the need to protect what they can.
Smish Designs and Aaquib Wani have addressed the Koli community and the damage of human encroachment on nature, with their works – a fisherman caressing a Lesser Flamingo to highlight the bond that they share supporting each other and as a gesture to portray human connection with nature. The work examines how built urban environment continues to destroy Mumbai’s natural habitat with no concern for mankind’s future.
Pia Alize is showing an illustration that brings together many of the animals and plants that make up Mumbai’s environment including peacocks, deer, hibiscus flowers, crabs and butterflies. The work is a celebration of everything that makes up Mumbai.
Shilo Shiv Suleman and Pia Alize created artworks to continue raising awareness around the Aarey forest.
Following the arts week, Biodiversity By the Bay ends with a five days of comedy (20-25 October) including live sets from Kunal Rao, a pioneer of Indian standup and co-founder of East India Comedy; Mumbai-based comedian and host of The Anti Social Network José Covaco; and Daniel Fernandes, known for his dark and irreverent style. Other performances include stand-up artist Prashasti Singh, standup comedian Anu Menon, and the hosts of the weekly comedy podcast The Internet Said So – Varun Thakur, Neville Shah, Kautuk Srivastava and Aadar Malik.
Biodiversity By The Bay is co-organised by DeadAnt, India’s first and only entertainment, news, and new-media company dedicated to comedy.
The festival is part of the Ministry of Mumbai’s Magic’s broader campaign to use digital and social action to help protect Mumbai’s ecosystem. Made up of organisations including Waatavaran, a climate non-profit, and Civis, an organization that works to ensure public opinion is heard, they have created a list of demands that will be presented to civic bodies and policy makers within the government of Maharashtra.