Photo essay workshop and exhibition on water

August 14, 2013

Namma Oooru- Namma Neeru

Our land-Our waters




Voices from the Waters


The Goethe-Institute will be one of the three venues for the Voices from the Water film festival scheduled to begin on the 30th of August 2013. As part of the event city based water researcher and writer  S.Vishwanath and documentary photographer Vivek Muthuramalingam will be curating a photography exhibition at the Goethe gallery. The theme this year is ‘Namma Ooru- Namma Neeru’ and the show in particular shall focus on the symbiotic relationship between lakes and open wells in and around Bangalore.


For this, we would like to create new visual content by collaborating with ten motivated photographers by offering each one of them a short photo-essay to work on. They shall be constantly mentored by Vivek during the entire period, at the end of which they are expected to produce 5-7 exhibition worthy images which will go up on the show. We also invite a writer to join our team to pen the narratives and also help in editing content for the exhibition.


The stories and their brief is as follows:

1  Citizens have come together with the government and have cleaned up and improved the Kaikondarahalli lake on Sarjapur Road. What motivated them to do it ad what will keep the spirit of the lake alive ?

2  Muniyappa is a well digger from the traditional well digging community . He and  his small team have dug more than 2000 recharge wells. Why do they do this and what does a day in their life look like?

3  Wastewater flows almost everywhere in Bangalore. In  rather rare exception treated waste-water from a sewage treatment plant charges Jakkur lake through a wetland . The wells around the lake are now full of water. Wetlands attract birds and the full lake has coracles and fishing going on. Can the wells and the lake be preserved ?

4. The Arkavathi river used to be the lifeline of Bangalore. Now it hardly ever flows. Citizen groups are gathering around to revive the river. This includes volunteers cleaning up old step-wells called Kalyanis. Can a dead river be revived?

5. The layout called Rainbow Drive on Sarjapur Road is dependent on groundwater. Residents have come together to dig more than 250 recharge wells at the last count to ensure that their water lifeline does not go dry.

6.  The Vrishabhavati is the only river which starts and flows through Bangalore. It is traditionally believed to originate from the mouth of the Nandi – Vrishbha- at the Bull Temple , Basavangudi.  Can one capture the spirit of a place where a river originates?

7. The lake at Lalbagh is a beautiful one. It is flled with water treated at a small sewage treatment plant upstream. The lake now fills old wells in Lalbagh which are very old . Can the wells be cleaned up and brought into use again ? Can a water heritage be preserved?

8. Mr .Balasubramanian is a senior citizen in the layout called Vidyaranyapura . He had a well dug in his house by a gentleman called Arumugam who is no more. He kept the well even though it had gone dry. Through rainwater harvesting he has revived it and now uses the open well for almost all his water requirements. What is his story around the well ?

9. Mr V.Balasubramaniam is ex Additional Chief Secretary , Govt. Of Karnataka. He headed a Committee which looked at how govt. Land is being grabbed alla cross the stste. He also talks about how lakes have been encroached and land grabbed. He predicts that half of Bangalore will need to be evacuated in the future because of water shortage. What has he seen that causes him to worry so much ?

10.  Sirutuhuli an organisation based in Coimbatore , worked in partnership with the government and cleaned up the big lake called Ukkadam. The rains were plenty in the river Noyyar and the lake has filled up. How does such a lake benefit the city ? Why is Siruthuli doing what it does ?


Rules/ Regulations:

  1. This opportunity is open for both professionals and amateurs or all ages, with or without prior experience in story telling photography.
  2. Photographers are required to have suitable equipment (DSLR preferred) to work on the story and willing to bear all travel costs that may be incurred.
  3. A cumulative period of not more than two days for each story is expected of the photographers and no fulltime participation needed.
  4. Photographers are expected to participate in the editing session with Vivek once all the assignments are completed.
  5. To apply please send a brief statement of purpose (not more than 300 words), a link to your work (no attachments please) and notify the story that you would prefer to work on, to drvivekm@gmail.com
  6. To volunteer as a writer please send in two pieces of any recent writing assignment and a brief bio to the same email id.
  7. In case of further clarifications please call Vivek on +91 98455 60465.



14 Aug: Late date for receiving applications

16 Aug: Announcement of the chosen photographers with their stories

23 Aug: A rough-cut of 20 images from each of the stories is to be sent

24, 25 Aug: Editing session with Vivek to finalize the images

26, 27: Printing of images

28: Mock layout at the exhibition venue



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