Multiarts festival Bhoomi Habba – The Earth Festival, held around World Environment Day on 05 June every year, aims to increase awareness about the environmental crises faced by Bengaluru, the home of the event and its organiser Visthar. Originally called Shanti Habba (Peace Festival), the festival is a celebration of collective human effort to stop environmental destruction. Here’s a look at Bhoomi Habba 2022 through a series of photographs.
Folk music band Djembe Balu has been performing at the festival for several years and is an integral part of the festivities. Through its music, Djembe Balu pays tribute to nature and protests against the destruction of natural habitats as a result of human activity.
This terracotta installation highlighted farmer resistance movements across the country that work to protect land, water, food security and nature against unbridled development and exploitation. It also represented hope, and the alternatives that are emerging as a result of preservation efforts.
Bandhavi is a project run by Visthar in north Karnataka for children of devadasis. (Bandhavi means “female friend” in Kannada.) Here, a student from Bandhavi is seen speaking about children’s responsibility to protect the environment. Students and children are among the major participants at Bhoomi Habba. They are invited to partake in workshops, competitions and exhibitions and encouraged to take up the cause of nature conservation.
School students sit under the ancient jackfruit tree at Visthar to participate in a workshop titled “Poetree” with poet Gagana. During the sesssion, they discussed verses that talk about the environment and people’s efforts towards the conservation of nature.
These installations with Warli tribal art, emphasising the importance of community and the symbiotic relationship between humans and earth, were put up for the inauguration ceremony of Bhoomi Habba. They also highlight the egalitarian worldview of the Warli tribe.
The figurines in the ‘Dolls Speak’ exhibition by doll maker Francoise Bosteels represent facets of socio-religious life – a picture of human ambition, hopes and oppression. Students and visitors at Bhoomi Habba were encouraged to engage with the exhibition and its message.
All photos courtesy of Vishtar.