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In this talk, Arati will lead us into lands and lives that are in equal parts beautiful and fragile, where the misguided human hand, coupled with willful blindness, undermines the innate resilience of the land in the face of climate change.
The talk will be followed by a Q&A session with the audience.
Working across South Asia, independent photographer, writer, and National Geographic Explorer Arati Kumar-Rao documents environmental degradation that has reached cataclysmic levels. She chronicles how drastically depleting groundwater, habitat destruction, and land acquisition for industry devastates biodiversity and shrinks common lands, displacing millions and pushing species towards extinction. Arati was named in BBC’s 100 Influential and Inspiring women from around the world in 2023.
Her first book, Marginlands: Indian Landscapes on The Brink, published by Pan Macmillan (Picador) India in June 2023, was shortlisted at both the Atta Galata Bangalore Lit Fest TataLitLive! Awards 2023 for First-book, Non-fiction.
When not on assignment, she splits her time between a biodiversity hotspot — the Western Ghats — and Bangalore in India, where she plays a happy mother to three rescued cats.
She is currently on a National Geographic grant to document forced human migration in India.
Santonu Goswami is a member of the Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability and an Associate Professor at Azim Premji University. He is currently working towards strengthening India’s response to the climate crisis through data and models. Before joining Azim Premji University, he spent five and a half years as a Senior Scientist at NRSC-ISRO, focusing on studying key ecosystems in India, namely, coastal, riverine and Himalayan mountain ecosystems using data modelling of various time-series Geospatial and Climate datasets using open-source analytics tools. He has also worked as a Research Scientist at the Centre for Urban Science and Progress in NY, USA, where he analyzed urban datasets of NYC to develop baseline scenarios for NYC neighborhoods. He has also worked as a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at the US Dept. of Energy Laboratory at ORNL focused on data-model integration to understand climate change impacts on Arctic Ecosystems.