SSB Trustee, Laura Denning, is currently in Bangalore (India), undertaking a month long project with local art students, exploring the water crisis in the city and developing problem-solving strategies through the arts. Bangalore has a population of nearly 12 million and faces an imminent water crisis within the next 5 years. Only a generation ago, the city had over 900 lakes (reservoirs) providing clean drinking water to the population. Today there are less than 100, and the river which fed them is highly polluted at source, and beyond.
The art students are developing collaborative sensory maps of the city, making site visits, and thinking about their future. The maps require students to negotiate a shared space, whilst developing awareness of all the senses as a way of encouraging people to connect with their environment and therefore take part in caring about the lakes and the water which is so vital for their future.
Two particular lakes provide the basis for their research – Bellandur (so polluted it recently spontaneously combusted) and Kaikondrahalli – now under community stewardship and being loved back to life.