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EVS Colloquium | Rainforest Etiquette in a World Gone Mad | Suprabha Seshan

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Please join us for a Seminar on "Rainforest Etiquette in a World Gone Mad" by Suprabha Seshan, Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary to be held on Tuesday, 21 March 2023, 6:30 PM (IST).

Zoom meeting link: Click here to join or https://zoom.us/j/99401712033?pwd=d2EwUzdrUC9NTFFuZEk5eXhPQXdlUT09

Title: Rainforest Etiquette in a World Gone Mad

Speaker: Suprabha Seshan, Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary


How essential is culture to the survival of nature? From my home base in western Wayanad I try to understand the behavior of a biome, through its human and nonhuman cultures. On the edge of the Wayanad plateau, an old forest tangles with infant and adolescent forests as well as depleted and suppressed forests, and mimics and imaginaries of future forests. Likewise ancient cultures tangle with infant and adolescent cultures, depleted and suppressed cultures, mimics and imaginaries of future cultures. Here is a complex and proliferating milieu of behaviors and possibilities. I call this rainforest etiquette:  advancing and retreating, covering and infiltrating, clambering and creeping, perching, huddling and snuggling, piggyback riding and leapfrogging: behaviors taking place over time and topography.  Exploring ecology, using verbs instead of nouns, can be a creative way to understand and recover health. Some behaviors enhance diversity and resilience, others kill. What once was a dangerously denuding open terrain is more a tree-based perennial polyculture now, blurring boundaries with the old forest. What is a perennial polyculture? Can nature and culture support each other and revive together? Who are the arbiters of ecological health and equity, at a landscape level? These are but some of the myriad questions that this talk tries to explore.  


Suprabha Seshan is a long-term custodian of the Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary in Wayanad, Kerala. She is primarily concerned with rainforest conservation and community-based ecological nurturance. She facilitates immersive educational programmes to rewild humans. Her essays can be found in The Indian Quarterly, Local Futures, The New Internationalist, The Journal of Krishnamurti Schools, Countercurrents.org, Scroll.in and The Economic and Political Weekly. Suprabha is a recipient of UK's Whitley Award for Nature and the Green Teacher Award from Sanctuary Nature Foundation.

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