Our city’s very identity and its cosmopolitan fabric have been shaped by its relationship with the Sea. NGMA Mumbai and Ministry of Culture, Government of India and Avid Learning present a panel discussion that will address a whole gamut of issues and viewpoints related to the sea as addressed by historians and activists and appropriated by artists.Join Author and Mumbai History Fellow at Gateway House Sifra Lentin, Artist Meera Devidayal, Cartoonist Paul Fernandes, Curator, Maritime History Society, Mumbai Commodore Odakkal Johnson and Co-Founder at Marine Life of Mumbai Pradip Patade who will be in conversation with Archaeologist Kurush Dalal.This discussion will touch upon Maritime trade and the city’s earliest formed identity, that of a port, as well as its synergies, influences and cross dialogues with similar port cities. This talk will address the use of The Sea as a Protagonist in the work of artists and as represented in print. These experts will also discuss local marine ecosystems of our city’s coastline while taking cognizance of environmental crises and polluting factors which are impacting the water body that has nurtured us for centuries. Join us for a fascinating discussion that will engage with our city’s defining Maritime history and discuss contemporary issues and solutions to preserve the most precious natural resource that envelops our island city.
Sifra Lentin is a Mumbai-based writer and historian, and the Mumbai History Fellow at Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations. She graduated in English from Elphinstone College, Mumbai, and went on to complete her Bachelor’s in General Law (BGL) from the Government Law College, Mumbai. She has written for a wide spectrum of Bombay-based newspapers and magazines – most notably Mid-Day, The Times of India, The Sunday Observer, Hindustan Times, Taj Magazine, JetWings and One India One People. She has also been published in two books: MARG’s ‘Indian Jewish Heritage – Ritual, Life-Cycle & Art’(2002), and One India One People’s book on Communities of India (2006). Her recent work has been the Indian Navy’s Western Fleet coffee table book ‘A Salute To The Sword Arm – A Photo Essay On The Western Fleet’ (April 2007). She is also on the Board of Trustees of the Sir Jacob Sassoon School (Byculla, Mumbai)Read more
Meera Devidayal Being an essentially urban person, her paintings are grounded in the plethora of images that a city throws up. Her early work in the seventies took a humorous look at everyday life, blurring the boundaries between the sacred and the profane, gods-and-goddesses and screen-idols with interchangeable faces featuring as calendar pictures and pin-ups, gods behind bars in bathroom-tiled temples. Her attempt has always been, and still continues, to turn the 'found image' into a visual metaphor, and charge it with a new meaning. Over the years, the images which seduced her have changed, disappeared, and even resurrected in a transformed state; but always, the grey area between appearance and reality in the human situation, has been central to her work. Some of her references have come from family photographs, newspaper pictures, and film posters; while objects and places were chosen for their associative and resonant quality. She has done many solo and group shows in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkotta, Baroda and Muscat. The city as a dream-destination of the migrant from the village, who gets lured into the web of seemingly limitless opportunity, without seeing its swampy underbelly, is reproduced in her recent video at her solo, Where I live (2009) at Chemould Prescott Road. The other works in this show, on recycled metal sheet, explore a range of players who straddle the two worlds and make life work with the help of a dream.Read more
Commodore Odakkal Johnson is the Curator, Maritime History Society, Mumbai. A Maritime Professional for over 34 years, he was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 03 Aug 1987, after attaining the qualification of a Second Mate Certificate in the Merchant Navy. A Navigation and Aircraft Direction Specialist, he is an alumnus of Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, and of College of Naval Warfare, Karanja. In addition to key Command and Staff Appointments over a range of Naval Units, the officer has undertaken significant work in Military Wargaming as also in Leadership-cum-Behavioural Studies. He is a qualified Interviewing Officer for the Services Selection Board. A Ph.D. in Civics and Politics, Cmde Johnson is a visiting faculty at University of Mumbai, Department of Civics and Politics and at the Naval War College, Goa. He has presented a number of papers on India’s Maritime Heritage. He has authored a Book titled “Timeless Wake – The Legacy of Royal Indian Navy in World War II” and co-edited a compilation called, “Essays in Maritime Studies – Vol III,” both published by Maritime History Society, Mumbai in 2013 and 2016 respectively. He has in the last six years, practiced counselling service and in addition provided career and life calling profiling to over 100 teenagers and young adults.Read more
Paul Fernandes was born in 1958. He schooled in St. Joseph's Boys School Bangalore. He later studied art at the Faculty of Fine Art, M.S. University Vadodara. He is one of Bangalore's better known illustrators and cartoonists. He has a prolific oeuvre of creative and commercial art and has found interest in varied subjects resulting in two galleries in Mumbai and Bangalore showcasing his work. Among the books he has illustrated and authored are: Shine Boards Arts - For Tame Pass. A compilation of authentic street signs to enjoy and appreciate the fast disappearing special skills of the commercial sign board artist; On a High Note - A Highly Inebriated Introduction to Western Classical Music; Bangalore - Swinging in the 70's - a nostalgic slice of life in a city gone past, featuring 70 Watercolours paintings; CoastLine - An Amuseum of Mumbai Musings (with a quick trip down the coast for good measure). This coffee table book was launched in January 2019 in Mumbai. Paul Fernandes now lives and works as a cartoonist in Bangalore, IndiaRead more
Pradip Patade is a watersports instructor and marine biology enthusiast. Pradip has nine years of field experience and leads shore walks to raise awareness about Maharashtra’s marine biodiversity. Intimately familiar with the shores of South Mumbai, he has been documenting the biodiversity and threats to these shores for several years now. His long-term aim of bringing these little-known details to the notice of Mumbai's citizens and decision-makers is what drives the Marine Life of Mumbai initiative.Read more
Dr. Kurush Dalal is Assistant Professor (Archaeology) at the University of Mumbai. He did his BA in AIHC and History (Univ of Mumbai) and my MA in Archaeology (Pune University). His PhD was on the Early Iron Age in Rajasthan (Pune University). Subsequently he shifted my focus to the Early Medieval Period (predominantly) on the West Coast of India and have excavated the sites of Sanjan and Chandore. These sites have completely changed the way we see the West Coast of India between the Early Medieval and Colonial Periods. The huge quantities and varieties of ceramics, coins and glass of West Asian and Chinese origins identified by the team have created a seriation which allows new chronological attributions to sites. This database has now allowed archaeologists to identify over 25 coastal sites belonging to the Early Medieval Period. As of the last three years he is the Co-Director of the Salsette Explorations Project, a massive Urban Archaeology Project documenting the Archaeology of Mumbai. He also actively works on Memorial Stones and Ass-curse Stones in India; he dabbles in Numismatics, Defence Archaeology and Architecture, Ethnoarchaeology and allied disciplines. As of the last five years he has taken a keen interest in researching Culinary Anthropology and Food Archaeology. He has published 2 edited volumes and 29 peer reviewed academic articles, he has also successfully guided 2 MA Dissertations. He currently teaches Archaeology and allied disciplines at the Centre for Extra-Mural Studies, University of Mumbai.Read more