Microscopy

Week 9 // Temporary Expert

Here are the pictures I took from the microscopy we did last week.

Sprouts
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Fabrics
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Hair
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Plastic Table Top
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Dried Flower Petal
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Mini QR Codes
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Ink on Paper – a handwritten letter
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Shiny Leather Coated Fabric
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Metal Earring
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Ideas

Week 8 // Temporary Expert

I spent this week ideating the various forms that my final project could take. I examined the implications of climate change on women in developing countries. I understood gender based risk and vulnerability. I researched the impact of climate change on traditional crafts and textile based livelihoods. I looked at food and movement. I looked at the different foods becoming obsolete. Some of the ideas I thought of were:

1. Depicting individual stories of women at risk through traditional textiles using the Nakshi Kantha style of embroidery predominant in Bangladesh.

2. 3D Portraits of individuals at risk in affected regions and superimposing these images with logos of packaged foods that replace their usual farm grown foods.

3. Regular preparations without crucial ingredients : For ex. Chocolate bars without chocolate.

Ultimately I decided on the following idea:

Thinking about food itself as a climate migrant, I want to examine the juxtaposition of situations where people have moved away from their food and food away from its people, as a consequence of climate change.

I want to focus on rituals (possibly even religious rituals) around food and eating to establish the deep spiritual connection our bodies make with food – that often get disconnected when one migrates.

I imagine this to be a series of surreal objects related to food ( vessels, cutlery, rituals and the prepared food itself), for a particular region (Bangladesh for now – but I am looking at places that have more distinct rituals around food ). I see this as a participatory performance but I am thinking about ways to make it more accessible to people.

Food and Climate Change

Week 7 // Temporary Expert

Food and Climate Change

This week’s class was very crucial in my research about Climate Induced Migration and the role of Food in it. Thinking about food that is becoming obsolete due to climate change pushed me to explore the movement of food in the backdrop of people migrating.

Since my decision was to focus on Bangladesh, I was curious to know how migration impacts the eating habits of migrants from South Asia. I found a very interesting excerpt from Krishnendu Ray’s book The Migrant’s Table.

Side Note: I stopped eating almonds after learning about the production of Almonds in the United States, in this class.

Project Proposal

Week 4 // Temporary Expert

 

Concept Mapping

Last week I took all my research, ideas, misconceptions, reservations and filtered them through this concept map. It really helped me focus my intent.

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I began my process with an idea to reflect on the phenomenon of identity (the absence of it, the one that is in flux and the process of possibly forming a new one) in the journeys of Climate Migrants. Through more research I began to discover that not all migrants are left with a loss of National Identity – some migrate within their country. Different environments + socioeconomic conditions bring about different behaviors in migration.

Between debating about the legal definitions and trying to understand the different migration patterns of multiple populations, I found an underlying basic need – The desire to belong.

What does ‘belonging‘ mean in the context of Climate Induced Migration?
Climate migrants are subjected to extreme conditions that force them to migrate to another place. While certain communities and/or their governments are able to support this migration, others can only afford to have just one person from the family migrate. Sometimes they are just too scared to move, despite their hardships.

For those who move, they struggle to find their place within a new social (and geographical) construct. For those that stay, they long for their loved ones that moved away and often stay back only to be where they think they belong.

 

Project Proposal

I want to explore this state of ‘disillusionment of belonging’ in the search of one’s identity through the sense of touch. To express this, I propose the installation of a glove that the user can put their had into – which responds paradoxically to what one touches and what they feel. When one touches soil with the glove, it feels like water; when they touch water, it feels like sand – to create a certain discomfort.

The active involvement of sense of touch, seeks to create empathy for climate migrants. I decided to use soil, water and sand as the objects of tactile illusion to highlight the impact of global warming and climate change.

Reservations
The idea is a collection of inferences, and possibly some assumptions I might have made about the emotional states of climate migrants – based on my research and interviews. While I am looking for first hand accounts of those who have moved because climate change, I am curious to know if my inferences are valid enough to realize this project?

Research Update

Week 3 // Temporary Expert

Research Update : New insights on Climate Refugees

Last week, I mapped out the different aspects of my topic. This included a preliminary list of stakeholders, causes, effects, etc. Dana added a few more important points to my map.

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One of the most important aspects of defining climate refugees, is understanding the term itself. ‘Climate Refugees’ is a term that people use to refer to migrants who are forced to move from their land as a result of Climate Change. ‘Refugees’ on the other hand are defined and protected in international law as persons fleeing armed conflict or persecution. The legal definition of a Migrant and a Refugee is extremely important to my research. Here is an article that explains it explicitly.

Based on my conversation with Basundhara Tripathy, Assistant Professor and Research Project Manager at the Center for Sustainable Development (CSD), University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) I realized that climate induced migration cannot be studied as a global phenomenon – it has to be region specific. The reasons for migration depends largely on the socioeconomic conditions of the affected population.

– In Bangladesh, only the Men in the affected families migrate so they can send back money to their families. A key research subject in the study of climate induced migration is the flow of remittance. How does it help, what is the money used for, etc. Almost 2% the GDP of Bangladesh comes from remittance.

– Because the men migrate, the women of the affected families become household heads. This is a big step for conservative communities. Climate induced migration ends up empowering the women.

– Permanent Migration is very rare in these regions because most populations whose livelihoods are affected by climate change, are poor, and one needs a lot of capital to move to a new place.

Truths and Communication

Week 2 // Temporary Expert

Readings

This week’s readings talk largely about the definition of truth and the ways in which we express these truths. Jonah Lehrer, in his book Proust was a Neuroscientist, discusses the significance of art in science and conversely science in art. I believe art and science are expressions of nature. They both serve to make sense of the physical world around us and begin as an individual’s response to their curiosities. “Our reality exists in plural” – a combination of scientific reductionism and artistic investigations. Though they are fundamentally different methods to arrive at conclusions, in the context of this book, I find that artists and scientist do the exact same thing – they imagine different futures. While scientists work to prove these theories (to the world, maybe?) , artists assume a flexibility in the way they express their understanding/findings.

The Elusive Theory of Everything talks about there being multiple truths. These truths function as components of a larger truth. I imagine them as lego blocks and each combination of information brings to life a different reality. I really like these readings and their emphasis on establishing distinctive lenses to the information that one intends to present. Slow Ideas presents a wonderful case of communication of ideas. My takeaway from it is a additional lens for who the consumer of the information is. It deals with the idea of different users and to shape the tone, technique and sometimes content in order to reach them.

Climate Refugee

Week 1 // Temporary Expert

Research Topic – Climate Refugees

Climate Refugees are people who leave their homes and communities because of the effects of climate change and global warming. The most threatening potential causes of migrations caused by Climate Change are:

– The increase in the strength of tropical hurricanes and the frequency of heavy rains and flooding, due to the rise in evaporation with increased temperatures.

– The growth in the number of droughts, with evaporation contributing to a decrease in soil humidity, often associated with food shortages.

– The increase in sea levels resulting from both water expansion and melting ice.

Migration is an adaptive response of any organism. Throughout human history we have moved a lot. But the way that we have organized our societies in recent times and because of our geo-political history, this movement has become far more complex.

The term refugee has a political and sociological relevance, and does not have any legal binding for states with regard to environmental migration. The absence of a legal definition and mechanisms for resettlement of displaced populations brings about the phenomenon of ‘Statelessness’. The deprivation of nationality or a national identity due to climate migration is something I wish to further explore in my research.