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September 2023 Issue 29

The environment and the economy are really both two sides of the same coin. If we cannot sustain the environment, we cannot sustain ourselves.
– Wangari Maathail

In an era marked by swift industrialisation, urbanisation, and the exploitation of resources, the wisdom of Wangari Maathai, a notable Kenyan advocate for social, environmental, and political causes, resounds as a pertinent reflection on the complex interplay between the environment and the economy. The idea of sustainability surpasses mere ecological considerations; it encompasses a comprehensive balance between environmental soundness, economic advancement, and societal welfare. Maathai’s affirmation underscores the essential concept that the well-being of the environment and economic prosperity are interconnected facets, each reliant on the other for continual survival. The significance of transitioning from a linear economic model of “take-make-waste” to a circular economy represents a deliberate embrace of principles that seek to curtail and recycle resource consumption, while also mitigating the ecological repercussions.

A fortuitous meeting with Uthra Rajgopal, a vanguard of South Asian contemporary arts dedicated to textiles, sparked a discussion on textiles and the possibility of an issue that would explore its various layers, especially around the representation of the body. After discussions spread over almost a year, the theme took a turn, laying the groundwork for the advent of the 29th edition of TAKE Sustainability. As the scope expanded, the need to broaden the discourse and our horizon became evident and this prompted the invitation to Bandana Tewari, a Sustainability Activist and one of the most respected voices in Fashion, to curate the introductory segment of the issue.

Cultural sustainability, specifically, emerges as a pivotal element in upholding the essence of societies and securing the enduring legacy of human heritage for posterity. Its significance extends beyond the preservation of artefacts confined within museums or historical sites; it involves a dynamic process that empowers communities to protect their cultural heritage while adapting to the evolving dynamics of the modern world. This process necessitates the acknowledgement of the innate value of diverse cultures and the protection of the rights of indigenous populations to uphold their distinctive ways of life. This endeavour orbits around the preservation of traditions, languages, customs, arts, and intangible rituals that define the identity of a community.

Co-edited by Bandana Tewari and Uthra Rajgopal, this issue spotlights responsible consumption and collaborative endeavours that guide societies toward harmonious coexistence, benefiting both the environment and humanity. Tewari’s co-editorial note emphasizes nurturing a deep comprehension of reconnection and resilience to counteract degenerative development’s effects and secure a viable future for generations.

—Bhavna Kakar, Editor’s Note, TAKE Sustainability

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Editor's Note

Co-Editor's Note


Cultural Sustainability: A Just Transition from Ego to Eco and the Way to Craft a Sustainable Future for All

Amplifying Culture, Humanity and Sustainability

Imperfection and Sustainability

Crafting Tomorrow

Sonam Tashi Gyaltsen

Jeanne de Kroon

Huma Adan

Co-Editor's Note- Uthra Rajgopal

The Black Gold Tapestry: An Epic Yarn

Uthra Rajgopal in conversation with Ibrahim Mahama Jute: Unlocking the Grid

Ruxmini Reckvana Q Choudhury

Fluctuating Fortunes - Ladakh and the Production of Pashmina Fibre

Wholesome Utopia of Sustainability: Living and Learning Design Centre, Bhuj

Hidden in Plain Sight

From Mills to Museums: Pioneering South Asian Textile Artists

The Elephant in the Room

A Changing World

Reflection, Perception and Distortion: A Three-Way Guide to Sunil Gawde's It Goes On

Then, Now and Everything In Between: Mapping South Asia through Artistic Explorations in the Popular

The Simultaneous Narrative: Engaging with the multi-narratives of artist Shrimanti Saha

I have a secret to tell...

Apparatus at Play explores Nepalese entangled history through a contemporary lens

Nuanced Expressions

Weaving a World: Kanishka Raja's Ground Control

Nasreen Mohamedi: Singularity and Sociability

Mül Mäthi // from the roots. A Keen Postscript

Eyes in the Sky: Gaze on Afghanistan

Kolikatar Nokshi-Kotha: Tracing a River Beyond its Existence

The Dream of an Idiot

Unmaking Mithu Sen: Of interventions, the now, and the museum

Imprinting Nature: Simryn Gill's Naga Doodles

Dhaka Art Summit: Indigenisation, Social Relations and Beyond

First Feminist Metal Mosaic Sculpture Looms in Lower Manhattan

Engaging Nature, Encountering Space: South Asian Landscape on Display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art

A Certain Homecoming

For, In Your Tongue, I Cannot Fit: Encounters with Prison

Unframed: Discovering Image Practices in South Asia

Sudhir Patwardhan: Walking Through Soul City

Paper Trails: Modern Indian Works on Paper from the Gaur Collection

Bhavna Kakar in conversation with Esme Ward and Nusrat Ahmed South Asia Gallery, Manchester Museum: Reimagines Linear South Asian Art History

Kunal Ray in conversation with Atul Dodiya Cinema Has Made Me Think and Rethink What I Know

Manan Shah in conversation with Leticia Marranghello 200 Years and Counting: Brasilia, Art and Architecture

Saloni in conversation with Sandhini Poddar and Sabih Ahmed Rewind and Replay: Exploring the exhibition Notation on Time

Interwoven Threads of Identity: Self-Exploratory Narratives in the Experimenter Curators' Hub 2022

Reflecting on my Residency Process

Fly on the Wall

Vivan Sundaram (1943-2023)

Experiential Narrative Performance - My Cloak Made of Colour, Air and Songs

Shaheen Merali