BENGALURU: When you enter the premises of the music festival, Echoes of Earth, happening this weekend at Embassy International School, a 45-metre long shiny metallic fish will be hard to miss. And that is the whole point of the installation, says Naren Sreenivasan, an ecologist at the Wildlife Association of South India.
The fish, modelled after the Humpback Mahseer species, is made of various scrap materials but with two different themes on both sides. Around 60 tyres and 4,000 discarded CDs went into the making of the fins of the model. Upon a closer look, you will probably find a picture of your favourite artiste on one of the CDs. While this was on one side of the fish, the other side has a theme of steel punk which was made of metal sheet and spare parts of old bikes.
“The idea was to come up with something out of scrap, so we got in touch with various scrap dealers and people who deal with electronic waste,” says Nithin Sadhu, who was one of the creative minds behind this project.
“You can see the old chain from my old motorcycle, a shock absorber from someone’s bike, etc,” says Sreenivasan. In various places, they have also used fishing nets which were discarded in the Cauvery river. People can walk through the huge metallic fish, where pictures taken by different wildlife photographers on fresh water conservation will be displayed.
Apart from Sreenivasan and Sadhu, the other two people of the core part of the team were Rahul K P and Shivakumar. Believe it or not, putting together the whole piece took around 10 days. “Even I was quite surprised that the major part was completed in 10 days, but conceptualising the whole thing took a few months. Bangalore Creative Circus (BCC), a city-based art house, helped us a lot by providing tools and organising a workshop,” says Sreenivasan, who also mentioned that they had around 60 volunteers coming over the weekend to help them out.
But why Humpback Mahseer? “I feel there has been a lot of attention around popular species and their conservation, which is great. But people hardly know about Humpback Mahseer, which is around 63 kg and one of the few heavier species in the freshwater system. There has been a decline in its number since 1980s. I want to throw light on this issue,” says Sreenivasan. Humpback Mahseer, a native to Cauvery river, is a migratory fish. For them to survive, they need to be in flowing water in different terrains. With so many dams and barrages in the Cauvery basin, there are spots with stagnant water, because of which, it is difficult for them to survive.
After the festival, the 45-metre fish will be moved to BCC, where it will be displayed for around 100 days. Later, it will be donated to a wildlife sanctuary to spread awareness.