Promising Greener Futures - Bandi River Action / Brydee Rood 2012 - 2013 / Sowing Seeds International Artist in Residence Camp, Jetpur Village, Rajasthan India. The stench, the encrusted greenish chemical build up flanking the riversides, the black-green waters and the unnervingly quiet lack of wildlife of Bandi River inspired this action. Together the Sowing Seeds artists carried this action; standing quietly meditative, holding the cloth, breathing in the noxious air, the souls of our collective footwear pushing into the upper crust of that alien chemical sand. Promising Greener Futures generated a flurry of media attention and visibility; a mere gesture in the potential of a promised greener future and a fervent wish for change.
Over the course of 48 hours, with the support of the village chief I pulled together a length of white cloth and green paint. Aided by Anant Kumar and Neeraj Patel I hand painted a simple text in English “Promising Greener Futures...” and in Hindi “Hariyali Hi Bhaavi Jivan Hai...” The text suggests our human failures, our ability to promise change and fail repeatedly in our delivery. The political context of the Bandi River shifts responsibilities, its toxic water never finding purity between the textile factory owners illegally dumping untreated chemical waste directly into its flow and from what I grasped (following many discussions and translations) a law which states that dumping untreated waste is illegal and yet there is a governmental failure in enforcing it. In a quiet ritual extension of the act, I folded up the banner, tying it with string, casting it adrift in the Bandi River and leaving it for a few days to grow fetid. Upon retrieving my carefully folded “promise” I found it to be a putrid, foul, mottled grayish and blackened flop.
Images courtesy of Brydee Rood