The Case of the Missing Species

The Case of the Missing Species

Venue Across Panjim
Discipline Public Arts
Project by Amche Mollem

Date 15 Dec | 16 Dec | 17 Dec | 18 Dec | 19 Dec | 20 Dec | 21 Dec | 22 Dec | 23 Dec
Time 05:00 pm - 07:00 pm

The Amche Mollem citizen’s movement has been driven by citizen action since 2020, positioning art and culture right alongside scientific and legal strategies. A collective dream, it has created spaces for Goans from all walks of life to express their relationship to the natural world through art. The movement focuses on protecting the integrity of the 150-million-year-old Western Ghats from three destructive mega infrastructure projects - a high tension transmission line, the doubling of a railway track, and highway expansion.

The Case of the Missing Species highlights the inadequacy of data and facts that inform arbitrary decisions to destroy forests. The key species that are an important part of the biodiverse region of Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park were ironically excluded from the previous Environment Impact Assessments (EIA) study. Despite these gaping scientific holes, this was approved by the State and National Government in 2020.

EIAs are meant to study the impact of such projects on the ecology of a protected area. In response to the flawed EIAs submitted, scientists and researchers from this region conducted a peer review that was published in the Journal of Threatened Taxa (JOTT) 2020 that highlighted these gaps.

Many species were not mentioned, but several stand out as baffling omissions such as the commonly found and celebrated state animal, Gaur, and the newly discovered Goan shadow dancer (Idionyx gomantakensis), a rare endemic dragonfly species whose minute range of habitat falls within the proposed double tracking project. This is just a fraction of the biodiversity erased from the EIA study.

The Case of the Missing Species is an interactive public art installation that stems from absent science-based facts that are used to make decisions detrimental to Goa’s future. It brings large scale sculptural depictions of these majestic, ethereal creatures that were omitted from the EIAs, to the heart of Goa’s capital city. Through the act of sharing and collaboration, this installation will be completed over the duration of the festival by citizens and visitors alike. Together we will unravel the fraught hidden world of these beings and our own relationship to their survival.
The artists of Amche Mollem are citizens first and work in collaboration with multiple stakeholders. Through visual storytelling, they illuminate complex scientific research and legal concepts, while explaining systems of governance. The ongoing campaign has led to positive reinforcements in citizen participation and conclusive legal outcomes. The transmission line was successfully realigned and the railway environmental clearance was revoked by the Supreme Court. Citizens still await the highway expansion verdict. However, in spite of these landslide rulings, the Rail Vikas Nigam Limited plans on conducting a fresh EIA to resurrect the double tracking project.
Future Full Of Forests: The People's Festival
A Future Full of Forests will host, over two days, a series of scheduled talks and performances bringing to you stories from two years of a vibrant people’s movement - Amche Mollem. Join us at Garcia da Orta for exciting events centred around science, music and citizenship, and engage with people who share a deep relationship with Goa’s biodiversity and natural world.

The People's Festival Programme*
17 December 2022, Saturday | 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM - Scientist’s Share
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM - Earthsongs for Mollem
18th December 2022, Sunday | 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM- Community, Citizenship & Mental Health
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM- Earthsongs for Mollem
*Stay tuned on our social media handles for a detailed festival programme.

Venue : ‘Municipal Garden / Garcia de Orta’
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