Books have been our windows to the world for the past several centuries. When we talk about the future of the planet, books can continue to help us understand the multiplicity of approaches needed for our journey ahead.
In this series, we look at the the UN Sustainable Development Goals - the SDGs - as facets of our daily lives and not as distant landmarks in space and time. Over the next year Champaca Bookstore, Science Gallery Bengaluru and Bengaluru Sustainability Forum will curate a collection of books for you that closely relate to the themes of the SDGs. These will open up avenues of discussion to connect the SDGs and books with the city and you, the people of the city.
The first discussion takes Darren Simpson’s “Scavengers” as an entry point to SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities. How is life for people who live their entire life in the shadows of others, yet without them the city could not survive? They are vital, yet invisible to most of us most of the time. Usually the conversations around people involved in waste management (wastepickers, landfill workers) are not empowering, especially in their representation in writing, which tends to be descriptive. The YA novel by Darren Simpson, “Scavengers” allows us an ingenious approach to tackle this topic from a very different perspective.
In the first Reading For Change event, join Seema Mundoli and Lakshmi Karunakaran in conversation about "Scavengers" and SDG 11, using the book as an entry point to discuss the SDG's relevance in Bangalore, and cities all over India.
In Scavengers, old scavenger Babagoo left the city long time ago to bring up the boy Landfill in Hinterland, a post-industrial space reclaimed by nature. Landfill grows up in a world of his own until he starts breaking the rules.
About the speakers:
Seema Mundoli worked for the most part in conservation, and advocacy on issues of mining, land and forest rights, and education in tribal and rural landscapes. More recently she researches on the social and ecological interactions around urban commons especially in the current phase of increasing urbanization that the Indian cities are witnessing. She is also the co-author of the popular and critically praised Cities and Canopies, a book on trees in urban India.
Lakshmi Karunakaran is an educator and a communication professional based in Bangalore, India. She has worked with children experiencing social exclusion in government schools, special needs schools, remedial schools, and in disadvantaged communities. Through Hasiru Dala, an organization that works with informal waste pickers she currently heads the Buguri Community Library Project which is an after school library and art centre for over 700 children of waste-pickers in Bangalore, Tumkur and Mysore.