Two Complimentary Journeys—Sentient Ecology and Indigenous Heartlands

by Team TNF

About the Authors...

Researched, photographed by and written by Ramya Reddy

Ramya Reddy is a professional photographer for over 10 years, drawn especially to blurring lines between physical and imaginary worlds. Growing up in a family with interests in the photography business was an education in itself but Ramya also studied the photographic arts at the Light and Life Academy, Ooty; Santa Fe Workshops, New Mexico.

She is the author of the book, Soul of the Nilgiris, a photographic anthology that captures the authentic soul of the beautiful ‘Blue Mountain’ range deep in the Western Ghats of Southern India called the Nilgiris. Artfully, through photographs, art, and creative prose which is a combination of ancient wisdom and personal narratives interwoven with folklore and real stories, the book explores the region’s true and treasured cultural, spiritual, artistic, and ecological traditions, with active involvement from the experts in the area and importantly, the indigenous community, which has been a vital component of the project.

Author - Godwin Vasanth Bosco presents ground-breaking evidence of these capacities existing in a remarkable mountainous landscape in India, called the Nilgiris

Godwin Vasanth Bosco is the lead conservation gardener and researcher with Upstream Ecology (UE). Growing up in the vast Theosophical Society campus, attending The School KFI in Chennai, nurtured the naturalist in him. It was a sprawling lush campus in the middle of a populated urban centre.  His journey after school took him to Finland to study environmental engineering, whereas as an inventor, he holds two patents in alternative technology. Unable to resist the call, he returned to his native landscape. He then attended a programme at the Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary to study the ecology of mountainous landscapes. Here, his deep bond for this form of learning took form. Returning to the Nilgiris, he decided to work against the destruction of native ecology. Many years of engaging with the landscape allowed him to observe the rapid effects of climate change and related causes on ecology. Thus began the journey to find solutions at the grass-root level and work for the change needed.

He is the author of the book, Voice of a Sentient Highland. Based on his nine years of in-depth research, the book, Voice of a Sentient Highland captures the colossal story of the Nilgiris. Underlying geological processes are found working in volition, along with a myriad of plant ecological dynamics, to depict crucial patterns for the whole world. The story and explication of the stark patterns are woven together with images and illustrations into a rich visual narrative. The evidence presented is scientific, yet simple, and thus widely comprehensible.

Authors Ramya Reddy and Godwin Vasanth Bosco share their thoughts about their journeys in the Nilgiris

In this event, the two authors converse with Andrew, Professor of Anthropology, Cornell University, who is a part of Nilgiri Field Learning Center with Keystone and Cornell; Pratim Roy, Founder-Director, Keystone Foundation and The Nilgiris Foundation and Janagiamma, senior Kurumba healer and Managing Director, Aadhimalai. Here the authors share their journey in the Nilgiris, what made them start their research there and how they have worked in the communities to promulgate a deeper and urgent understanding of nature and indigenous culture.