According to the Madras Terecentenary Volume, the structure, known to all as de Havilland’s Bulwark, formed the foundation on which the Beach Road, fronting the Fort runs. So, obviously, with the building of the harbour, the sea receded and the road was built on the bulwark.In 1967, when a subway was built to connect North Beach and South Beach Roads, excavations revealed the Madras Bulwark. More of it surfaced in 1978 when the area near the Beach Station was dug up. No doubt, the ongoing Metro Rail work will throw up some more bits of the Bulwark.
In 2007, a few months after Thomas Hawk, Robert Scoble and Trevor Carpenter created/began the photowalk concept, I organised one in Madras. 38 months and about 55 photowalk later, I am going to talk to you about it.
Did we stand up because tree branches/fruits were out of our reach as quadrupeds? Did we stand up because food was scarce, energy had to be conserved; standing presented less surface area to the harsh climates of Africa?
Class: Mammalia Order: Primates Family: Hominidae Genus: Homo Species: H. sapiens Subspecies: H. s. sapiensAnd migrated. And colonised the world.
David Jordan: UCSD, Making of the modern world, evolutionary pressures for bipedalism: narrower pelvis means better locomotion, bone conservation, less likely to break. Price: birth canal narrowed, hence greater risk for fetus. And mother.Child has to look up to a bigger, better, powerful entity for its survival. Hence – religion?
All this is because, ultimately, we all would like to know who we are and why we are here. (I know. Free lunch, and to get out of office.)And, for india/indians, an idea of how to perhaps do things better in the future.
History: from ἱστόριονFrom the proto-indo-europeanwid-tor. Meaning to know.
Communicating knowledge acquired from different sources, abstracting, metaphor-making and connecting these varied streams of knowledge, is essential.VS Ramachandran – the idea of metaphors, synesthesia. Why shouldn’t our brains be prone to greater wiring-together of the parts?
Of tragic poetry and comedy – the two principal elements of drama, play. Of film and TV.
Idea for India: cities with teams that work on understanding its history. Team to be made of multi-disciplinary members. Idea for India: Schools and universities to work with teams, learn how to appreciate history. Dig in the school. Dig in your neighbourhood. Go to museums. Talk to people, find out. And put a show. Make a film.
Ancient Light for Madras Day
Madras Bulwark<br />A photo of de Havilland’s <br />
#punmozhi<br />1800 years old, and still turns heads. <br />
Michel De Certeu – Practice of Everyday Life. <br />The flaneur – Walking the City. <br />Does the city exist already, or is it created by the act of walking it? <br />Are we experiencing the city? Or creating it?<br />
Why do humans walk?<br />Did we walk because we stood up? Why did we stand up? <br />
What happened? We walked. #punmozhi<br />Freed up our hands to manipulate tools – such as the Olduwan stone chopper. Or a Nikon D80.<br />Deer and other game could outrun us in the short-term, but quickly lost stamina. Had to rest. Us homos, we walked slowly, but surely. And caught up with the game. <br />
What happened? We walked. #punmozhi<br />Our brains had gotten bigger. Our heads swelled up. So we couldn’t be born properly. We were all premature births.<br />But.<br />Abstraction. Religion. Organisation of societies.<br />Art.<br />
Where’s all this going to?<br />V.S Ramachandran<br />David Jordan & Matthew Herbst<br />Alan Fletcher<br />Leonardo da Vinci<br />
MULTIDISCIPLINARY – The RENAISSANCE MAN<br />Painting: Apollo Dancing with the Nine Muses, by Francesco Bartolozzi.<br />Source http://www.mjt.org/intro/muses.htm<br />
The Muse Clio<br />A greater understanding of the past<br />
A greater understanding<br />Informing, for better interaction<br />A connection<br />Although, compromises have to be made with heritage<br />To what extent do we preserve heritage?<br />http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=135532516468070&v=app_2392950137&ref=ts#!/video/video.php?v=424120696645&oid=135532516468070<br />
Clio - History<br />History out of text books, on the streets.<br />John Keay, Archaeology, Time Team, digging, doing, learning.<br />Walking. <br />
The Muse Calliope<br />And a better understanding of the present<br />
Minerva and her muses<br />Painting: Minerva and the muses, by Rottenhammer. <br />Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rottenhammer,_Minerva_and_the_Muses.jpg<br />
Writing, talking, photographing, communicating.<br />It’s not enough to know something. It’s important to tell folks what you know, and show why that knowledge is important.<br />Is it?<br />Opening doors, bad pun, I know.<br />
The Muses Melpomene and Thalia<br />Putting on a show<br />
Questions, disciplines<br />Are we creating the city <br />Or are we experiencing/living it?<br />To understand history<br />Archaeology<br />Anthropology<br />Architecture<br />Sociology<br />Urban design<br />Economics<br />Politics<br />Drama, film, television<br />
Finding Madras in Chennai.<br />The Chennai PhotoWalk<br />
Clive kissed me on the brow<br />I grew up in Madras. It always came last, meekly following Bombay, Calcutta & Delhi. (The New conveniently left out.)<br />And then, 1996. Madras became Chennai. And Bombay became Mumbai and the world order changed. Calcutta soon became Kolkata and poor Bangalore became Bengalooru. <br />
Brooding on ancient fame<br />I grew up loving history, in-spite of the best efforts of my history teacher. <br />Stumbled upon S. Muthiah’s book – Madras Discovered – and his columns in the Hindu<br />And here I am. <br />
St. Mary’s Church, 1st Chennai PhotoWalk<br />Streynsham Master’s 1680 construction gave Yale his name, and the world the university.<br />
Withered beldame? No more.<br />The point is – Madras or Chennai – this is one of the best cities I’ve seen.<br />The Chennai Photowalk is my way of forcing my opinion (of Chennai) down others’ throats. <br />It’s simple really. Walk with me. With us. Look Madras, or Chennai, through our eyes.<br />
Velu, spotted on the 2nd Chennai PhotoWalk<br />Came from Thirunelveli to Madras. Found a life, a livelihood. Stayed on.<br />
Wonderful kisses<br />There’s no club. No application forms. No entry fees.<br />Come if you have a camera. Come if you don’t. <br />There’s immense potential in this city, if only we tap it.<br />
Archaeology: For, By and to the people<br />Ancient Light<br />
Public and Community Archaeology<br />Get non-archaeologists, people like you and me, more interested and involved in history, in heritage, in archeology<br />Build better understanding of how the past shapes the present<br />Make archaeology less of an Ivory-Tower pursuit<br />Support laws to preserve the past and its evidence<br />
The ANCIENT LIGHT way<br />Get the internet involved<br />Bring archaeology to the people, because the prophet does not have time to go to the mountain<br />Make archaeology and history – heritage - fun with photowalks<br />Bring photowalkers to archaeology, and thus archaeology to the www<br />
How, Where, what and when<br />Ancient Light<br />
Tools<br />Facebook group – acted as blog/forum/mailing list<br />http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=135532516468070<br />(Or, simply search for Ancient Light group on Facebook.)<br />
Tools<br />Flickr group – store of photos, information, tags<br />http://www.flickr.com/groups/ancientlight<br />
Photowalk 1: Berkeley Castle<br />Berkeley Castle: Part of UoB Archaeology field school.<br />Photowalk on June 2, 2010 <br />About 15 people in the walk<br />
Photowalk 2: Exmoor<br />Another UoB Archaeology dig, in Hawkcombe Head, Exmoor<br />Photowalk on July 18, 2010<br />About 20 people in the walk<br />
Photowalk 3: Bangalore<br />An old temple complex outside Bangalore City, India<br />Photowalk on August 1, 2010<br />About 15 people in the walk<br />
Photowalk 4: Bristol<br />Led by Prof. Mark Horton, UoB, tracing the birth and growth of Bristol<br />Photowalk on August 20, 2010<br />About 25 people in the walk<br />