Celluloid attempt to put life back into Bangalore lakes

Celluloid attempt to put life back into Bangalore lakes

 To call attention to the deteriorating condition of Bangalore’s lakes, a group of seven photographers have released a short documentary film called Bangalore Lake Diaries, which they hope will generate public momentum to save these water bodies before it is too late.

The right kind of picture may well speak a thousand words and it is this sort of visual impact that is sought by the documentarians.

The six-minute short film attempts to show the deplorable condition of 10 neglected lakes such as the Arakere Lake, Kaikondrahalli Lake, Halasuru Lake, Puttenahalli Lake, Dorekere Lake, Varthur Lake, Rajarajeshwari Nagar Lake, Somasandra Palya Lake, Uttarahalli Lake and Agara Lake.

The film was inspired by multiple photo shoots across Bangalore, which led the group to capture the damage in film. One of the photographers, Perumal Venkatesan, explained that they created the documentary after realising that Bangalore is in danger of losing all of its above-ground sources of water.

282 lakes

“In 1960, the City had 282 lakes. Today, that number has reduced to 34,” he said.
“Over 30 citizen groups across the City are working actively to rejuvenate lakes and we felt the need to undertake an initiative to do something creative which is informative as well as interesting. The photo walk we had participated in on World Water Day (March 22) further compelled us to save the water bodies.”

All principal filming and post-production for the documentary were completed in two weeks. In addition to showing the damage done to the lakes, the documentary also contains inputs from Bruhat Bangalore Mahangara Palike (BBMP) officials, lake conservation activists and citizen groups.

The documentary uses footage largely filmed by two photographers, Perumal Venkatesan and Selvaprakash L, with support from Aarti Mohan and Rathish Balakrishnan. The remaining members of the group contributed photographs of lakes.

“Kaikondrahalli Lake was one of the few lakes that has managed to remain  a lake,” explained Selvaprakash.

“On the other hand, Somasundarapalya Lake in HSR Layout is the latest in the list of vanishing lakes, and has turned very dirty. It is unfortunate that the Garden City, which was known for its lakes, is losing its pride. It was an eye-opening experience to be a part of this documentary.”

The documentary was first screened on April 26 at Thalam, an art-based camp at Domlur Layout.

“The documentary will be soon uploaded on Youtube with a Creative Commons Licence so that anyone can use it for a similar cause,” the photographers added.

They said that it is their intention to show the film to the Lake Development Authority, the Forest Department and the Bangalore Development Authority in the near future. “We will also urge them to take steps to restore the lakes,” Venkatesan said. “We are also chalking out steps to produce a series of documentaries on each lake of the City in the next couple of months.”

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