Marisa painted a large painting for the conference “Whale of a Time” at Birkbeck College, London University, that featured also an intensive selection of films, lectures and paintings on the subject of conserving oceans and rainforests.
For more on the events visit their website
Usually the discussion is on the environment and wildlife on this blog but we can be pretty wild also. Recently there were 2 programs on UK TV about WW1, the Great War as it was first known. Max Hasting and Niall Ferguson, both well known in Uk, discussed whether it would have been better for us to stay out of that conflict and whether we prolonged the agony, as it indeed was.You may find the debates online,Max Hastings case was more logically argued, Niall Ferguson rather shot himself in the foot with his arguments, that didn’t really work, and we have no idea what may have happened if we had stayed out. Human beings seem to like killing each other, it may be a method by which excess men are gotten rid of in development terms, in which case we should expect China to next erupt as they have engineered such a situation.
Instead, we see the problem coming from the Ukraine’s uprising against an unpopular ruler. At once, on comes our inbred aggression as Russia spots an opportunity for grabbing some extra territory. We have all these systems in place after the WW2 to try and behave in a civilised manner, but we go back to the wild as easily as anything. Apparently the Ukraine gave up it’s nuclear arsenal on independence with assurances against invasion, now we see what happens with unilateral disarmament. This conflict could well embroil us all in another major war, if we thought that Russia should be stopped from it’s land grab.
And there have been so many minor wars since WW2 so maybe we should swop and say that we are the wild ones and animals are the civilised ones? We are certainly destroying their environment with all these conflicts, and may end up taken over by another species, if we cannot find a resolution to our urge for combat. It was recently the anniversary of Darwinism and I was interested to see that P.Kropotkin’s Mutual Aid Theory has been re published. It was just myself, I think, that found and read it’s dusty self while at college. Here we have a completely different take on evolution to the one that became prevalent. Kropotkin was a geographer primarily, although known as an anarchist, and mapped uncharted Siberia. His observations among really wild animals was that species that co operated were more successful than just the predators. When humans do this they achieve so much but all this can be lost by our dark, what Christianity teaches as “fallen”, side.
Let us hope that we can not follow these traits and have even more conflict, Thracymacus, a Plato dialogue demolished Justice as being the interest of the Stronger, in antiquity, and we need to grow up.
The floods have been a long time coming but are, of course, exacerbated by our building on floodplains, failing to dredge rivers and the draining of peat bogs. There are so many competing aims; people want homes so flood plains are built on as it is cheaper for developers than clearing brown field sites or refurbishing existing stock.
As soon as this event is over, there will again be a push to carry on with this as we operate on a push me pull you form of Government.
Having studied so much about this and understanding the issues and what needs doing, I feel I should apply for the job of chairing the Environment Agency, although these jobs are usually a shoe in for time served.
So I will be posting up some pics done for an exhibition in France last June. These are of storks that migrate across the mountains down in the Eastern Pyrenees and some that stopped and made a nest. Then will return to the topic of peat bogs which sink and store much CO2 , Methane and of course water.
This picture shows how the Grey Whales have made an amazing recovery since the ban on Whaling was introduced and now only have to run the gauntlet of killer whales in their migration from the Artic to the Baja Penninsula off Mexico each year.There is some debate as to whether they feed while in the lagoons where they calve and I have painted them indeed feeding while there. They are bottom feeders and scoop up large amounts from the sea bed and filter it to glean small crustaceans and other food through their baleen. A large eco tourism has evolved to allow people to have close encounters with these wonderful creatures, WDS should have lists of ones working within sustainable guidleines.
Hopefully will be doing something to help with “Other Asias” before the end of the month.It seems unbelievable that such an arid country could have such floods leading to such suffering and devastation.What could have caused them? Is it overlogging in the Himalayas? Climate change moving weather patterns?
There are floods also in China, could they be linked? We need to have a clearer idea of what has caused them in order to safeguard against re occurrence and then see what can be done to help prevent another catastrophe.
In Britain there are often yearly floods on a much milder level but both here and abroad it should not be beyond the environment agencies to study methods such as used in Holland in order to know how to build against disaster.
Could extra reservoirs be built with sluices that could open and run off an amount of flood water? We all need water and that would store it for future use.It would be great to hear comments from those working in the field.
“What is a ‘Culture Artist?’
Deep Ecology is the principle that humanity cannot be separated from the environment; that human beings and nature are one and the same. Somewhere along the way, humankind seems to have forgotten that we aren’t separate from nature.
Since our culture at present revolves more around material wealth and accumulation than family, friends and the environment around us, some of us feel that we need to modify our culture to make room for nature; to return to our roots.
Those of us who use the principles of Deep Ecology to make cultural change are artists working with the medium of culture itself: we are Culture Artists, working to change the world for the better.”
This is a quotation from this interesting site where my site is featured. One often thinks that Americans are only interested in slash and burn but here one can see there are thoughtful ones too. Also the Solar Power Stations are set to take off in California if they can handle the rare animals that live on the projected sites. It is a great to be site of the month with Cultural Artist who share many of the aims of my own work.
My work on Solar Power and the Indus River Dolphin has come to London as part of “Other Asias” and is being exhibited through;
New paintings on my web site; http://www.sustainableart.co.uk
The following two articles are from the conference held recently in Lahore Pakistan on “Re-doPakistan” ,organised through;
The Indus River Dolphin
There is a wonderful rare dolphin in the Indus River that could become extinct as in the Yantese River in China. These animals are a good indication of the health of the river, if they die out it shows that too much water has been siphoned off and also that it could be polluted. They are also part of the heritage of Pakistan, a joy for our children to see and a source of pride and income from tourism for the local people. Various groups are trying to look after them and their web addresses etc are included below.
These paintings were inspired originally by a large work done for the group WDCS, in Speyside, where the indigenous dolphins that live in the Moray Firth in Scotland are at risk from drilling for oil in their habitat. My painting can be seen there and the charity uses the image to help raise funds. It led to researching the dolphins in Pakistan and hoping that people will want to preserve Indus River ones for future generations.
Marisa Rehana Samiullah Mann
Pakistan Wetlands Program: http://www.pakistanwetlands.org
This group is helping people and dolphins showing how less water and agrochemicals can be used in growing rice and cotton
an image and write up about the dolphin
An Urdu speaking group
This group helps local people ;
http://indusdolphin.org.pk/about/urdu/urdu_01.asp [urdu version]
http://indusdolphin.org.pk/river_dolphins/ [some also seen near Amritsar]
“Tragedy of the Yangtze Dolphin” New Scientist, 15 September 2007,UK,Lacon House,84 Theobald’s Road, London, WCIX8NS