Ganges Water Machine: Designing New India’s Ancient River
Date: Tuesday 24 November 2015
Venue: AA Bookshop
Beyond the dense urbanism of Mumbai (Bombay) and the technology centres of Bangalore and Hyderabad lies the Ganges River basin: a fertile alluvial plain of 1.1 million square kilometres in area, which is today home to over one-quarter of India's billion-plus population. While most of the basin sits within India, it extends into present day Bangladesh, Nepal, and Tibet. Not only is the area one of the most densely populated river basins in the world, but every year it also undergoes radical physical changes. With the arrival of the southwest monsoon between late-June and late-August, over one metre of rainfall drenches northern India. And, what is more, despite these drastic seasonal changes and population density, the basin remains agriculturally productive.
This book focuses on the overlaps and juxtapositions of these three conditions: Population Density -Monsoon - Agriculture. Reaching through the very heart of some of India's most densely populated cities, small towns, industrial zones, sacred sites, and mountainous forests, Ganges Water Machine by Anthony Acciavatti, composed of eight years of field and archival research, explores and theorises about the people and infrastructures that shaped this territory. Ganges Water Machine is an atlas of the enterprise to make the Ganges River basin into a highly engineered landscape: it reveals the narratives and explanations that allowed engineers and planners to realise fantasies previously only imaginable on paper or in myth.
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