A five-hour performance in the archives of Bombay Natural History Society in Bombay, India 2020. The performance included reading to, looking at, dusting off and being with the Indian vulture in the process of caring for the birds and including them in a conversation about their potential extinction. Photo credit: Yogesh Barve
In the past 15 years, India’s vulture population has declined by 99% owing to digesting diclofenac through cattle carcasses. There are currently thought to be around 100, 000 vultures left in India, compared with 40 million of them in the 1980’s. Throughout history, numerous human societies - including current day Parsee communities in India - utilise exposure to vultures as the most appropriate way of “taking care” of their dead. The decline of the vulture is a strong example of how the decline of a specific species affects human society and how humans impact the natural world.
This performance was created during an artist residency at Clark House Initiative in Mumbai and through the generous support from IASPIS (Swedish Arts Grants Committee) and Helge Ax:son Johnsons Stiftelse.