Want to know how an art installation in Goa is drawing attention to mangroves?

Mangroves are essential to the ecology. Sadly, they are often considered weeds, and are, thus, on the road to extinction.
The art installation of prayer flags in Merces, on the Panjim-Bambolim highway, aims to draw attention to mangroves

The art installation of prayer flags in Merces, on the Panjim-Bambolim highway, aims to draw attention to mangroves

Gomantak Times

On the newly-widened Panjim-Bambolim highway, in Goa, when you reach Merces, you will come across a sad scene. While there are mangroves on both sides of the road, at this particular section, near Merces, a major chunk of the mangroves is dead. The exact reason for the devastation of this patch of mangroves is not known.


Mangroves are an integral part of the ecosystem. They are the breeding grounds for fish, and make for an accessible repository to study the symbiotic relationship shared by specific mammals, birds (both local and migratory), reptiles and a host of aquatic species in their natural habitat — the only place they can call home.

These forests also buffer us from climatic disasters, and thus, any damage to them or chopping down these forests to build highways, bridges or other development projects, can have huge implications in the times to come.

Goa’s mangroves are among the twelve unique mangrove forests in India that have been selected for better conservation by the Mangrove Society of India.

As cities and metastasizing suburbs forsake their natural diversity, and their citizens grow more removed from personal contact with nature, awareness and appreciation diminish, breeding apathy toward environmental concerns and, inevitably, further degrading the natural habitats. This leads to rapid extinction and sucking out the life from the land, the intimacy from our connection.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>A music performance on the installation at sunset </p></div>

A music performance on the installation at sunset

Gomantak Times


There are initiatives made not only through scientific awareness, but also through the medium of art, music, poetry and even storytelling, to bring communities together and start a conversation related to ecology.

One such initiative is ‘Aamche Mangrove’ started by inter-disciplinary artist and curator, Miriam Koshy, in collaboration with artist and designer Vishal Rawlley; architect and environmentalist Talullah D’Silva; and are supported by Dhruv Goswami , Kabir Naik , Joshua, Hrithwik, Vikas Muthaparambil, Hina Saiyada, Hari, Venita Coelho, Jack Sukhija and several others including Heta Pandit, Sheela Raj, Gautam and Pushpanjali, contributing in spirit, to join hands to work on the first project of ‘Aamche Mangrove.’

“We thought of this project ‘Aamche Mangrove,’ where we decided to speak about different types of mangroves and also how their ecosystems change in the different seasons, throughout the year. Then, we came across these dead mangroves at Merces, near the highway. Except for some news reports and videos, not much is known about how these mangroves died,” says Koshy, explaining the art installation of prayer flags, which is now being placed on these dead mangroves.


She hopes that this installation, and also the Goa Mangrove Community Art Collective, will attract the attention of the people around, and help in starting a conversation about these dead mangroves, and mangrove forests in general, and why they are getting depleted in different parts of Goa.

“Our social nature is our strength, when we share our beliefs and identity through creative expression, we move towards moving communities to create change,” says Koshy.

They recently had a performance that involved an act of mourning and a prayer for healing and renewal. Children formed a human chain along the scaffolding, draping the spiral ropeway with gauze sheets as a symbolic prayer flag for healing. This was followed by an evening performance, where they stuck Leaves of Hope and Renewal to the dead trees.

There was also a musical by classical singer, Tritha Sinha and baul singer, Fakir Madhusudan Baul for a soulful sunset musical performance.

Koshy and her team are now inviting other artists and performers to witness, enter, experience and engage with the site.

If you would like to visit or perform at the site, while it lasts, contact Miriam (+91 9823572035) for details and queries

<div class="paragraphs"><p>The art installation of prayer flags in Merces, on the Panjim-Bambolim highway, aims to draw attention to mangroves</p></div>
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