“Carpet of Joy” is an innovative campaign to create anti-litter awareness campaign. Jui Damle enters into a conversation with Dr Subodh Kerkar about his installation at Saligao to raise awareness on littering
As you drive away from Porvorim down Chogm Road towards Saligao, you are greeted by a bright vista in the Saligao fields opposite the post office. At first glance, you think it’s a field full of some mysterious blooms. On close inspection, you realize they are not flowers, but plastic bottles. This is the “Carpet of Joy” installation by Dr. Subodh Kerkar of the Museum of Goa. To say that the installation is spectacular is an understatement. It has been creating a lot of curiosity among both locals and tourists in Goa.
Dr. Kerkar’s inspiration to create this installation came both from a bunch of school children as well as Israeli artist, Uri De Beer. What started out as a children’s project to create art out of plastic took a huge turn to becoming a larger canvas. The installation is actually about 1,50,000 bottles with the tops cut to look like flowers. There have been several people contributing to this installation including 3,000 school children. The funding was done through a crowdfunding campaign.
However, igniting curiosity is not the only intent of this installation. Dr. Subodh Kerkar, curator of Museum of Goa and the driving force behind this installation feels it is much more than that. He says, “Art can communicate…….to bring about change in our society”. He is inspired by Joseph Bueys who said that only art had the power to transform humanity and social order. There are nearly 2,000 people visiting the installation on a daily basis. Dr. Kerkar feels can optimistic about this and views it only as the beginning. The installation hopes to kindle awareness about littering. His opinions are strong on littering and he likens littering to sedition. He says, “Littering is not just an environmental violation, it’s an insult to Mother Earth as well as unpatriotic.”
Littering is not just a challenge in the state. It’s taken epic proportions and has today become a national and global problem. If we don’t drastically reduce the plastic waste we generate, the repercussions will be nothing short of catastrophic. One cannot leave it to the governments to stop littering your surroundings. The behavioural change has to come from within – when we start respecting our environment and the earth we live on.