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Centre for Reimagining Transitions (CRT)

"The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” - Alan Watts


Principal Investigators:

Dr. Srisrividhiya Kalyanasundaram
Dr. Keya Chakraborty
Ravi Mani

Research Scholar:

Divyarajsinh Rana


About

The Centre for Reimagining Transitions (CRT) situates itself in a context of the Global South to include, but not be limited to, discourses and practices of post-development, alternatives to development, the crisis of civilization, the rights of nature, and post-extractivism.

Focused on Indian and Asian contexts we immerse in and investigate existing transition discourses as well as emerge new transition discourses and practices that link together cultural, politico-economic, ecological, spiritual and consciousness aspects to design societal transitions towards building an ecological civilization.



Divyarajsinh Rana conducts a PLA activity at Jakkur Lake in Bangalore to better understand the human-nature relationship and conflict in an urban environment. Courtesy: Purav Raval


We believe that earth is a single sacred community bound together in interdependent relationships. By recognizing the rights for all humans and living beings, our transdisciplinary inquiries are grounded in places, bioregions, historic cultures, civilizations as well as the self.


Vision

Our vision is to investigate, reimagine and collaborate to define new transitions and transitional frameworks in Indian, Asian and Global South contexts to design and move towards more pluriversal futures and building an ecological civilization.

Flux, dynamic change and uncertainty are what we are designing for by researching through civilizational, ecological and geological time frames for macroshifts and deep transitions.

Our work is centered in convivial and relationship-centric approaches to build autonomy and agency in diverse communities, as well as bring the more-than-human world into focus. In the era of climate change and eco-cultural crisis, we are keen to build theoretical and practice frameworks as well as philosophical positions on transitions.


Research Areas

We have six key areas of research inquiry that diverse faculty will build on within the centre. Our six big ideas intersect in diverse ways allowing for transdisciplinary ways of research and practice.

  1. Equity and Justice
  2. Systems and Sustainable Futures
  3. Consciousness
  4. Decolonization and Reframing/ regenerative cultures
  5. Education and Pedagogy
  6. Technology in a transitioning world


Current Projects


Resilience within community in transition

Principal Investigator: Dr. Keya Chakraborty

Research Scholar: Divyarajsinh Rana

Transitions are long term continuous process at societal level which leads radical and structural changes. Transitions perspective conceives society as a complex structure wherein various systems connect and collaborate. We investigate the issues of socio-cultural-technical systems in transition within a community and how we can address those by looking at the question of-

What does it mean to identify, map and document resilience within community due to development-induced and climate induced transition?


Divyarajsinh Rana develops an interactive narrative map of Naubad Karez in Bidar, presenting stories of community resilience. Courtesy: Divyarajsinh Rana

This research and design project was carried out in the context of Bidar and the Karez system (traditional water system) there, as part of the larger question presented above. Bidar's water systems present a variety of traditional water management, distribution, and usage approaches that present a range of human-water relationships. Each structure demonstrates a distinct nature of water as well as a conscious understanding of the topography of the place by the people. This project aimed to present untold stories of human-water relationships in the context of Karez of Bidar as resilience theories in the current water crisis era. It culminated in the concept of developing an interactive digital story map (KUMU) of Naubad Karez.


Togetherness in Transitions: Reflective Healing Through Art & Design

Principal Investigator: Dr. Srivi Kalyan

Akth, an ongoing project is envisioned as a space of togetherness to build hope and resilience through art and design. Front line responders are witnesses and often pay emotional and physical prices that are seldom understood, they sometimes sacrifice their own lives and represent all that is brave and best of the human spirit.

Through climate change crisis, the pandemic and other natural and man-made disasters, how can we respond to the transitions that frontline workers and volunteers go through? How can we use art and design to inquire into subtle, tacit and intangible worlds of emotion, experience and consciousness for healing?



The Akth- Art & Design project is web portal under construction and draws upon art, poetry, education, and visual design to create interactive, participative and tacit spaces of friendship, listening, and care acknowledging the lives of front line workers. The project looks at how healing can be explored afresh by asking what is togetherness in the journeys of our subtle beings.


Designing livelihood systems for artists during transitions

Principal Investigator: Ravi Mani

The Covid19 pandemic, that resulted in a lockdown and event restrictions, provided an unprecedented challenge for the sectors of art and culture as artists and related professionals grappled with the loss of income. This project within such contexts considers the key question of-

How to create a system of livelihood with dignity for traditional performing artists that enables them to sustain their cultural practice even during challenging times?


Previous Projects & Events


Framework for a new avenue of urban sustainability transition in Global South – Case study India: 13th International Sustainability Conference, November 2022

Dr. Keya Chakraborty addressed the need of building a framework for analyzing sustainability strategies from the Global south perspective. She has built a framework based on archetype analysis which is equally useful for practitioners and researchers to assess sustainability strategies. She further mentioned this framework would guide to determine how far the entire governance system of a city is competent enough to go through sustainability transition process to accomplish higher level of sustainability.



Sustainability transitions in the context of COVID-19: 2nd Webinar, Transitions in Global South, July 2020

Dr. Keya Chakraborty in this session talks about how pandemic, as enforced new normal is creating inequality, what should be the probable initiatives to reduce socio-economic inequality and how the entire system would be sustainable based on multi-sectoral and cross-sectoral linking and comprehensive partnership of government and stakeholders. Watch the video:

https://youtu.be/KpirUPmTN6M


Green “Evolution_Revolution_In-Between”


Divyarajsinh Rana investigates the human-wheat relationship and designs an app that serves as a space of negotiation between various stakeholders in today's seed transition culture. Courtesy: Divyarajsinh Rana


This research project examined two different agricultural paradigms: industrial agriculture, which was created and developed by the "poison cartel" of chemical manufacturers that emerged after World War II, and the agro-ecological system, which has been around for 10,000 years and operates in accordance with ecological principles with the rest of nature. It aims to highlight the complex relationships, concepts of authenticity and current transitions that come into play between various stakeholders and wheat while also presenting the more general inquiry, how authentic is the human-nature relationship in terms of transitions at the intersection of humans, food preferences, and food acquisition/production methods?


Togetherness: Reflective Healing Through Art & Design

Humanising Medical Practices, Online International Symposium,
NIAS - Consciousness Studies Program, 29th July 2022

In this symposium Dr. Srivi Kalyan shared Akth - an ongoing online project, which is envisioned as a a space that is part tribute, and part healing; a space that gives tools for reflection, and gently unfolds the tapestry of life in crisis in all its complex beauty and terribleness so people can find moments of pause, that will enable them to move forward, and care for themselves.


Opportunities

1. Collaborations and Partnerships

This centre invites collaborations and partnerships with organizations and individuals interested in exploring transition discourses and practices together with us.


2. Academic Opportunities

CRT provides research and design opportunities to students enrolled with Srishti Manipal Institute's Postgraduate, Integrated Doctoral program, and Doctoral programs as well as faculties. We welcome students from all programs who are interested in macroshifts, deep transitions, and practice research to explore this space together with us.


Enquiries

For more information about this centre, kindly email
Dr. Srisrividhiya Kalyanasundaram at srisrividhiya.k@manipal.edu
Dr. Keya Chakraborty at keya.chakraborty@manipal.edu
Ravi Mani at ravi.mani@manipal.edu