Monday, August 2, 2010


Hasanur Production Centre
It is located in a village called Hasanur which is close to Coimbatore. It is mainy inhabited by the Irulas. The Centre itslef is run by 7-12 locals. They have a shop also which caters to locals. They produce different kinds of honey, spices, beeswax balm, candy and pickles.



First part of the workshop
Number of people who participated- 7
I gave them all A4 sheets and pencils/pens and asked them to draw their perspective of the forest. I don’t know how successful I was in getting my point across to the person translating for me, and then how much of that, they understood. I told them it should be as personal as possible. The point of this exercise was, firstly to get them a little comfortable around me and vice-versa, and most importantly, to understand their perspective of “identity”. The closest association I could think of, was the forest because their lives are so intertwined with it. I wanted to see how they associate with it and in what ways the drastic change in their lifestyles have affected their thinking.
Initially , they seemed very hesitant about drawing, but I tried telling them that it doesn’t necessarily have to be pretty, but more personal. Again, I am not sure if they got that point.






Second part of the workshop

Number of people who participated- 6
The next exercise was story-telling, I asked them to relate any mythical/historical/personal tales which they remember. Not all of them spoke, and also, since it was evening they had started to get restless to go home. Whatever I understood from those broken stories was that all their stories mostly revolve around the forest and honey, that is what they think of as their life. I am not sure if that can be termed as an identity. But their lives have been interwoven with nature for so long, that it is difficult to see through the change in their mindset


 -Most of the women working there travel 22kms back and forth everyday. But they seemed very innovative and efficient in terms of optimum utilization of the available resource
-They keep trying to come up with new products using forest produce.
-They have a local market as well, and a local organizing head for their village.
-All the people working there(Irula community) seem to be well aware.
-Most of their life and culture revolves around honey hunting, that being there major source of livelihood also.

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