Creating an intersection and intervention into Long Time No See? and the Beach Ball projects.

In an earlier post about determining a theme for the Kochi walk and working out the lie of the land, I discussed my focus on highlighting some of the sustainability initiatives and local actions happening around Fort Cochin and Kochi.

Image found on, submitted by mohammedirshad06
Image found on, submitted by mohammedirshad06

After lots of research and conversations here are the waypoints for the LTNS journey:

  • Leaving behind: Aspinwall House (No 1 Calvathy Road, Fort Cochin, Kochi, Kerala) is a heritage property in Fort Kochi on the way to Mattancherry.The property was originally the premises of Aspinwall & Company Ltd. established in 1867 by English trader John H Aspinwall. Under the guidance of Aspinwall the Company traded in many materials including coconut oil, pepper, timber, lemon grass oil, ginger, turmeric, spices, hides and later in coir, coffee, tea and rubber. Aspinwall House is also a key venue for the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2014, but it is it’s links to Fort Cochin’s trading history which mark it as a waypoint for the project.
  • Planting ideas: Beach Ball (Mahatma Gandhi Beach, Fort Cochin, Kochi, Kerala) Artist Di Ball in her persona as Beach Ball goes every day to the beach at Kochi, where she marks off a section of the beach and cleans up the area and collects the rubbish in large bags. It is a project that artfully engages people in positive and sustainable behaviour change. Since Di started her project in early November, she has collected many bags of rubbish and each day more and more people offer to help her to clean up the beach.
  • Getting closer: Spice Fort (Princess Road, Fort Cochin, Kochi, Kerala) is part of the Dune Eco Group, which has a commitment to organic foods, healthy living, environment biodiversity, cultural richness and social commitments. Many of the fittings like place-mats and shower curtains are made from recycled plastics.
  • Taking care: Kashi Art Cafe (Burgar Street, Fort Cochin, Kochi, Kerala) is an elegant cafe and art gallery which demonstrates a commitment to sustainability. They do not use plastic bottles for water or cold beverages, and gifts and take away products are packaged in bags made from recycled newspapers.
  • Giving more: David Hall (St Francis Church Rd, Opposite Parade Ground, Fort Cochin, Kochi, Kerala) is a beautifully restored Dutch bungalow and has taken on a new life as a cultural centre with a cafe and gallery for contemporary art. There is also a focus on providing a platform for young artists to present their work. It is part of the CGH Earth group of hotels and cafes, which have an ethos of supporting local communities and a focus on sustainability, organics and supporting local communities.
  • Breaking silence: Global Ocean India (I/1471, Pattalam Road, Kochi, Kerala) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to raising awareness of the impact of plastic waste and encouraging people to reduce and reuse plastic. This organisation works with over 20 schools in the Kochi area, using storytelling and art projects to reuse plastic and communicate the impacts of waste plastic in waterways and other environments.
  • Talking point: Sanathana Yoga (XV/2188-D, Beach Road Junction, Kochi, Kerala) has a strong connection to the waypoint above. The wonderful Yogi Abrahim is a key activist and spokesperson for Global Ocean India as well as guiding many of the school programs. His commitment to sustainability reflects his yogi teachings of being more aware and conscious of ourselves and  thinking and existing in a holistic way.
  • Enduring legacy: Raksha Society For Children with Special Needs (VII/370, Darragh-es-Salaam Road, Kochangadi, Kochi, Kerala) is a non-profit NGO dedicated to addressing the needs of children and young adults with special needs and working with their families towards rehabilitation and inclusion. At Raksha the children are involved in making many up-cycled objects which are used in other waypoints: recycled newspaper bags, recycled plastic wallets and more.
  • Welcoming embrace: Amay Eco Shop (Bazar Road, Mattanchery, Kochi, Kerala) is located in an old warehouse with a lovely little space to sit outside under a mango tree. Most of the display furniture is recycled using old tyres, wooden doors and window frames, fruit boxes etc. Many of the products are recycled goods, plus you can re-fill your plastic bottles with filtered water for INR 5 per liter to save on that plastic waste. Some of the products are sourced from NGO’s or associations. Some of the profits also go to supporting young single mothers, which demonstrates Amay’s commitment to supporting the local community. Definitely worthy of a big hug!

So there you have it! What a fabulous list of activities and initiatives!! It has been a wonderful adventure learning about some of the brilliant work happening in Fort Cochin and I am really excited now to move on to the next stage of the project – developing the AR for the map and its sites. Here is the completed map of the journey. It is a long way to walk, but easily navigated with a bicycle or divided into a number of chunks.

And the first of the auras:

Aura #1 Aspinwall House, © Tracey Benson 2014
Aura #1 Aspinwall House, © Tracey Benson 2014

You will also be able to see a large version of this image at Amay and it will be generating a video soon!

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