Ravi Agarwal

Have you seen the flowers on the river?, 2007 | 2012

Installation | photographs, videos | Installation dimensions variable

Replacing economy with ecology creates new relationships and puts nature at the center. Human development must be rethought with the addition of not only monetary, but values such as equality and balance. »The world has enough for everyone’s needs, but not for everyone’s greed,« wrote Gandhi in reference to the planet’s resources.
There are plenty examples. The flower fields along the Yamuna River in Delhi have existed for more than 200 years. Here the river is still clean, remains untouched by the city’s sewage. The soil of the riverbanks is very fertile – every year it is washed down by the floods from the Himalayas. Farming families have been cultivating hundreds of marigold fields here ever since, without using pesticides or fertilizers. The flower trade sustains the country and its people in a sustainable way.
But there are already new plans to transform the banks into luxury residences with river views for the new elite. The old farmers’ market is also to make way for the »global« city. Farmers face the dilemma of a competitive situation between their local economy and global fantasies for the future.
The fertility of money has replaced the fertility of the earth.

Other material

Georg Blume, TAZ 2012 | Umweltpolitik in Indien: »Morgens essen sie Tee«, Ram Kurani Saroj lives at a dirty river in India and is malnourished. She has no eye for the nature reserve next door.


Ravi Agarwal (*1958) lives and works in New Delhi, India.