Pankaj Sekhsaria: The Andaman & Nicobars, An Island Journey

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About the Author
Pankaj Sekhsaria is a researcher, writer, photographer, campaigner and academic. He has worked extensively in the field of environment and wildlife conservation with a particular focus on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, as a member of the environmental action group, Kalpavriksh. He has been writing regularly on related issues for the English media since 1998, and is the author of two non-fiction books based on the islands: Troubled Islands (2003), a collection of his journalist writings, and The Jarawa Tribal Reserve Dossier: Cultural and biological diversity in the Andaman islands’ ( Jt. Editor, 2010). His most recent work is The Last Wave – an island novel, a story based in the Andaman Islands. He lives in Hyderabad with his wife and four-year-old son.

Presentation
The presentation will be the story of two parallel journeys – one is of the geology, ecology and history of the islands; the other is my own journey of travelling and discovering the islands, the most recent step of which was the writing of my debut novel, The Last Wave, a story that is deeply embedded in the ecology, people and history of the islands.
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It is a little more than two decades since I first visited the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and have had the great opportunity of travelling extensively in the islands, right from the north in Diglipur to the extreme south – to Indira Point on Great Nicobar Island.
There have been a number of incredible experiences as well – many exhilarating and humbling hours watching Green sea, leatherback and Olive Ridley turtles nest on remote uninhabited islands; photographing the endemic Nicobari megapode build up its nesting mound; descending into deep dark caves to see nesting Edible nest swiftlets; swimming and snorkelling in the sparkling waters – researching and writing on this spectacular diversity and beauty and the threats and challenges it faces; seeing the devastation cased in the earthquake and tsunami of 2004 and getting involved in advocacy and litigation in the interests of the fragile ecology and the indigenous peoples of the islands.

This event is part of the PondyPHOTO 2016 PRE EVENT Presentation Series on the Andaman & Nicobar Islands .

It is presented in part by Urban Design Collective. Read more about the presentation here.

All images courtesy Urban Design Collective and Pankaj Sekhsaria.