Explore the past, present and future of plants

Science Gallery Bengaluru will hold its first digital exhibition from August 21 to 30

Science Gallery Bengaluru (SGB) will hold its first digital exhibition, ‘PHYTOPIA’, which will explore the past, present and future of plants, from August 21 to 30.

Science Gallery Bengaluru Mediators, a group of selected and trained young adults, will hold 60-minute sessions every day to engage in conversations with visitors based on the theme of the exhibits.

On Fridays and weekends, there will be talks and events by prominent scholars and artists such as on ‘Who feeds Bengaluru’ and ‘On documenting indigenous food culture’.

In addition, there will be workshops, and an opportunity to submit articles that look at plants critically and creatively.

“The United Nations generally has research-led years. For example, last year was the International Year of the Periodic Table. This year, it’s the International Year of Plant Health. Last year, we did our first pop-up exhibition called ELEMENTS. This year, we thought of plant health. We haven’t done it narrowly on plant health, but took that as a starting point to think about what is it that excites us about plants,” said Dr. Jahnavi Phalkey, founding director, SGB,

Stating that while the exhibition is open to everyone, she says the programming, including workshops, and masterclasses, is specifically targeted at young adults between the ages of 15 and 28.

The exhibition has been developed in partnership with the John Innes Centre, an independent, international centre of excellence in plant science and microbiology based in the UK. The programme partner is Bengaluru Sustainability Forum and Bangalore International Centre is the outreach partner. Chemical ecologist Shannon Olsson, ecologist Harini Nagendra and independent scholar Sita Reddy are the academic advisors to the exhibition.


As for the challenges of holding an exhibition online for the first time, Dr. Phalkey said, “We are an institution that was meant to produce physical exhibitions. It meant we had to retool ourselves and reimagine what our programming would look like. We want to provide a high quality experience but not necessarily limited to the 10 people who have high-tech devices. It was about being able to produce an interesting exhibition while trying to catch people’s attention. Because those who can, are already consuming so much online right now, from shopping to education. So, how do you create something that will draw them in? That, for us, is a challenge and a debate.”

Entry is free. Details at https://bit.ly/phytopia2020

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Sagar Biswas

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