ALCAP to hold Dialogues for Development “COVID-19 Memories & Memorials with Lutyens” at ESIC-Hyderabad

By Niba Mirza *

HYDERABAD, India (IDN) — As of May 6, 2022, there have been 513,955,910 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally, including 6,249,700 deaths, reported to WHO.

Though WHO also claims that the world’s true COVID-19 pandemic death toll is nearly 15 million. And as of May 4, 2022, a total of 11,562,157,794 vaccine doses have been administered.

The COVID-19 pandemic has completely upended and transformed the world we live in and has caused many disruptions and posed serious threats to lives and livelihoods universally.

The impact of COVID-19 on the US had been particularly severe. The country outstripped all other nations in terms of suffering and death.

In January 2021, President Joe Biden’s inaugural committee memorialized the death of 400,000 COVID-19 victims. The COVID Memorial marked the first large-scale acknowledgement of Covid-19’s massive toll on individuals, families and communities across the US.

In the following month, when the US crossed the death toll of 500,000, the US president addressed the nation, had flags fly at half-mast, and cathedral and church bells tolled for the dead. He spoke about the need to acknowledge the lives lost, to remember and grieve, and thus heal.

Social sciences believe that memorialization is a crucial part of the grieving process. Memorialization is a wonderful way to cherish the fond memories of those departed, while also allowing the living to grieve.

It is also a lesson for societies to learn from the past so as to better prepare themselves for the future.

In 1984, a concrete sculpture was made by Dutch artist Ruth Waterman to depict the Bhopal Gas Tragedy in India. The Bhopal Disaster also known as Bhopal Gas Tragedy is considered the world’s worst industrial disaster in history.

The sculpture was installed in 1986 and was the first memorial to the gas tragedy. It depicts a woman, carrying a small baby, escaping from the toxic gas. Another little child is clutching the woman from the back.

A black-granite plaque below the sculpture reads: “No Hiroshima, No Bhopal. We Want to Live. Memorial dedicated to the victims of the gas disaster caused by the multinational killer Union Carbide on 2 & 3 December 1984.”

In December 2020, the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh announced a Memorial for the 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy victims.

The Audio-Visual Regional Hub of the Asociación Latinoamericana de Comunicación Audiovisual Parlamentaria, ALCAP, or the Latin American Parliamentary Association of Audio-Visual Communication, along with the ESIC Medical College, Hyderabad will have its  Dialogues for Development webinar on Saturday, 4 June 2022 from 6.45 PM Indian Standard Time.

The webinar titled “COVID-19: Memories & Memorials with Lutyens” will have noted British interdisciplinary artist Marcos Lutyens as the main speaker. His artworks seek to disrupt internalized patterns of thinking, associations, and ways of existing in the world through exhibitions and performances.

Marcos Lutyens is a relative of the noted architect Sir Edwin Lutyens who designed and built India’s capital New Delhi, the writer Mary Lutyens who is principally known for her biographical works on the philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti, and the composer Elizabeth Lutyens.

His projects centre on explorations of sensory perception and the unconscious mind and have been exhibited internationally. Marcos Lutyens has collaborated with renowned artists, writers, and scientists on his projects including neuroscientists Richard Cytowic and Vilayanur Ramachandran.

At a time when over a million COVID deaths in the United States have created a desire for the country to commemorate their lives and “democratize grief,” Marcos Lutyens is involved in a scalable Marked By Covid monument that would allow visitors to virtually view a helix of Covid-19 victims’ photographs using Augmented Reality (AR) technology.

Other panellists on the ALCAP-ESIC Hyderabad Dialogues for Development will be:

Lord Rami Ranger CBE of Mayfair is a member of the British House of Lords. A renowned philanthropist, Lord Ranger is the Chairman of Sun Mark Ltd and Sea Air & Land Forwarding Ltd. who co-founded the British Asian Conservative Link to make Asians more publicly and politically spirited and to encourage them to take part in the decision-making process in Britain.

Lord Ranger was appointed the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2005 Birthday Honours for services to business and the Asian community and Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2016 New Year Honours for services to business and community cohesion.

Mr Manish Uprety F.R.A.S. is an alumnus of the Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi and the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London. He is ALCAP’s Special Adviser for Asia and Africa who developed the concepts of “Documentaries for Development’ and ‘Dialogues for Development”.

In his diplomatic career, Mr Uprety was instrumental to establish nutritional initiatives in Africa and South America and has addressed various established platforms like the Banque de France; Mexican Parliament; EABA, Brussels; and ULPGC, Spain, among others. He was invested as a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society (F.R.A.S.) of Great Britain and Ireland in October 2010. He is also the mentor of Indian StartUp MiniMines that has developed the technology for the extraction of Lithium from waste batteries.

ALCAP-ESIC’s Dialogues for Development will also have experts from the ESIC Medical College Hyderabad who will enlighten the audience about their scientific and social innovations to mobilize efforts leading to prompt action in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Established in 2016 under the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India, ESIC Medical College, Hyderabad is a leading medical institution in India which bagged the “Best ESIC College” in the country award, and in May 2020, set up a 300 beds hospital exclusively for COVID-19 patients along with the Government of the State of Telangana.  Its new medical services and facilities to serve the patients are on an expansion.

Renowned for its excellence, in medical care and research, ESIC-Hyderabad is also a model for other states in India. In January, the concerned authorities decided that two new teaching hospitals in Alwar (Rajasthan) and Bihta (Bihar) will be upgraded with ESIC-Hyderabad as the mentor.

The partnership of ESIC Medical College, Hyderabad and the Audio-Visual Regional Hub of ALCAP is also working together for its first joint documentary production titled “SALIENCE- ESIC’s Scientific and Social Innovations in the times of COVID-19.” [IDN-InDepthNews – 08 May 2022]

* Niba Mirza is a BA-Philosophy (Honours) graduate from the Lady Shri Ram College, University of Delhi. She is pursuing her post-graduate studies in Development Communication from the Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi and is interested in the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Image Credit: ESIC Medical College Hyderabad.

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