Nature´s great masterpiece is facing extinction due to human development. “Big Social Nomad” tells us the story about the asian elephant population. In a continent where human population has grown to extremes and development is exploding, India is the country housing half of the asian elephant population. However, in a country with 1,2 billion people, co-existing is not an easy task.
Due to the British colonisation vast tracks of land were converted into tea plantations. Today in these regions human-elephant conflict is severe. Due to human encroachment on forest lands, elephants are being squeezed further and further into their habitats.
Due to their size and their life patterns – as big social nomads – they eat and they move to let the forest regenerate. When passing from one forest to another they follow certain paths which they have used since millenia. These narrows strips, called corridors, are vital for elephants to pass from one forest to another. Same corridors are often occupied by people living on them.
“Big Social Nomad” presents the threats elephants are facing in modern India of today. It poses crucial questions of what needs and what can be done to stop this negative trend from happening. It also offers an insight into the complex issue of who land should belong to.
India, with all its multidimensional culture, is today the hub for the wild elephants. Though the threat to their survival is apparent, there is also much hope to be found in the country. A hope deeply rooted in Indian society, among people who nurture a profound love for this animal.
Sweden/India, 2019, Dir Anna Böhlmark, 26 minutes, English with subtitles
Comments on the film:
The 25-minute documentary involved a six-month effort, including shooting in the wildlife habitats in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.
As it focuses on the problem of growing magnitude and draws out the views of wildlife experts, the film puts the increasing depredation of forest lands and rampant development as the root cause of the conflict…
Though it is ironic that elephants have become critically endangered in a land where cultural tradition confers on these creatures godly status and where a caparisoned parade is the ultimate showpiece of a religious festival, it is precisely this sustaining social tradition of love for the genial giants that gives hope for a future where man and elephant coexist in this hub of Asian elephants.
Mr. Dinesh Varma, journalist for The Hindu
I really enjoyed the documentary. I thank you for your efforts to bring out the plight of elephants in India.
Ananda Kumar, Nature Conservation Foundation India
Thanks so much for sharing the film and I thoroughly enjoyed watching it! A big thank you for making a film on elephants and covering some of our work too. Happy to know that this will be broadcasted to a global audience.
Vinod K, Nature Conservation Foundation India
I just watched the film, Its beautiful! Best wishes and hopes that it reaches the people of India and the world and it contributes to raising awareness and making the lives of elephants better.