Azim Premji University hosted a photo-exhibition titled The City and the Farms-agriculture in periurban Bengaluru in September. The exhibition showcased multiple narratives around unruly urban sprawl engulfing agricultural peripheries of Bangalore.

The exhibition was organized by the research team consisting of Seema Purushothaman, Dhanya Bhaskar, Sheetal Patil, Raghvendra Vanjari and Meghana Eswar, School of Development, Azim Premji University.

Around 550 people visited the exhibition over the three days. For the urban residents of Bangalore, the exhibition served as an eye-opener on the impacts of their consumption choices on farms and farming communities in citys fringes.

Diverse facets of agricultural changes in peri-urban Bangalore were depicted under the following themes Myriad manifestations of urbanisation, Croplands, cattle and commons: Caught in the urban quagmire, Beacons of hope: Resilient spaces, perseverant people.
The photos evoked the curiosity and raised importance on plants, animals and crops and the importance of having them around.

Around 20 stories with 50 photographs and videos spanning the above mentioned themes were displayed in the exhibition. The stories and narratives poignantly conveyed the havoc wreaked by unbridled urban expansion over the last two decades. Fertile agricultural land turning into industrial, residential, infrastructural and commercial construction, shrinking ecological, changes in crops and agricultural practices, impact of polluted water resources, and transitions in the economic, social and cultural fabric of communities inhabiting the rural-urban interface were portrayed in the exhibition.

The event also highlighted resilient faces of peri-urban farming: single women farmers passionately going ahead with traditional agricultural practices resisting all pressures of land conversion, small patches of farmlands preserved in the middle of high rise buildings etc.

These photo-stories are contributed by researchers and practitioners from India and abroad who have been considering the dynamics and consequences of agricultural transitions in peri-urban Bangalore through diverse disciplinary lenses and seeking to address some of the challenges associated with peri-urban agrarian livelihoods.