Glorious Past, Glorious Future?



Krupa is a conservation architect with 20 years field-based conservation experience. As a doctoral scholar at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, she has just submitted her thesis on heritage as a form of governance, based on ethnographic engagement with Hampi. She is Founder-Director of the Bangalore-based socially-engaged heritage collaborative Saythu that is led by conservation professionals. The group aims to promote conservation as an integrated inclusive social process, by bridging theory (academy), practice (field), and peoples’ lived experiences, through various initiatives, projects, and teaching-learning engagements.

Priya Gupta is a doctoral scholar at National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore. Her research interests mainly include Adivasi studies, socio-political aspects of conservation, and forest rights. Her research approach primarily centres around people’s narratives and experiences of managing their everyday lives, and understanding how these are influenced by wider networks.

Madhuri Ramesh is a faculty member of the Azim Premji University. She has a PhD in Conservation Science and Sustainability Studies from ATREE. Her research deals mainly with political ecology i.e. how power struggles shape conservation and development. She has worked in diverse landscapes, from the Thar desert to the Andaman Islands, and enjoys teaching interdisciplinary courses.

Nayana Udayashankar is a program co-ordinator at Equitable Tourism Options (EQUATIONS) , a research, campaign and advocacy organization that works on tourism from the perspective of local communities. Her formal training has been in law  and she has worked closely with various laws, particularly environmental laws. As a part of EQUATIONS, she began to study and understand tourism through the lens of sustainability. She oversees their work in forest areas, coasts, hills, and mountains. Her current focus is looking at impacts of tourism in the Western Ghats of India. She has also engaged with theoretical concepts of tourism carrying capacity and how these can be actualized.

Stella is a lawyer and storyteller, who has been working for the last 7 years with local communities in Odisha, Lakshadweep, and Tamilnadu to facilitate strengthening community participation in environmental governance. She is currently working in EQUATIONS with coastal communities to support informed decision making around tourism. Stella believes that the world is best understood as stories that we tell ourselves and each other.

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