Amrita Neelakantan

"In conservation landscapes, indigenous knowledge and ways of being are intertwined with the lives of wild species. The lantana elephant sculptures exemplify these relationships between all inhabitants of biocultural landscapes. In densely populated central India, where I work, elephants are joined by big cats, bears and myriad other species. To learn from these shared spaces is also to acknowledge the long-term conservation work undertaken as a way of life by indigenous human communities. The Great Elephant Migration is a visceral exploration to notice these ways of seeing and doing conservation from the ground-up! I’m honored to be a part of this effort."

Dr. Amrita Neelakantan is the executive director of the Network for Conserving Central India (NCCI). She has been a part of the NCCI from 2014 and has more than 19 years of experience as a conservation professional with a keen interest in human-nature dynamics. She holds a doctorate from Columbia University (New York, the U.S.A) that she earned under the guidance of Prof. Ruth DeFries. Her thesis study was a post-resettlement study around Kanha National Park - globally recognized for a crucial and healthy population of wild tigers. She is also the founding member and an active participant for multiple coalitions that are at the forefront of connectivity conservation and human-nature interactions. Previously, she's had the privilege to have lived and worked in three of the world's biodiversity hotspots in Ecuador, Kenya and Madagascar.