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International Youth Conference
Auroville 21 28 th February 2005
Field Trips Descriptions

Field trips around Auroville, Pondicherry and the Bioregion have been organized for 4 afternoons throughout the conference. They are intended to provide an opportunity for participants to explore in a more engaged and participatory way some of the different ways that humanity expresses it's aspiration for a way of life that is in harmony with our deepest values. You may sign up for a field trip when you register on arrival in Auroville.

23rd: Pondicherry :

There is the possibility to choose from 2 visits:  

  1. Sri Aurobindo Ashram and School: Glimpses of an almost 100-year old ashram or spiritual community around the vision and teachings of Sri Aurobindo, an Indian freedom-fighter turned Yogi and the Mother, his French collaborator and spiritual peer. Participants will also visit the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education set up in 1954 on their principles of education. Visit also of some sections and departments of the Ashram. An inter-active Question and Answer afternoon.

Co-ordinator: Mr Maurice Shukla

Number of participants: 30

Time: 2.00pm leaving from Town hall and return 6pm to Visitors Centre

2. Pondicherry township exploration On this trip participants will explore and visit sites that show the following:

a. French influence - Game of Petang, heritage buildings, monuments & French church]

b. Yoga and spiritual influence from Vedic time - Visit to 2 temples based on spirituality

c. Inter religious harmony Looking at the relationship between Hindu, Muslim, Christianity with traditional practices

d. Intercultural living : people from different states , countries and religions lives peacefully in 10 sq.Kms [ people from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Jains, Marwaris, Bengalese, North Indians, French , Vietnamese etc]

e. Different architectures in 3 sq.Kms

Co-ordinator: Mr Nantha Kumar

Number of participants: 2 groups of up to 20 each

Time: 2.00pm leaving from Town hall and return 6pm to Visitors Centre

 

24 th : Auroville:

Participants can select from a range of 6 field trips which show applied research that Auroville in undertaking in a range of areas. All trips will depart from the Town hall at 2.15pm and return approximately 5pm to the visitors centre. The following options are offered:

1.  Mohanam Cultural Centre

Mohanam Cultural Centre is working since four years in some of the surrounding villages of Auroville as an activity of the larger outreach work of Auroville Village Action.
The focus of the educational activities lies on bringing creative skills and approaches and traditional and modern know-how to the young generation of the village to support them in finding their own way in this difficult time of transition between an ancient agricultural and modern commercial society.
The trip will bring participants first to Svaram Vocational Training Centre where unemployed youth are experimenting with and producing  new musical instruments.
From this youthful and creative endevour situated in an original part of the AV Industrial Zone, the journey continues into the villages northwest to visit the Cultural Centre and its learning garden to find out about its activities in the village community. Participants will be hosted by cultural activist Aurelio and have a chance to interact with the young Tamil team directly.

Co-ordinator: Mr Aurelio
Venue: Mohanam

2. Pyramids Arts Centre and Body Awareness

This field trip will explore two different modes of expression. The first part consists of a visit to Auroville's art studio. In the Pyramids, a myriad of arts, crafts and creative expression find their outlet. Participants will discover the many types of art that are on going in Auroville. The second part of the trip will explore physical expression. Through the limiting of one sense (sight), participants will be guided through an exploration of body awareness. A series of exercises will help each participant to heighten and fine-tune their other senses both within themselves and in an interplay with other people. Wear clothes that you can move comfortably in.

Co-ordinator: Ms Bettina (Aurovilian)
Venue: Pyramids


3. Eco-Restoration

In this excursion you will learn about the history of reforestation and eco-restoration in this bioregion. Then by taking a guided walk through the greenbelt (the forest land in surrounding Auroville) you will see the practical application of eco-restoration including the planting of indigenous trees, water conservation and working within a TDEF (tropical dry evergreen forest) region. Come prepared to walk and possibly get dirty.

Co-ordinator: Mr Jaap (Aurovilian)
Venue: Ravena

4. Field Trip To Auroville's Oldest Forest
In this excursion you will learn how the once barren land was turned into a beautiful, lush 30 year old forest.
We will walk through different land- and soil types, look at ongoing water conservation and afforestation, learn about local geology, natural regeneration - and returned wildlife in form of an exhibition.

Co-ordinator: Ms Regina (Aurovilian)
Venue: Meeting at Abri

 

5. Living in Community tour of Adventure community

In this excursion you will visit a greenbelt community of Auroville where you will see an example of integrated systems such as renewable energy sources, simple living principles reflected in dwellings and common facilities. After a tour of this community, residents will be available to have an informal interaction where we will explore together the way we approach community living and discuss the joys and challenges of living with a diverse group of people (8 different nationalities live together)

Co-ordinator: Mr Kumar and Mr Horst (Aurovilians)
Venue: Adventure

 

6. Life Education Centre - weaving the thread of connectedness...

An interactive afternoon meeting youth of this bioregion where we live - these are village students, staff and associates of Ilaignarkal and Life Education Centre which are outreach programs of AV. We will have an informal but informative session on the sharing of experiences and ideas, some singing together, display of materials and publications produced by these centres, ending with a small exercise on creating a Mandala (sacred pattern).

Co-ordinator : Harini
Venue: LEC, opposite Isaimbalam School


25th: Bioregion:

•  Bioregional tour

On this excursion you will travel into the bioregion of Auroville and visit a resource centre that has been created by an Aurovilian in collaboration with some local villagers and educators to promote the conservation of indigenous species, in particular those that have a medicinal purpose. You will also visit one school in a village called Naddakuppam which has been transformed from a neglected state into a model school .

Co-ordinator: Mr Joss Brooks.

 

•  Joining the Tsunami relief work

Since Tsunami hit the east coast on December 26 th 2004, Auroville has been intensively engaged in relief work for villagers that have been affected. During this field trip you will have an opportunity to partake in the efforts Auroville is making to assist surrounding communities in responding to the tsunami. On going projects include cleaning-up, disassembling damaged homes, educational theatre, bringing joy and play through music, juggling, games...

Considering these efforts are responsive to village needs they are constantly evolving.

You will be given an opportunity to partake in whatever efforts are being made at that time so come ready to work and play, to learn dances and games as well as teach

them. We will have a better sense of the exact activity closer to the date. Gloves and tools will be provided for work activities. Bring cards, balls, instruments but more importantly just your joyous selves to have fun and show support.

Co-ordinator: Leigh and Justine (IYC delegates and tsunami volunteer workers)

 

26th : Auroville

Participants can select from a range of 6 field trips, which show applied research that Auroville in undertaking in a range of areas. All trips will depart from the Town hall at 2.15pm and return approximately 5pm to the visitors centre. The following options are offered:

1. Pitchandikulum bio-resource centre

In this excursion you will visit Pitchandikulum, a teaching and training place for the protection, propagation and use of medicinal plants. It is one of a network of medicinal plant parks. Housed in the 100% solar powered administration and museum building are samples of medicinal plants, photographic displays and seeds as well as rural artifacts.

Surrounding the centre is to 50acre Pitchandikulum self-regenerating forest sanctuary, containing some 440 plant species and a wide diversity of fauna.

Co-ordinator: Mr Joss Brooks

2 Eco-Restoration

In this excursion you will learn about the history of reforestation and eco-restoration in this bioregion. Then by taking a guided walk through the greenbelt (the forest land in surrounding Auroville) you will see the practical application of eco-restoration including the planting of indigenous trees, water conservation and working within a TDEF (tropical dry evergreen forest) region. Come prepared to walk and possibly get dirty.

Co-ordinator: Mr Jaap (Aurovilian)
Venue: Ravena

3.  Organic Agriculture in Buddha Garden

On this excursion you will have the opportunity to meet with the young apprentices who are learning what it means to farm organically in Auroville

See the different work we do in Buddha Garden the vegetable garden, the integrated chickens, the solar system etc

Talk about the nature of organic farming, why and how we do it and the practical and other challenges that it presents to us.

Make a mandala together with the things that you find on the land in Buddha Garden to express something about your visit.

Co-ordinator: Priya
Venue: Buddha Garden


4.  Integral development and Architecture

 A society's consciousness has always manifested itself in its Architecture.  Modern architecture thus represents our present society and its state of consciousness.  Today, we meed to ask ourselves if the 'progressive' elements that premeate our buildings and construction industry are really necessities or just status symbols ? Are we creating buildings that lead to the wellbeing of the people and the planet as a whole?  Perhaps we need a paradigm shift in our archtiectural practices and education.
 
How do we find the right balance between  Man - Nature - Economy ?
 
Unfortunately the importance of understanding the role of healthy design and products for our built environment has lagged behind other fields of consumer interest such as food and medicine.  At the most it limits itself to energy saving construction technologies, rainwater harvesting, wastewater recycling, traditional construction techniques etc., which is not bad in itself, but does not tackle the problem in a holistic sense of  buildings being a third skin ( after our own skin and clothes) fulfilling essential living functions and therefore directly affecting our physical, mental and psychological health.
 
We will discuss some of the principles of "Building Biology" which aims at creating this harmonious relationship between living beings, the enviornment and built-forms and visit some projects trying to achieve this in Auroville.

Co-ordinator: Mona
Venue: Meeting at Afsanahs guest house


5. Water Harvesting

We will go through an identification of markers for bioregional limits,

the natural features, human structures and stakeholders characterising the area, the political, social and economical intricacy (including castes,

religious pattern, traditional structures) and the way we can approach

remediation and mobilisation in such a context. This area is very representative of the coastal India , but also of a very large part of the coastal world. To understand the situation and propose sustainable solutions is definitively of value for a very large part of humanity.

Co-ordinator: Gilles
Venue: CSR

6.  Field Trip To Auroville's Oldest Forest
In this excursion you will learn how the once barren land was turned into a beautiful, lush 30 year old forest.
We will walk through different land- and soil types, look at ongoing water conservation and afforestation, learn about local geology, natural regeneration - and returned wildlife in form of an exhibition.

Co-ordinator: Ms Regina (Aurovilian)
Venue: Meeting at Abri