Arati Kumar-Rao: A River at the Heart of the World
This Week on the Emergence Magazine Podcast
Emergence Magazine is a quarterly online publication exploring the threads connecting ecology, culture, and spirituality. As we experience the desecration of our lands and waters, the extinguishing of species, and a loss of sacred connection to the Earth, we look to emerging stories. Each issue explores a theme through innovative digital media, as well as the written and spoken word. The Emergence Magazine podcast features exclusive interviews, narrated essays, stories, and more.
Arati Kumar-Rao ventures into a forested river gorge in the hidden land of Pemakö, which exists deep within the heart of the Tibetan Buddhist belief system. Intersected by the sacred waters of the Yarlung Tsangpo river, and its tributary the Yang Sang Chu, Pemakö has long been considered impenetrable and prophesied as a place that will one day regenerate and renew the world. But, as Arati learns, this prophecy is now confronted by the persistent grind of industry that threatens to invade this promised land.
Arati Kumar-Rao is a National Geographic Explorer and an independent environmental photographer, writer, and artist who documents ecological degradation. She chronicles South Asia’s changing landscapes and climate and their effect on livelihoods and biodiversity. She is currently on a National Geographic Explorer grant to document forced human migration. Arati’s work has appeared in The National Geographic Magazine, The Hindu, #Dysturb, The Guardian, BBC Outside Source, Hindustan Times, and Mint.