Making Inferences 

Making thick descriptions and captioning the photos that were provided without any context of the image and trying to do so in an unbiased manner. This involved a lot of detective work and keen observation skills to find clues and connect the dots forming grounded inferences. 

Nature’s Gentrification

A tranquilized elephant tramples its way into the city limits as people watch its movements from the balcony while others rush to safety into a commercial building. The elephant’s presence in this unusual setting is an urgent reminder that rapid mindless urbanization is encroaching into the natural habitat of these animals forcing them to migrate into cities for food and shelter.

1

WHAT IS GOING ON IN THIS PICTURE?

A wild elephant is stampeding its way through a new commercial area of a town from a nearby forest. People are rushing to safety as others watch the animal’s movement from a safe distance. The elephant seems to be hit by a tranquilizer, but its effects have still not kicked in. People are recording this event on their phones.

WHAT DO YOU SEE THAT MAKES YOU SAY THAT?

Firstly, it is obvious that the elephant is wild and not domesticated because of its agitated state on seeing people and the lack of any markings on its body to indicate otherwise. This means that the setting is in close proximity to a forest or a reserve which is home to the elephant. Secondly, the scaffoldings on the building implies new construction and expansion of an already existing town into the nearby forest which is the reason why the elephant might have wandered into the town

 

WHAT MORE CAN YOU FIND OUT?

A- Marketplace with daily commerce, disturbed by the elephant stampede

E- A heavily populated and urban area looking at the number of people and shops.

I- People taking video of this event in their mobile phones,

O- Push carts, vehicles, mobile phones, scaffolding

U- Vendors, Shoppers, An elephant

Y- A state of horror, helplessness and fearful

THICK DESCRIPTION

It is a regular afternoon in the streets of Greater Ranchi, shopkeepers busy with their daily commerce, street vendors fighting for shade in the hot sun and people scurrying around to reach their shops and the constant sounds of development. The City Plaza was one amongst the new age buildings that has been constructed as a part of the expansion of greater Ranchi to house all the businesses, to meet the demands and take advantage of the new settlement in the neighboring areas. It follows the architectural style that is prevalent in the area, a utilitarian building that occupied every inch of the site, with no breathing space between the building and the street, void of a footpath and void of Building codes and regulations. The only space that is used for non-commercial purpose was a tight corridor, where people walk either way, stop by for a chat or get a breath of fresh air from the surrounding trees.

Right when people were turning to have a cup of tea to wake their brains from the slump of afternoon, they hear the sounds of metal thrashing metal and an unusual sound not made by a human or machine. Curious, the residents of City Plaza, rush out to see what was, a mammal fighting its way through the street, visibly shaken and confused as people on the streets run for safety into City Plaza the brave one’s scurry away from the path of the elephant. Vendors half-heartedly leave their cart, their sole source of sustenance, to watch it be crushed under its gigantic feet.

Maybe it’s their karma or fate that caused this, a message from Lord Ganesha. (An Indian God of wisdom and good luck, with the head of an elephant)

But the actual message is that of deforestation, of encroaching complex jungle structures, of corrupt officials and of nature’s gentrification. Senseless urbanization in the name of economic growth is a common excuse heard by corrupt officials. The tranquilized elephant captured by the tiny cameras of people in the Plaza are going to be used by every major news network later today to show the plight of the animal, as people watch over dinner. They sympathize with the animal and hope for its safe return and forget the whole ordeal tomorrow as they make their way onto a newly laid tar road cutting through the same forest.

The Permanence of Impermanence

A girl plays inside a flooded house by her tent, which is put up to shield themselves from insects, water and prying eyes of other families. The Sao Paulo government used this house as a temporary shelter for victims who lost their homes in the hurricane last year, but due to budgeting issues were forced to stay here for more than a year and ended up building a community, providing support to one another. 

2

WHAT IS GOING ON IN THIS PICTURE?

A little girl is walking in a dilapidated house that is visibly flooded somewhere in Brazil. Tents are put up inside, maybe to protect the people from water and insects and also act as a screen for privacy. There are people inside the tents even with all the water. They must have been here for a while.

WHAT DO YOU SEE THAT MAKES YOU SAY THAT?

The use of camp tents inside, suggests that the roof might have been broken allowing water to seep into the interiors. This water logging might also be a breeding ground for mosquitoes which could be another reason for them to use tents. The walls are adorned with graffiti in Portuguese that tells us that the setting is in Brazil. Photo frames are hung perhaps to show ownership. It also indicates that the people have been here for a while.

 

WHAT MORE CAN YOU FIND OUT?

A-A child playing outside her tent

E- A flooded house that is run down.

I- Relationship between tents, people, water and the house

O-shoes, tents, water, graffiti, photo frames

U-Residents in the place

Y-The relaxed and free nature of the child without the supervision of her parents suggests that she has been there for a while.

THICK DESCRIPTION

Aaliyah, 6, along with her two brothers and parents, didn’t always stay here in these tents. She shares hers with her parents, while her two brothers have their own, which they decorated with their favorite footballer, Kaka. Her parents and hers’, more modest, functional and clean. That’s why it’s a rule to leave the dirty shoes outside, inside is for sleeping only. Cooking, bathing and playing is mostly done in other parts of the house, parts that still had a roof on it.

Aaliyah never always lived like this. Her house was in the lower regions of Sao Paolo, where people lived in houses with tin roofs, that leaked in a particular place when it rained. This was salvaged by placing a small plastic bucket beneath the leak, which took a day to fill, occasionally getting knocked over by her brothers playing football in the house. But this time it was different, the bucket filled to the brim in less than hour, and they needed 3 buckets to not flood the house. The water didn’t just come from the ceiling but through the door, she enjoyed it for a while. Her brothers and her making paper boats and seeing which one survived the longest. Until the water brought with it the muck of the street and you could not see the football anymore. That was when her neighbors knocked on their door to tell them that they heard someone say that the rains this time were going to last 48 hours and a flood was imminent in this part of town. They pack their essentials and whatever is dear to them, laving behind most as the situation was temporary.

Temporary, that was what everyone thought at the time. A temporary situation! It’s been a year now and the government officials have not yet allocated a budget to fix the homes of people displaced by the heavy rains that drowned half of Sao Paulo. This forced some families, like Aaliyah’s to stay in this temporary housing for more than a year. After a lot of talks and fight with the officials, the residents eventually accepted their fate and started “owning” the place, making it more livable. People bought cheap tents for 50 reais and put them up to reflect rooms in a house, to provide privacy and protect them from mosquitos and the leaking roof. There were community spaces where people go to cook, shower and indulge in merry making. A small community is formed in the most desperate of times to give a sense of hope, saving the misery for a rainy day!

THE BREAKDOWN

Nature’s Gentrification

A tranquilized elephant tramples its way into the city limits as people watch its movements from the balcony while others rush to safety into a commercial building. The elephant’s presence in this unusual setting is an urgent reminder that rapid mindless urbanization is encroaching into the natural habitat of these animals forcing them to migrate into cities for food and shelter.

Heading

Facts

THE BREAKDOWN

Heading

Facts

The Permanence of Impermanence:

A girl plays inside a flooded house by her tent, which is put up to shield themselves from insects, water and prying eyes of other families. The Sao Paulo government used this house as a temporary shelter for victims who lost their homes in the hurricane last year, but due to budgeting issues were forced to stay here for more than a year and ended up building a community, providing support to one another. 

Inference

Extended facts

A frolic on the green beach 

People come prepared to relax and have fun, even as a thick blanket of algae cover a huge portion of the beach. The algal explosion does not hinder the attitude of the people, who continue to visit their favorite beach every weekend as is tradition.

3

WHAT IS GOING ON IN THIS PICTURE?

People carelessly walking on the banks of a water body covered with algae. Some don’t seem to mind while others stop to have a look at the strange green substance, often taking pictures. Most people seem to have come prepared with chairs and tubes to lay on the algae and have a good time as usual with an air of indifference to this strange phenomenon.

WHAT DO YOU SEE THAT MAKES YOU SAY THAT?

The attitude of the people is a mix of wonderment and a lack of enthusiasm, leaning more towards mild apathy. The algae seem to have been there for quite a while and are part of the people’s lives at this point. They are infact welcomed, which is shown by the number of people still visiting the beach without a worry and their preparedness to the entire situation with chairs and tubes.

 

WHAT MORE CAN YOU FIND OUT?

A- tubing, swimming

E- A beach

I- People taking p

O- tubes, chairs, phones

U- visitors, tourists

Y- relaxed, curious, playful.

THICK DESCRIPTION

After a long week at work, Wong and some of his friends and family visit the local beach to get a breath of fresh air after constant exposure to chemicals in the factory. Though crowded, it is one of the last standing public spaces that is free for all and which he visited as a child with his parents, so everyone eventually ends up there. He finds atleast 5 people he recognizes in the crowds and waves at them.

The last time he went to the beach, he saw fluorescent green carpet over the beach instead of the brown/grey ones he was used to earlier. The news channels had a field day with this strange substance washed up onto the shore. It was almost like the ocean spit out things it didn’t want inside it. Some specialists on TV said it was alright to touch, some warned them to stay away, mostly people were curious. The beach had a greater number of people visit it than ever before. People especially came to see the algae, examine and take pictures of it. Some even brought in their chairs to sit and relax their feet in it. Tubing was the most popular activity of choice. So, Wong decided to do the same with his friends the next week. They cross over the slimy greens and find a perfect spot in the middle to both enjoy the beach and the sliminess of the algae. Some of his friends placed them on their belly, others playfully threw them at one another.

THE BREAKDOWN

Heading

Facts

A frolic on the green beach 

People come prepared to relax and have fun, even as a thick blanket of algae cover a huge portion of the beach. The algal explosion does not hinder the attitude of the people, who continue to visit their favorite beach every weekend as is tradition.

Inference