Taming The Teesta is a marvelous film made by Ithaca College student Taylor Graham. About the film, he writes, “Since time immemorial, the Lepcha people have called the Himalayan region that makes up the modern state of Sikkim their home and have held sacred the rivers, mountains, and forests that make up the biologically diverse region. Over the past two decades, India’s rapid development has generated a powerful thirst for electricity, and the country has increasingly looked to the cold, powerful rivers thundering from the Himalayas to supply that desired power. Hydroelectric projects have been proposed and implemented throughout the Himalayan region. Nowhere, however, are the dams as numerous or their effects as acutely felt as in India’s northwestern state of Sikkim, where a ‘cascade’ of run-of-the-river hydroelectric projects is springing into existence. There, on the Teesta River, multiple dam projects threaten the rich biodiversity of the region, the livelihoods of those who live along the Teesta’s course, and the very existence of the Lepcha people’s most cherished river.”
Stay tuned for a Q & A video of Taylor speaking about his film. We were lucky enough to have Taylor visit our class and take questions after screening this film.