Academy for Democracy

    LVS 2016

    Rehabilitating Landscapes

    Economic constraints and pursuits; increased tourism and the subsequent transformation of local environment,
    nature and culture have contributed to the degradation of the natural landscape of Naran and Kaghan Valley in Northern Pakistan. Prevalent issues are deforestation, sanitation, and a growing culture of irresponsible tourism, which is destroying the living landscape of these valleys. Laajverd Visiting School will investigate how local culture and environment is embedded within the landscape and how can this co-existence flourish rather than fail. It will further investigate the potential of natural and cultural landscapes to contribute to a sustainable economic model for locals i.e. through the presence of precious stones, local craft skills and local practices and patterns. Natural and cultural heritage sites will be explored as the LVS participants work alongside the local population with the aim of generating knowledge and proposing alternate and effective possibilities of understanding landscape as a resort for rehabilitation.



    Laajverd Visiting School has an outreach component that encourages participants to engage with the community to build their capacity, conserve local knowledge and sites and conduct any workshops which may enhance the local’s skill-set. This year, participants were engaged with a wood workshop in Jared Bazar in order to explore product innovation with the crafts persons. Anum Khattak completed this exercise when she designed some material with the crafts person and he produced the products within the span of a week. This product is being developed for further production.


    A paper-making workshop was conducted with the locals, this idea was floated by Faryal Arif and the LVS gathered raw materials to conduct the workshop. Although the workshop was directed at the local women in Khannian but the men seemed to take more interest and started helping out with the tasks. Eventually the local men were fully involved in the activity while the women were engaged in another workshop that LVS team was conducting in the same vicinity. This workshop was based on exploring embroidery designs in a participatory design method with the local women, which ultimately resulted in designing a purse. This led the women to explore new designs in embroidery inspired from the local surroundings.

    Maria Naqvi engaged children in making bead jewellery, a session that was thoroughly enjoyed by children.