During the Visiting School, participants are encouraged to work on individual inquiries, which may lead to a project. Thorough collective crit sessions and individual tutorials with LVS core team directed participants to develop their projects. Following are some projects proposed by the participants,
By Saba Mehmood
Responding to an assignment given by the LVS core-team on collecting Earthquake 2005 narratives. Sabah responded in a creative way- she illustrated oral narratives of the Earthquake that were recorded over the course of the visiting school. Her drawings of the narratives presented details of the valley all the way from Ghari Habibullah to Battakundi. Through these narratives she also mapped architectural details of the houses from before the earthquake to the reformed ones post-disaster.
Eco-lore; Story of a Deodar Tree
By Sabeen Mehmood
Sabeen used existing folklores of the area and improvised them keeping in mind the environmental threat that the landscape of Kaghan/Naran valley faces. She developed a detailed story touching all aspects of degradation of the natural habitat and by creating children as her primary audience. Her project proposes performative storytelling for ecotourism and to also spread awareness amongst the locals.
Drawing the Imagined
Maheera Ali and Usman Malik
Maheerah and Usman mapped how art was being taught to the school children in the valley and how their understanding was being developed through the curriculum that was being taught. By conducting drawing workshops with children they tried to assess to what extent their imagination was
being used in the drawings and they developed activities that involved listening to a folklore and drawing the characters out through imagination. Maheerah and Usman were interested in getting the children to draw what they have never seen before.
Revolutionizing Teaching Methods
Fahad looked at the way government sanctioned education and teaching methodology played a role in the receding knowledge of the immediate surrounding in school children. Through workshops with the children by engaging them in creative activities, Fahad’s project proposes interactive teaching methodologies for teacher incorporating indigenous knowledge, fostering a healthy dialogue that can potentially inculcate interest for education in both local girls and boys.
Anum’s performative writings about the valley proposed documentation of the area in a creative manner. Her
experiential writings evoke sensations of the landscape, the built environment, practices and memory. These writings will potentially be used as theater performances or published as booklet for environmental and cultural awareness of Kaghan Valley.
Conservation of craft, identity and landscape
Shari-making’, a hand-spun and hand-woven local shawl is the oldest and one of the few skilled craft available today in the valley. However this traditional skill is at the risk of dying out due to lack of attention from locals and monetary support from government. During our Crafts workshop field research we discovered that ‘Muhammad Mustaq Khan’ is the only living artisan practicing this craft, owning a dilapidated workshop in a small town at Ja’ared. We consider this as a serious threat to the identity of the Naran landscape and aim to develop an outreach project under which we can design, plan and improvise a micro business strategy, in order to preserve, sustain and expand ‘shari-making & maker’; creating a link with the local and international buyer as well as making it a tourist attraction activity.