Academy for Democracy

    LVS 2018

    Exploring Etho-ecologies

    Natural/Social entities and the environments they inhabit must be engaged with equally – if a shared future is to be considered for human and non humans. In times when disaster events are escalating beyond human’s governable capacities, and when debates on climate change, risk and resilience are intensifying, there is a felt urgency that actions must be taken towards building sustainable futures. A greater importance is being afforded to natural entities that are governed by human societies but upon which they also depend. To begin thinking about a shared future, in LVS 2018, we seek to understand the composition of environment and the social, cultural and natural landscapes; what do these consist of and how can we think collectively with nature and culture.

    In 2015 an earthquake of 8.2 hit Chitral causing devastating damage to physical property, infrastructure and human lives. The fault-line of Earthquake was marked in close proximity of Laspur Valley. Laajverd Visiting School will be conducted in Laspur and adjoining valleys to understand the natural-social relations amidst the challenges of natural hazards, environmental degradation, and the recent surge of slip shot development. Engaging with the concept of etho-ecologies, we will focus on natural environment, culture, architecture and natural landscapes to identify correlations, interdependencies and potential synergies upon which we might speculate a shared future.

    LVS is an inter-disciplinary platform comprising of workshops, seminars, field trips and opportunities to experience cultural practices, local music and food. Through rigorous research activities and tutorials, participants will learn to use a range of research methods, develop projects with local community, explore techniques of presentation, and carry out cross-curricular research projects.


    Akhyar Razzaq: UMT

    Akhyar Razzaq, a student of Architecture from Comsats University, Lahore is an avid reader and has recently developed an interest in the landscapes. Having an interest in landscapes and how people are engaging with them around the world has been inspiring him to produce ideas and projects around these themes. These ideas of sustainable ecologies is what has motivated him to join LVS this year.


    Yumna Sadiq:

    I have done my Bachelors in Fine Arts from National College of Arts and contemporary visual arts program from Funen Art Academy. Currently, I am working as an art specialist at Headstart School where I have experienced children expressing themselves through art and observed their curiosity for different cultures of the world. I am interested in creating awareness, motivation and a positive action to address environmental degradation in parts of Laspur, Shandur and Harchin valleys.

    Fatiha Hamid: NCA

    I’ve always had a keen interest in trying to understand co-existence of different cultures, religions and how they are in a constant state of change and evolution. I would like to be a part of LVS in order to play my part in ensuring that sustainable development is carried out in the underprivileged areas and that they are given a chance to progress with causing minimum hindrance to their culture and traditions.

    Shehryar Hasan: LSE

    My name is Shehryar Hassan and I will be completing my BSc Hons. in Economics and Political Sciences from the Lahore School of Economics in 2019. Laajverd Visiting School 2018 is essentially a synthesis of my ambitions and my academic career. I believe that this program will not only lend me an insight on how to devise a framework of sustainable development in Pakistan, but also connect me with like-minded people who want to stand beside the underprivileged in order to uplift their lives.

    Fatima Afzal: MCE, Risalpur

    Being a postgraduate scholar of disaster management, working alongside the communities and learning from them is a golden chance to get a better idea of the grass root level problems and the local knowledge to deal with those issues. In addition to this working with people from diverse backgrounds will provide an opportunity to learn from those people as well as share my experiences and knowledge with those people.

    Ayesha Kamal:

    Ayesha Kamal Bhatti is an Assistant Professor at the Multimedia Arts Department, School of Art, Design and Architecture, University of Gujrat. She is an academician, practicing artist and a researcher who looks for creating visual anthropology in new media.

    Sultan Salahuddin: IM Sciences

    I want to invest my capabilities, my knowledge and my energy in organizations that combine technical competences and creativity, recognize and reward achievements.

    Zeeshan Ghani:

    This year I had the opportunity to work in Harchin on a project involving design and curation of Heritage Museum Laspur. I find the village on the verge of shifting from a small village to a tourist attraction. I believe is this shift isn’t handled properly; it can result disastrously for the people of the village. I would take this oppetunity to understand this transition, and how can this be more sustainable, which would have minimum effect on the social and cultural practices of people of Harchin.

    Aihab Anwar: UMT

    As an Architecture student, I realize the serious issues our environment faces. I am really interested in the problems occurring locally across Pakistan . In the past four years I have developed a habit to never miss an opportunity to travel and explore through the diverse culture that we have and like to observe and debate on it . I also like interacting with the people of diverse cultures and learn there take on various situations

    Danial Khizer:

    In 2015 after my first LVS I got opportunity to learn, explore and document my mother land and also come to know about how this newly developing revenue generating tourism activity is destroying the culture and landscape of my land. But this school also gave me an opportunity to develop smart solutions to help and support my land and people and later this knowledge got more flourish in last 3 years during my research in the other regions of Pakistan.

    Maleeha Hassan:

    Being an architect and having done numerous undergrad projects including final year thesis research on community development through socially sustainable architecture, my motivation to be a part of laajverd visiting school lies in having a shared opportunity to experience a different and actual approach towards architecture and pattern language, on the hazard prone sites selected for the 2018 workshop.

    Mohammad Noor e Ellahi Mirza: UMT

    I have always this innate desire to explore architecture and its immediate impact on environment in social-o-cultural context and How it has changed the human lives all around the globe throughout the ages. I want to personally experience the art and architecture from the diverse culture through exploration, travel and creative possibilities that are found in architecture and design.

    Kamran Rizvi: Comsats

    Mountains, nature and processes that carve the landscape have always attracted me. For this reason I chose Geology as my field of studies. For me LVS will be an opportunity to study the landscape of Laspur and adjacent villages to develop an understanding of life in the mountains, and human interrelationship with our fragile environment. This visiting school will hopefully help me in viewing communities, their livelihoods and practices that help them survive within the harsh mountains at a fine scale.

    Palwisha Khan: UMT

    I have always this innate desire to explore architecture and its immediate impact on environment in social-o-cultural context and How it has changed the human lives all around the globe throughout the ages. I want to personally experience the art and architecture from the diverse culture through exploration, travel and creative possibilities that are found in architecture and design. .

    Sidra Tabassum: MCE

    Chitral is prone to different hazards, like floods and landslides; it would be very interesting to know how people manage their livelihoods? How their culture is affected by disasters and climate change, as well as tourism and development projects like CPEC? What is the perception of people regarding all these development plans and how will their life be affected both socially and economically. I am interested in knowing indigenous methods for sustainable livelihoods

    Rashid Subhani:

    By travelling one understands the socio-cultural variation in any area. This variation cannot be only achieved by travelling to places that have technologically evolved to such an extent, but also to those places that have taken up their vernacular architecture as their only source of light. Under this light they have made dwellings that help them survive the worst of nature. By in field practical work and theoretical analysis only we can understand this rising problem and counter it.

    Batool Ali:

    Batool is Diploma, B2 Level in French. I am determined, confident, sociable, adventurous and love to travel. I have been part of LVS team since the beginning in 2014; from Hunza to Kashmir, Naran –Kaghan valley to Gulmit this year. Having researched in the past on transforming food culture in Hunza, indigenous herbal medicine in Neelum, impacts of tourism and sustainable development in Kaghan Valley, I aim to go with an open-mind and see what the field has to offer.