Infrastructural Development: Fragile-scapes, fragmented lives
Infrastructural development such as roads and bridges promise mobility, change and development offering opportunities for populations that were otherwise restricted, remote or disconnected from the contemporary world. However, they also have the capacity to organize and govern the political, social, cultural and economic lives of inhabitants and their environment. In addition to the opportunities and possibilities offered by infrastructures, their destructive potential for marginalized communities and indigenous landscapes cannot be ignored. This ambivalent nature of infrastructures will be explored in Laajverd Visiting School 2019 located in Gwadar, a coastal town in south-west Pakistan. Gwadar is currently being developed as a strategically located port city on the southern tip of CPEC, connecting China to the warm waters of the Arabian sea. It is an old
trading town with historic links across the Arabian sea and Indian ocean where local lives revolve around the fishing business locally known as ‘mahigeeri’. The newly introduced Gwadar City and Port Masterplan will disrupt and displace fisherfolk communities who have for decades lived and thrived in this land and in these waters. Through participatory workshops and mapping strategies, LVS will explore the socio-economic and cultural landscapes of fisherfolk, including potential opportunities for local community to develop alongside the etho-ecologies of land life and water that compose the hammerhead peninsula known as Gwadar.
LVS 2019 is co-led by Nishat Awan and Zahra Hussain and funded by the Research and Enterprise Committee, GCRF Fund of Goldsmiths, University of London.