LVS 2020

Crafting Resilience 

Kalash Valley (Bumburaite, Ramboor, Barir)

Cultural landscapes are constituted through the on-going social, cultural religious, economic and material based practices of communities within the landscapes and intrinsic to heritage and identity. In this LVS, we explore linkages between practices, identity-making, belonging, skill, material and immaterial landscapes to understand how lives and landscapes are maintained in times of conflict and crisis. One such threatened community is the Kalasha among the indigenous groups in Northern Pakistan which represent one of the oldest minorities’ cultures. Known as Kafirs or infidels, Kalasha actually represent a unique culture of a very old and primitive society in the world, dating back to at least 3000 years. Once scattered all over Chitral with far more political and social clout, now they are located in three main valleys of Ramboor, Bumburaite and Birir, and have reduced to 3-4000 people in number over the last few decades. Over time, political, socio-religious and economic pressures (such as their rate of conversion to Islam, high infant and maternal mortality rate in Kalasha women, and increasing trend of migration of many Muslim outsiders to Kalasha valleys) their population, influence and clout is increasingly at risk in the area leading to the potential destruction of their cultural heritage and landscapes. Through our workshops we will explore the cultural practices, architectural pattern language, the craft of making and maintaining cultural forms of expression (craft products, buildings, temples, festivities), the material supply chains and natural resource management for craft production. We will identify the challenges to craft practices and together with the communities explore ways of conserving these practices for resilient futures.

To Apply: Interested candidates will send a statement of interest (300500 words)+CV+ID on with the subject ‘application for LVS2020’ by the 7th of March 2020.

Shortlisted candidates will be contacted and required to pay registration fee of Rs 25,000/- for the entire program (travel to-from Islamabad by road, Accommodation, meals, workshop materials).

This LVS is in collaboration with the Culture and Conflict project under the Transformation and Empowerment stream of the UKRI-GCRF Gender, Justice and Security Hub at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Dr Zahra Hussain is the director of LVS and a Postdoctoral Fellow on the Hub.