Celebrating the Culture of Pastoralism at Living Lightly

In the age of globalisation, when people are more inclined towards the fact of settling down, the culture of Pastoralism throws light on the life of nomadic tribes. Living Lightly – Journeys with Pastoralists (Maaldhari) is a collaborative initiative by Centre for Pastoralism and Sahjeevan, and is set in the beautiful premises of Mill Owner’s Association Building, Ahmedabad. The movement is supported by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. The celebration is curated using different forms of art – being Poetry, Storytelling, Music, Film, Workshops, Live Events, Food and art and it gives deep insights into the dying art of life in mobility. The event is organised in the heritage city of Ahmedabad from October 5, 2017, to October 8, 2017. Apart from Mill Owner’s building, the events span around other culture centres of city like the House of MG and the Kanoria Centre for Arts.

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The event kicked off with a creative recitation called Dastan-e-Khanabadosh, which narrates one of the world’s oldest forms of Urdu storytelling, Dastangoi with a pinch of contemporary outlook. Performed by dramatist Ankit Chadha, Dastangoi is a traditional folklore presented by nomadic pastorals. The recitation possesses an incredibly vivid hyperbole, and the fantasy fiction tale gives its audience a privilege to derive their own conclusion, which practically has no definite beginning or end. The glimpse of this folk art form was visible to the public on October 3, 2017, at Kanoria Centre For Arts, and will be again performed by dastango Chadha on October 5, 2017, at Mill Owners’ Association Building. The exponent of Dastangoi, Ankit Chadha has added his perceptions to this generational folk art form and have made it come alive, and yet retain the original flavour. This is a rare feat to achieve in folk art forms. Chadha, has traveled a lot with his performance and have enlightened global platforms like Princeton, Harvard and Yale with it. A litterateur at heart, Chadha has authored acclaimed titles Amir Khusrau – The Man in Riddles and My Gandhi Story.

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Image Courtesy : Organiser

Living Lightly is a deeply insightful event that takes the urbanites into the life and dreams of the Pastoralists. Important to note is the fact that Animal Husbandry contributes 4.11% to India’s GDP. This is largely due to the efforts of the Pastoralists. This is rarely recognised at national platforms. Talking further on the subject and sharing information on the role of Pastoralists in development of wool, Sandeep Virmani, Mentor, Center for Pastoralism, added, “Our pastoralists have developed a huge diversity of wool from different sheep breeds. A whopping 95% is sheered and literally thrown away, while India wears imported Marino, Syrian and Pakistani wool. In the meat economy, the total contribution of Sheep-Goat is 45%, of which 90% is produced by pastoralists. Further, 90% of the feed of sheep and goat comes from the commons; village gauchars, forests, grasslands and pastures”

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Image Courtesy : Organiser

The exhibition, Living Lightly: Journeys with Pastoralists has been curated by Sushma Iyengar with other co-curators; the knowledge inputs have come from Centre for Pastoralism and many other experts across the country. The exhibition and accompanying cultural events capture the lives of Indian pastoralists – their remarkable history of mobility, the eco-systems which nurture their life-world, their culture, science, art, spiritual moorings and the economy of herding. The exhibition brings together pastoralists from different parts of the country to speak about their efforts, experiences, feats, and failures.

For more details on the Living Lightly program, please refer the image and stay tuned to Creativeyatra.com

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