Exhibitions & Events

Student Pastures

The Living Lightly exhibition has regularly reached out to school students and students pursuing specialised courses of study such as design, ecological research, and architecture to get them interested in Pastoralism. These engagements have been in the form of workshops and roundtables at the Exhibitions in Delhi and Ahmedabad as well as specific research projects with students of noted institutions. Living Lightly hopes to strengthen its association with students and academic institutions in the coming days.

Two Round Table discussions created a more informed engagement with pastoralism for students and faculty of Architecture, Planning and Fashion Design Institutes. Interactive spaces in the form of round tables were offered to the Department of Planning in CEPT, Ahmedabad, and the National Institute of Fashion Design, New Delhi.

Herded animals in Indian cities are seen through a range of lenses – from being a nuisance to traffic and making cities dirty to being symptomatic of the incomplete modernity that characterizes our part of the world. This roundtable brought together 11 students from India, and enabled built environment professionals to move beyond such simplistic narratives and take a closer look at urban pastoralism - herders, their free grazing animals and their various relationships as they live on the edge of urban habitats.

Source: Wikipedia
The round table on ‘Mapping Movements’ was organized and anchored by Prof. Gauri Bharat from Centre for Environment Planning Technologies (CEPT), Ahmedabad and facilitated by Prof. Neelkanth Chhaya, Architect and Educator. While they initiated the round table discussion with students - mainly from architecture and planning schools - by going through the Living Lightly exhibition, they led the participants to reflect on pastoral mobilities and ecosystems as well as their own spiritual, material and political dependencies on them.
This round table was a beginning for students to track pastoral movements in India’s cities, trace their conflicts and struggles as they move and contribute to the cities’ food and economy, and as young professionals in habitat planning, begin to explore the need for research and urban planning for livestock and their herders.

This round table, which saw 18 participants, sought to give young fashion designers a very rich and provocative exposure to material making, using the culture of pastorals in contemporary times. It enabled aspiring design professionals to discover both the varied raw material they receive from pastoral systems as well as the minimalist and no-waste designs emanating from pastoral cultures. The discussions encouraged young designers to challenge their own affinities, perspectives and choices in what gets called as the ‘craft sector’. More importantly, it led them to look at the influences of the environment and ecology on Maldhari life; and how this gets contextualized within the design process.


The round table was led by Mr. Jogi Panghaal, designer and educator, and Archana Shah, Designer and Founder of Bandhej. As two of the principle designers of the products on display in the craft bazaar organized by Khamir, they took the participant students and faculty of NIFT into a learning journey on the design process, values and approach they followed in putting together the sheep wool and natural leather collection for the exhibition. Many of the students were immediately inspired to work with the raw material emerging from pastoral livelihoods. And members of the NIFT faculty, participating in the round table, felt that they would like to to introduce a more holistic understanding of the design ecosystem within their curriculum.


Other Student Workshops


In Ahmedabad, Nupur Sinha, a visiting professor of Law at Nirma University, and the Director of Centre for Social Justice curated a series of lectures on pastoralism and law to coincide with the Living Lightly exhibition in Ahmedabad, Tushar Dash from Vasundhara, with extensive experience on FRA undertook sessions on the the legal underpinnings of FRA and its relevance to pastoralists.

IGNCA was enlivened every morning for 10 days by the presence of school children from public and private schools of Delhi. Flow India, an organization that works extensively on design of educational material and methods for school students was invited to facilitate ten workshops to introduce school students and young adults (13-16 years) to the land, lives and livelihood of pastoralism. The form and content of the exhibition was designed to engage young students with the unique life relationships, eco-system and increasing relevance of pastoralism today, and in the future.


The on-site workshops and exposure to the practices and unique world views of pastoralists, provoked numerous questions and discussions on the pastoralists’ vision of coexistence amongst the youth, for whom climate change is a very palpable concern.


Vikas, a 12 year old boy from the MCD School , Mehrauli asked, “When these pastoralists keep moving from one place to another and don’t have access to banks and atms on their journey, then what is happening to them during demonetization?!”

Many questions popped up around the School Workshops contribution of nomadic pastoralists to the environment, economy and society. From expressing amazement at the bond between a Maldhari and her buffalo after watching the film, to appreciating Jo Bertini’s artwork, to asking questions like, “why do Maldharis use leather if they love animals so much?” the students immersed themselves into this world without a roof!

Flow India designed the workshops around themes and ideas of material needs, ecological conservation, economic production, arts, music, and crafts; students were encouraged to
draw upon the narratives in the exhibition to explore the concept of a ‘home’, movement
and mobility, as well as human response to eco systems. They were skilfully led by the facilitators to introspect on their own urban lives and its invisible but deeper connections to pastoral livelihoods. Researchers, practitioners, and pastoralists themselves collaborated with facilitators from Flow India to deliver the workshops. In all, about 250 students from schools run by private, government, and NGOs attended the workshops.