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Living Lightly

A glimpse into the past and future
Rabari at the Living Lightly Exhibition (1)_1778_1000
Nov 15, 2022
Author: CfP Staff

At CfP we are interested in Pastoralism not only because of the economic value it brings to herders and all those dependent on pastoral economies, but also because Pastoral cultures excite us. What does it mean to live a life on the move? What does it feel like to set up home under a moonlit starry sky on a mountain top, or lush grassland, or by a forest stream that gently gurgles through the night? What do pastoralists celebrate? What do they mourn? What stories do younger pastoralists hear from their elders? How does a travelling herder forge bonds of community and friendship along the way?

The music, poetry, art, and craft of pastoral communities reflects a unique lifeworld. In 2016 the Living Lightly Kutch exhibition, brought together these stories, for the first time, to enable conversation and reflection. Over the coming year, we are working with communities, artists, researchers, and many others to bring together stories of pastoralism from the Deccan and the Himalayas. Here’s a peek into our past and where we are headed.


The Kutch Living Lightly

The first living lightly exhibition took place in 2016. This was our first attempt at organizing an exhibition and we had a fantastic time getting it off the ground. The exhibition captured the remarkable history of pastoral mobility, their ecosystems, culture, science, art, politics, spiritual moorings and the economics of herding. It created a platform for sharing and learning between pastoral communities from across the country, government officials, academics, activists, artists and so many others. As a result of its success, the exhibition travelled to Ahmedabad in 2017 and sparked many interesting conversations and collaborations.


The Deccan Living Lightly

For the upcoming Deccan edition of Living Lightly, a team of us have been travelling with pastoralists as they migrate with their herd across the Deccan Plateau to map their routes and understand what it means to be a pastoralist in today’s world. We’ve travelled with the Rabaris, Dhangars, Kurubas, Kurumas and Lambadas across Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, and Andhra. The conversations have been rich and the experiences humbling.


The Himalayan Living Lightly

For the soon to come Himalayan edition, we are working on creating a large repository of secondary material. With friends and colleagues in the western Himalayas, across Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand we are working to bring together a wide range of materials- from academic papers to news articles, films, photographs, music, and poetry to help us understand this vast and varied landscape through the eyes of its herders.

Besides all this, we’re also gearing up to make our debut in the world wide web! So, it’s a busy yet exciting time for our team. Interested to join us on this journey? Get in touch!

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