Narratives of Ladakh, a collaborative summer program, was hosted jointly with INTACH Ladakh Chapter and the Central Asian Museum in Kargil. It was a collaboration of architects, conservationists, a cartographer, and graphic designers – who were both students and professionals.
It aimed towards studying and documenting regional vernacular architecture, record the functioning in the social realm, understanding the built legacy of the mountain people and inspire a study of Islamic art, crafts and architecture beyond the plains of mainland India.
The study involved documenting the tangible and intangible aspects of the region that acted as a generator for the existing spatial configuration responsible for the Kargil town. The study focused on the influence of climate, material, and the confluence of culture on architecture and the fabric of the old town Kargil to re-engage with Kargil, understand forces that acted in ancient time in shipping of a trade town, and develop multidisciplinary documentation and collaborative understanding.
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Documenting and recording Hundarman village was at the core of this workshop. The main settlement of Hundarman Broq is a Balti village older than 500 years, close to the international border with Pakistan. Abandoned since 1971, the settlement is the only existing example of its kind today. The houses in-built settlement of Hundarman, standing on the cliffs, are built out of dry rubble walls leveled to terrace farming. The close-knit community has many interactive spaces as a part of their settlement.
The collaborative exercise of documentation proved generative to all the groups that included professionally diverse inquiries in it.
FRAMING THE FORGOTTEN
The narratives that evolved from the interaction and recordings with the locals were put to display at the central chowk for them and everyone else to look at. These photos attest to how Framing the Forgotten exhibit and the villages’ representation delightfully received.