Ladakh (or La Dags,the land of the high passes) today, is situated under the Karakoram range, much of it being above a height of 3000 mts, in the trans Himalayan region of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.
A key staging post on the ancient Central and South Asian trade routes, indigenous Ladakhi expression intermixes with Tibetan, Kashmiri and Central Asian elements, reflected in the incredibly rich tapestry of the arts and material heritage of the land.
Living in such rough climes, the Ladakhi people have developed creative ways of channelising their limited resources through the ages, employing innovative methods of irrigation for their crop(the only water source being glacial brooks), weaving for cloth, architecture, art.
A completely self sustaining culture now enduring great changes.
This idea of development has snowballed over the last years and the way of life in Ladakh is changing because it has been exposed to the same air of modernity reducing culture in other parts of our country to displays at a thrift shop, with the young beginning to reject their cultural wholesale out of a sense of shame.
Our main areas of interest are
The education System
Radha Kumud Sharma, belonging to Bolpur near Vishwabharati Santiniketan, West Bengal, has been touring for the last 40 years through Jammu and Kashmir across Himachal to Gujarat by foot, in India teaching science and narrating sto-ries to the school students in villages and towns across the country.He uses the play of light and his finger movements to create different animals, birds and human beings. In basic science, he covers subjects such as Geography, Biology, Chemistry; some favorite topics being the solar and lunar eclipse and cell division in plants and animal. And the kids love him.
The art and cultures and their preservation through interactive documentation.
(Clock-wise from left) Traditional halter strapped loom, Ceremonial dance at he festival at the Hemis Monastery, Artist Tsering drawing the images of the four great guardian kings with charcoal at the Stok hermitage ,
The sustainabilty measures in action in the region
Through a film, a fiction and a non fictionThrough artistic explorations and photographs, for an exhibitionThrough a publication to compile the writing and the visual documentationWith the young leaving their homes in search of a fixed income,the highly self sustaining manner of living in Ladakh teeters towards complete malfunction.
As is the case with many ancient cultures,there is no documentation of the scale of the dilution of the culture whatsoever.
Abhishek SinghAnimation Film Design, National Institute of Design
Worked for Virgin Comics for creation of their series on Ramayana 3392 AD and Krishna and a comic series with Shekhar Kapur.
Has worked with Pogo, Cartoon Network.
Worked on visualization of mood for a couple of feature films.Apart from Virgin, Abhishek has also been working with Chandamama Comics,and is currentlyworking on his own publication.
In Project Edza,Abhishek will be exploring thangka art and artistic styles of the region, their history and preservation techniques.u: http://abhiart.blogspot.com/
Aditya Kuppa,Bachelor of Engineering, E&TC
Worked with 2 early boot strapped start ups (OBC,Tripdog) and consulted for gigs at IRL(IBM Research Labs),Seebeyond
Security researcher and Consultant and talks at different security conferences and seminars
Offered a PhD from MIT and has authored papers in Interdisciplinary fields
Working on Project Edza on the research of sustainabilty,education,conservation intiatives already existent in the region
Milann Tress JohnFilm and Video Communication Design,National Institute of Design
Milann completed her Bachelor of Engineering,Information Technology from Pune.
During her engineering she worked on projects at the Film and Television Institute of India(FTII).She has worked on films addressing the issues of transgen-ders of the lower socio economic classes in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.She also worked on the assembly of the Indian Youth Climate Network Road Tour film addressing sustainable climate solutions through villages and towns from Tamil Nadu toDelhi.
For Project Edza,Milann will be using film to communicate the current state of art and culture, their preservation and local initiatives to safekeep the same.Through fiction and non fiction,she plans to communicate how the model of develop-ment established in Ladakh by standardization is dangerously distanced from the needs of particular peoples and places and rigidly imposed from the top down.u: http://stompingintheyard.blogspot.com/
Siddhartha TripathiAnimation Film Design,National Institute of Design
Siddhartha has worked as a comic book artist and animation supervisor at Amar Chitra Katha,as an illustrator with Raj Comics and Co Design.He did an internship with Virgin Comics,India.
He is currently working as a concept artist for a feature length film for Dr. C. Dwivedi(director of Pinjar)
Siddhartha will collaborate in the documentation of the people, and their craft, agricultural practices, and narrative forms.
Caricatures of team members...We plan to personalise our explorations.
We intend to explore the very spirit of Ladakh,while learning from an ancient expression.