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‘Sense of History’: Community – based Heritage Conservation
3 day workshop: 23-25 May 2016
by Greha and Intach Heritage Academy (IHA)
Greha is a non-profit society for research on environmental development, habitat design and architecture, based out of Eco Options in Aya Nagar, New Delhi. With the belief in “urban renewal by citizens”, we have been working with a strong focus on the informal settlements of Delhi for the past two decades. Greha has also been an active role player in voicing a new paradigm for the learning of Architecture, by looking at history through an indigenous perspective, and by proposing alternate pedagogical methods.
This May, Greha is organizing a 3-day workshop in collaboration with Intach Heritage Academy at INTACH, Delhi – called ‘Sense of History’ . The workshop explores the writing of history with an indigenous perspective. We shall evaluate concepts and tools towards the same, supported by an evidence based research of a public place set in the historic context of Mehrauli.
BACKGROUND – HISTORY WORKSHOP
The ‘Sense of History’ workshop, jointly organized by Greha and IHA is built upon an earlier work titled ‘ History of Architecture – Towards Writing from an Indigenous Perspective’ which was a workshop organized by the School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal in 2015. A multi-disciplinary expert panel gathered in Bhopal and theorized on various concepts and responses towards listening, reading and seeing indigenous history which is embedded in the built environment. The workshop questions our present approach to history of architecture which deals mostly with the study of built objects set in a chronological matrix. This approach tends to ignore our history as a living heritage that it is, and separates the object from its lived reality, rendering the study as a lifeless art form. Hence, a revised lens of observing, understanding and rooting history requires that we study history through evidence and writing history from empirical research.
The aim of the workshop is to ‘investigate our sense of history, specifically architectural history’.
Architectural history is seen as a mirror of community resources, knowledge, tools, skills, beliefs and idols that are shared and thereby together signify cultural, social, economic and political forces of a particular time and place. Making sense of our architectural history therefore allows us to make sense of the community, which then lives in a continuum with this history as an integral stakeholder in understanding and maintaining its future.
The Sense of History workshop is structured around the following:
1. To realize the tools of comprehending architectural history from an indigenous perspective through empirical investigation and theory.
2. To develop a methodology for a community embedded approach towards heritage conservation and anchoring the society in its history.
The 3- day workshop would be later followed by the 4- week long ‘Making History – Mehrauli Studio’ which will work on actual intervention with community participation on a pilot site at the historic settlement in Delhi in the later part of this year. Liasoning with government officials, various departments and representatives from the community is already underway.
The workshop shall involve about 30 inter-disciplinary scholars. The expert scholars who participated in the Bhopal workshop shall anchor this workshop along with other contributors from Greha, Intach Heritage Academy and partner organizations.
The contributors are:
• Panel from the earlier Bhopal workshop: Narendra Dengle, Neelkanth Chhaya, R.J. Vasavada, Shonaleeka Kaul, Aneerudha Paul, Savyasaachi, MN Ashish Ganju, K.L Nadir, Snehanshu Mukherjee.
• Greha and other contributors: Nidhi Batra, Parul Kiri Roy, Henri Fanthome, Priyanka Jain, Aarti Dhingra and Kriti Aggarwal
These contributors shall be accompanied by resource persons from IHA and other young scholars from disciplines such as sociology, history, anthropology, political science, economics, as well as urban planners, designers, and architects of various specialisations.
WORKSHOP PROGRAMME AND SESSIONS
Dates : 23-25 May 2016; Venue : Intach Heritage Academy, Lodhi Road, Delhi
Highlighted below is the broad programme and key chair for each session:
Day 1: 23 May 2016
Themes: Investigating the Concepts: The panel of experts will share their synopsis of research writings leading to the writing the of an indigenous history of architecture.
Tools of listening, reading and seeing history
Day 2: 24 May 2016
Themes: Uncovering history through the case of a public place in Mehrauli
Break out session towards investigating tools for listening, reading and looking at history
Day 3: 25 May 2016
Themes: Investigating roles and approach towards community engagement and stakeholder participation in heritage conservation
Writing of a joint statement by the participants towards understanding the ‘sense of history’.
OUTPUTS OF THE 3-DAY SENSE OF HISTORY WORKSHOP
The is the continuation of an ongoing research on writing history of architecture from an indigenous perspective. The key outputs will strengthen this on-going research, and include:
1. Identified tools of interpreting history though empirical investigation;
2. Identified approach towards engaging community as the primary stakeholder in managing and maintaining built heritage
3. A statement to establish our sense of history, and how we make history through physical interventions in our historic fabric.
The proceedings and findings of the workshop would be published as a report acknowledging contribution of all the participants and would be distributed for larger dissemination and discourse.
The Registration Fee for workshop is : Rs. 3000/-
The last date of registration has been extended till 19th May 2016 due to large number of queries and expression of interest.
Download Registration Form here
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