Culture of Resilience: Resilience of Culture

Culture of Resilience : Resilience of Culture was the title of an Integrated Workshop/Makeathon conducted in Gulbarga, Karnataka, 26th Feb to 16th March 2018, by the UNESCO Chair in Culture, Habitat and Sustainable Development at the Srishti Institute of Art, Design & Technology, Bangalore, on behalf of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, Education Programme. The workshop was held in partnership with Team YUVAA (Youth United for Vigilance, Awareness & Action) in Bidar and the Centre for Deccan Studies, Hyderabad.  

About the workshop:  
India offers a vast diversity of cultural landscapes that have evolved innumerable responses to the ways in which societies can inhabit places that challenge human ingenuity. All kinds of answers have been found to sustain life in the face of the vagaries of nature and social systems. In turn, these conditions have encouraged the development of a bewildering diversity in ways of life, language and cultural forms. Often such complex nature of a place is subdued by the reductive and problem-based approach in learning and practice, missing out on the potential to use cultural aspects to inform development in historic cities. A shift to place-based learning can enrich our understanding of the rhizomatic nature of cultures that co-exist across time and space.  

A one of a kind collaboration came together in this pilot workshop. An opportunity to develop a pedagogy based on the decades of experience of Aga Khan Trust for Culture to in an inter-disciplinary learning platform at Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology to – go beyond the conventional disciplinary boundaries dealing with Heritage conservation and studies, explore place-based learning methods and by including local people and organisations to enhance learning and engagement. This report presents the workshop module, its design and structure. It also presents the process and evaluation of the workshop. 
The UNESCO Chair at Srishti conducted a workshop for undergraduate students at Srishti in the historic city of Gulbarga based on the experiences and materials gathered by the Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme (AKHCP). A wide range of student project outputs were produced such as imaginative narratives, illustrated books, system design, site-specific installation, Locative games, participatory archiving tools, technological artefacts etc. 

In this place-based workshop on ‘Culture of Resilience’ students from interdisciplinary backgrounds situated their inquiry in Gulbarga to understand how culture emerges out of learned human behaviour manifesting itself in the form of responses in places of inhabitance. Our approach was ‘Place as Text’ with Gulbarga becoming the ‘text’ – to read, to observe, to record, to subvert, to investigate and to critique. 
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Culture of Resilience: Resilience of Culture: An Integrated Workshop/Makeathon in Gulbarga, Karnataka, India, 26th February to 16th March 2018. Report prepared November 2018.
59 pp