Improving the Educational Role of the Hund Museum

August 2018 - March 2019

The School of Culture and Language (SCL) carried out this research project. Its objectives were to enhance the educational experience for visitors, particularly students, at Hund Museum, District Swabi, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. It also aimed to formulate mechanisms for improved interpretation of artifacts and incorporate storytelling within the components of the project. Capacity building workshops were held with schoolteachers and museum staff and tradition bearers for sessions pertaining to pottery, storytelling, and music were invited. Electronic applications were developed, providing an overview of the museum, games for students, and interpretation of artifacts to give a tri-lingual, audio-visual experience to the museum visitors. Lesson plans were developed with innovative pedagogies that formulate a connection between material taught in schools and the museum through a comprehensive Educational Resource Kit.

Empowering the Kalasha Communities through Safeguarding their Intangible Cultural Heritage

August 2016 - April 2017

The purpose of this project was to Safeguard the Kalasha Cultural Heritage, promote cultural diversity, religious plurality, and communal harmony. This research project was carried out under THAAP and Institute for Art and Culture (IAC) in collaboration with UNESCO and was funded by Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, the Embassy of Switzerland. The Kalasha people are one of the smallest religious minorities of Pakistan, numbering nearly 4200 people. They dwell in the Mumuret, Biriu, and Rukmu valleys (District Chitral, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa). The faculty of the SCL carried out research and documentation of their cultural practices using Community Based Inventorying (CBI). Frequent complaints and repeated demands of Kalasha community members over cases of past misrepresentation prompted this project. The transmission of the Kalasha heritage relies heavily upon oral traditions, with little to no present documentation carried out in collaboration with community members. Fieldwork was carried out in the Kalasha Bumburet (Mumuret), Birir (Biriu), and Rumbur (Rukmu) valleys for a combined period of 87 days and a research and dissemination methodology was established to bring forth local perspective of Kalasha culture, which resulted in the formation of the first ever Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) Inventory of Pakistan. Submission of “Suri Jagek: The Kalasha Meteorological and Astronomical Practice of Observing the Sun, Moon, Stars, and Shadows” on UNESCO’s list of ICH in Need of Urgent Safeguarding was accepted unanimously, a great success for IAC!

Development of an Integrated Site Management Plan and Capacity Building for Sustainable Tourism Management of Selected Sikh Sites in Punjab

August 2019 - Ongoing

The IAC signed a contract with UNESCO for the project of “Development of an Integrated Site Management Plan and Capacity Building for Sustainable Tourism Management of Selected Sikh Sites in Punjab” on 30th August, 2019. The project aims to contribute towards the economic development of Punjab through cultural tourism. This will be achieved by promoting ef – fectively managed tourism to heritage sites of cultural interests. The project sites are Gurdwara Rohri Sahib, Eminabad and Gurdwara Sacha Sauda Sahib, Farooqabad. Under this project, Integrated Site Management Plans will be created to safeguard the heritage value of the sites selected and promote sustainable tourism to the sites and surrounding areas. This will help to manage the demands and needs of the tangible heritage with an over and under lay – ering of the intangible heritage which embodies its value and significance. The balance created between these aspects will create a dynamic site of interest for tourists. This plan will also establish the appropriate strategy to balance the need to target economic growth as well as enhance sustaina – ble cultural tourism to these heritage sites.

Safeguarding the Cultural Heritage through Awareness Raising of the General Public and Mobilizing School going Youth

April 2019 - Ongoing

The project aims at engaging communities, in particular the youth, and strengthening their role in management and protection of the heritage sites. It is envisaged within the framework of UNESCO Convention on World Heritage which has “ in recent years emphasized that a greater role of communities in protecting cultural and natural heritage be found,” to enable an increase in the sense of ownership and pride in their heritage resulting in a more engaged safeguarding of the heritage. The Project foresees that through the capacity building and engagement of key stakeholders such as youth, mainly school children, and teachers, as well as general awareness raising through social and electronic media and developing liaison between the community and Provincial Directorate of Archaeology, this can be achieved. The Project is to be implemented in the Districts of Peshawar, Mardan and Swat.