SAARC Archaeology and Heritage Management Training Workshop Footsteps of the Past, Custodians of the Present, Heritage of the Future Afghanistan

1.    BACKGROUND
The SAARC Cultural Centre held two capacity building workshops on heritage management – “Management Systems of World Heritage Sites in South Asia” in Pakistan in 2013 and “Preparation of Proposals of New Sites for Inclusion in the World Heritage List” in Lumbini, Nepal in 2014.  Subsequently at the Plenary and Academic Sessions of the Research Seminar on “Buddhist Cultural Trails: Journey Through Time and Space, of Merchants, Monks and Pilgrims” held in 2017, the need for training programmes in Archaeology and Heritage Management within the Region was highlighted.

Tangible Cultural Heritage (TCH) of South Asia is not limited to World Heritage Sites and the landscape is dotted with archaeological sites indicating the long and eventful history of the Region.  In many of these TCH sites there are associated Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) which are neglected due to lack of resources.  There are sites in the Region which are yet to be identified, conserved, restored and managed for posterity.  However, the biggest challenge the SAARC Region is facing now is the lack of human resources.  This workshop hopes to lay the foundation in building the human resources of the region to face the challenges of Heritage Management for present and future.

 

2.    OBJECTIVES OF THE WORKSHOP

2.1    To discuss the current requirements of Member States in Archaeology and Heritage Management and facilitate Programmes within the Region.   (SAARC Agenda for Culture 9.4 – SAARC Exchange Programme on Culture – Exchange of expertise, information and technology on archaeological excavation, preservation of artefacts, protection of heritage sites etc.
•    To identify the skills and technology required within the Region.
•    To share the knowledge resources of the Member States.
•    To share the available technical knowledge of the Region.

2.1    Preservation and Conservation of South Asian Cultural Property (SAARC Cultural Centre Mandate point 2 – Identification and documentation of the regional tangible and intangible cultural heritage, existing across the region, particularly traditional and diminishing cultures, arts and related traditions)
•    To contribute towards the preservation, conservation and protection of South Asia’s Cultural Heritage within the frame work of the SAARC Agenda for Culture.
•    To identify Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in and around Tangible Cultural Heritage (TCH) sites and locations.

2.2    To develop the Human Resources of the Region in Archaeology and Heritage Management (SAARC Agenda for Culture 9.1 – SAARC Exchange Programme on Culture – Human resource development in the field of archaeological and cultural heritage)
•    To train in Cultural Heritage Management Plans (CHMP).
•    To train in customizing/individualizing the CHMP to each heritage site.

2.3    To facilitate Sustainable Tourism Promotion at the Cultural Heritage Sites.  (SAARC Cultural Centre Mandate point 7 – Contributing inputs to the promotion of cultural and religious tourism in the region)
•    To discuss the state of policies of sustainable tourism in the Member States.
•    To build a South Asian framework for sustainable tourism of heritage sites.

2.4    To identify Research and Policy Requirements for the facilitation of Sustainable Cultural Heritage Management Plans (CHMP) of SAARC.  (SAARC Agenda for Culture 5.10 – Economic development through connectivity and culture: Promotion of SAARC cultural and religious tourism – Harmonization of local policies on the promotion of culture and arts and financing systems, and develop a SAARC common policy on selected areas of culture and arts
•    To identify the relevant Government Ministries and Departments in the Member States for Sustainable Tourism.

 

3.    SCOPE AND METHODOLOGY OF THE WORKSHOP
The scope of the Workshop is based on the 9th clause of the SAARC Agenda for Culture which highlights SAARC Exchange Programme on Culture.  The scope of the Workshop are as follows:
•    Human resource development in the field of archaeological and cultural heritage,
•    Short-term training programmes of areas of cultural interest,
•    Exchange of expertise, information and technology on archaeological excavation, preservation of artefacts, protection of heritage sites etc.

Methodology
The Workshop will be structured on building/sharing knowledge through presentations, discussions, case studies, etc.  Participants will be required to prepare a Site Report/Country Report of a tangible heritage site(s) from each Member State prior to the Workshop.  The Site Reports/Country Reports will be used as case studies during discussions.  The Resource Persons participating from each Member State will lead discussions in the fields of their expertise.

 

4.    WORKSHOP TRAINING MODULES
This is a tentative module and will change according to the Resources Persons nominated by each Member State.
4.1    Cultural Heritage Management Plans (CHMP).
4.2    Site interpretation and public awareness.
4.3    Disaster preparedness for cultural heritage.
4.4    Documentation of archaeological sites.
4.5    Photo-documentation of paintings and murals.
4.6    Collection management in archaeological sites and museums.
4.7    Cultural Impact Assessments in Development Projects.

 

5.    RESOURCE PERSONS FOR THE WORKSHOP
Each Member State is kindly requested to nominate a minimum of 1 Resource Person from mid to senior level professionals.  The field of expertise can be one from the list below but not limited to the fields identified below.
5.1    Archaeological Excavations
5.2    Artefact conservators (metal, terracotta, wooden, glass, etc.)
5.3    Disaster Preparedness and Management of Cultural Heritage
5.4    Collection Management
5.5    Tourism promotion of archaeological sites/tangible cultural heritage
5.6    Architectural conservation
5.7    Archaeological Surveying
5.8    Archaeological Impact Assessments
5.9    Experts on GIS and 3D modelling.

 

6.    TARGET PARTICIPANTS FOR THE WORKSHOP
The Nominees for the Workshop may be selected from amongst diverse disciplines among Academics and Policy Makers.  Priority should be for early to mid-career level professionals involved in heritage management, policy makers and persons associated with the World Heritage Sites in the Region.  Resource Persons should be selected from mid to senior level professionals.

Academics and Scholars should include but not limited to:
•    Archaeologists,
•    Art Historians,
•    Conservators,
•    Planners,
•    Architects,
•    Curators,
•    Museologists,
•    Heritage Site Managers,
•    Persons working with national and local authorities with experience in the fields of archaeological Conservation and Preservation,
•    Tangible and Intangible Heritage Experts,
•    Managers, planners and staff of heritage sites.

 

7.    DETAILS FOR PARTICIPATION AT THE WORKSHOP

7.1    Official Nominees from the Member States
The SAARC Cultural Centre invites all Member States to send a maximum of Five Official Nominations.  One of the Nominees should be a Resource Person with an expertise mentioned in No. 5 of this document (mid to senior level professionals).  The others should be early to mid-career professionals working at or in charge of a heritage site of the Member State.
•    The SAARC Cultural Centre would provide the local hospitality (Hotel accommodations on full board basis) and the local transport to all Official Nominees of the SAARC Member States (Participants / Resource Persons).

•    The Airfare of the Official Nominees of the SAARC Member States is to be borne by the respective Member State.

The Host Country can nominate a maximum of 15 Official Nominees and they will be provided with the Workshop material and the Cultural Tour and accommodation only for participants who are out of town subject to availability of budget.

7.2    Other Participants
Category A – The SAARC Cultural Centre would also accept the participation of other Participants/Resource Persons from the Member States (other than the Official Nominees of the respective SAARC Member States).  Air Travel to be borne by the participant and SCC will provide accommodation, Workshop material and the cultural tour.
•    Other Participants (Category A) Selection of Other Participants in this category will be at the discretion of the SAARC Cultural Centre depending on the availability of space.

Category B – Participants from the Host Country where the Workshop is held can participate.
•    Other Participants (Category B) from the Host country will not be provided with accommodation.
•    Selection of the Other Participants will depend on the availability of space.

7.3    Nomination Process

7.3.1    The Official Nominees will be selected by each Member State comprising of leading archaeologists, architects, planners, conservators, site managers and those working with local authorities with experience in the field of management of cultural heritage sites and persons in charge of archaeological sites (Heritage Managers) from the Member State.  Official Nominations should be submitted to the SAARC Secretariat, with the Registration Form (Annexure 1) and the Format for the Submission of Site Reports/Country Papers (Annexure 2) attached and the details requested at 7.5 of this document.

7.3.2    All Other Participants (Category A and Category B) from each Member State should forward their information (including the Annexure 1 and Annexure 2) through the respective Foreign Ministries to the SAARC Secretariat in Kathmandu.

7.3.3    All Applications must be sent through the respective Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Ministry of External Affairs to the SAARC Secretariat in Kathmandu.  An Advance copy can be emailed to the SAARC Cultural Centre.

 

7.4    All Participants should include:
I.    Full Name and Affiliation of the Person and other details requested in the Registration Form attached herewith.  (Registration Form – Annexure 1)
II.    Detailed CV of the participant.
III.    Scanned Copy of Passport
IV.    The Site Report of a Tangible Heritage Site the participants (Official Nominees and Other Participants) are familiar with.  The Resource Persons may submit a general report on the Archaeology and Heritage Management of the Country if so desired.  The Site Report and Country Report should be submitted in the Submission Form attached herewith.  (Format for the Submission of Site Reports/Country Reports – Annexure 2)
V.    The Officially nominated Resource Persons are requested to prepare Country Reports (ie. Situation of the respective Member States) from the perspective of his or her expertise.  The Country Report should be submitted in the Submission Form attached herewith.  (Format for the Submission of Site Reports/Country Reports – Annexure 2)

 

7.5    Format for Submission of Site Reports/Country Reports
The Format for the Submission of Site Reports/Country Reports are attached as a separate document (Annexure 2).

 

8.    SITE REPORTS/COUNTRY REPORTS
All participants must prepare a Site Report of an Archaeological or Cultural Heritage site which you are familiar with.  These Reports will be used as case studies during the Workshop.  The Resource Persons may submit a Country Report.  Please use Annexure 2 to submit the Site Reports.  The Report must contain the following information.
8.1    Basic Information (Location – Longitude and Latitude, Country, State/Province, District, Town, Village, etc., a map of the area, etc.)
8.2    Type of Site (Religious, Administrative, Agricultural, Residential, etc.)
8.3    Authority/Ownership of the Site (Local Government, State Government, Religious Order, etc.)
8.4    Description of the Site (History, chronology, architectural details, landscape, etc.)
8.5    Current status (the number of visitors, infrastructure available for visitors, information available for visitors, etc.)
8.6    Existing publications regarding the site.
8.7    Websites which refers to this site.
8.8    Any other relevant details.

 

9.    Other Information
9.1         The Language of the Workshop will be English.
9.2         The Workshop material (delegate kit, tea, working lunch) as well as invitations to special events would be extended to all participants.

 

10.    Time Schedule for the Workshop & Site Report Submissions
Call for Participation: 20th February 2020
Deadline for accepting Nominees & Participants: To be announced
Submission of Site Reports/Country Reports: To be announced
Workshop: To be announced
Cultural Tour: To be announced

SAARC DEVELOPNMENT FUND (SDF) INVITES APPLICATIONS FOR APPOINTING A NEW CEO

The SAARC Development Fund (SDF), established in 2005 is the umbrella financial institution of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). The SDF Secretariat based in Thimphu, Bhutan undertakes and implements projects and programmes under three windows: Social, Economic and Infrastructure in fulfillment of the greater developmental goals of the SAARC region. By working with the SDF in the capacity of CEO, a person will have the opportunity of leading one of the important Specialized Bodies of SAARC and implementing regional and sub-regional projects with a view to promoting welfare of the peoples in the region.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE SDF CEO ARE:

  • Will be the chief of the operating staff of the SDF Secretariat and will be responsible for the day-to-day business of SDF under the direction of the Board of Directors (BoD);
  • Will be responsible for the management of the organization in accordance with the Rules and Regulations;
  • Steer SDF’s work, including decisions on investments, loans, guarantees and technical assistance;
  • Will be the ex-officio member of the BoD;
  • In the discharge of his/her official responsibilities, the CEO will be accountable to SDF Board;
  • Will be responsible for timely implementation and monitoring of the approved projects in close coordination with the SDF Member States and SAARC Secretariat;
  • Will be responsible for preparing and submitting Annual Report/Progress Report to the BoD in time;
  • Will be the legal representative of SDF.

 

THE CANDIDATES MUST MEET THE FOLLOWING ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA:

Experience:

Essential:
A minimum of fifteen (15) years of proven track record in a financial institution of international/regional/national standing, with at least five (5) years in a senior financial management position;
Commendable grasp over the developmental challenges being faced by the SAARC Region.

Desirable:
Experience of dealing/working with Government agencies with respect to development and financing of projects in Social, Economic and Infrastructure Sector.

Education:

Essential:
Post Graduate Degree in Finance/Business Management/Economics.

Desirable:
An advanced degree in Strategic Business Management would be an advantage.

Age Limit:
Should not be more than 55 years of age on 30 September 2020.

Citizenship:
A bona fide citizen of any Member State of SAARC (i.e. Afghanistan /Bangladesh /Bhutan /India /Nepal /Maldives /Pakistan /Sri Lanka).

Remuneration and allowances:
The CEO would be paid a remuneration of US$ 6,000 [US Dollars Six Thousand (tax-free)] with accommodation, transport and other admissible allowances and benefits as per the relevant rules of SDF.

Privileges and Immunities:
The CEO may enjoy, applicable privileges and immunities, as per the Headquarters Agreement between the Royal Government of Bhutan and SDF.

Tenure:
The term of office of the CEO will be five years, with a possibility of extension by another term of five years, subject to conditions including age limit.

If you meet the above criteria and are confident to take up the challenge of leading SDF, please submit your application to:

Director (ARD & SDF), SAARC Secretariat, GPO Box No.: 4222, Kathmandu, Nepal

Email: dirban@saarc-sec.org or doard@saarc-sec.org

Application Form may be downloaded from: www.sdfsec.org

Application deadline: The applications must reach the SAARC Secretariat by Monday, 23 March 2020.

The SDF Governing Board will interview the short-listed candidates for final selection. The new CEO will assume charge of the office on 12 August 2020.

Internship Programme at the SAARC Cultural Centre

The SAARC Cultural Centre invites interested candidates to apply for the position of Intern – Festival Promotion and Public Relations (2) to work for its 10th edition of the SAARC Film Festival programme in May 2020. As an intern, you will be required to assist in pre-event publicity, and promotional activities during the event.

The SAARC Film Festival is a reputed and an acclaimed International Film Festival of South Asia.  The festival is known for screening and recognising some of the best films from the SAARC Member States of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Several Film experts, technicians had actively participated in the previous editions of the festival. Overtime the SAARC Film Festival showcases and inspires cultural heritage and traditions of South Asia through the medium of cinema.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Design and Conceptualization of Marketing Strategy.
  • Coordination with media (Electronic and print media).
  • Manage Social Media publicity including Facebook (FB) event page etc.
  • Evaluating public response.
  • Editing of Videos and Photos.
  • Presenting Reports.

Tenure           : One Month
Work Station: Colombo, Sri Lanka

Desired

  • Diploma/Degree/Any equivalent qualification(s) in the related field
  • Excellent Communication Skills

Preferred

  • Previous experience in event management/working with international organisations.
  • Knowledge in working with Adobe Premiere Pro for video editing
  • Knowledge in Photo and Poster editing
  • Multilingual
  • Should be able to work under pressure.
  • Passionate to be part of a renowned film festival.

Benefits

  • Certificate of Internship
  • Exposure from an International Event whilst widening film knowledge specific to South Asian Films
  • Access to 10th SAARC Film Festival Events

Apply no later than 05th March 2020 : Click here to download the Applicationpdf-icon
Forward the duly filled Application Form, Resume, Portfolio to
1.    Culture-Specialist (Programmes) : programme@saarcculture.org
2.    Programme-Assistant: programme-assistant@saarcculture.org

Director, SAARC Cultural Centre pays a courtesy call on Dr. Rewant Vikram Singh, Director, Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre, Colombo

Director, SAARC Cultural Centre paid a courtesy call on the Director, Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre, Dr. Rewant Vikram Singh on 4th September 2019. The purpose of the visit was to brief Dr. Singh about the work and the activities of the SAARC Cultural Centre. The meeting also provided an opportunity to share the detailed tentative work plan of the SAARC Cultural Centre for the calendar year 2020. Dr. Vikram Singh expressed his willingness to collaborate in the future activities of the SAARC Cultural Centre. Mrs. Renuka Ekanayake, thanked the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre and the Government of India for the unstinted support extended to the SAARC Cultural Centre for the past nine years.

IMG-2557

SAARC Literary Award 2019

The SAARC Cultural Centre Governing Board Members of the 9th Governing Board Meeting and the Members of the 54th Programming Committee approved the presentation of the SAARC Literary Award to a writer nominated by the honoured Member States as per SAARC practice in alphabetical order. This award was devised to bring attention to the writers of South Asia and create an awareness of the rich creations of the Region. The SAARC Literary Award 2018 was awarded to Mr. Najibullah Manalai nominated by the honoured Member State of Afghanistan.

The second SAARC Literary Awardee was nominated by the honoured Member State of Bangladesh and awarded in conjunction with the SAARC Cultural Capital Closing Ceremony in Bhutan. Dr. Anisuzzaman nominated by the honoured Member State of Bangladesh is a writer and academic in Bengali literature for more than 60 years. He has won many awards and is recognized as a writer on national identity, education, religions, historical and social reconstruction. His books such as Muslim Manash O Bangla Sahitya, Swaruper Sandhane, Purono Bangla Gadya, Bangali Nari: Sahitye O Samaje, Kal Nirabadhi, and Ihajagatikata O Anyanya are considered seminal works by academics working on Bangla literature and language.

Dr. Anisuzzaman was awarded the SAARC Literary Award in conjunction with the SAARC Cultural Capital Closing Ceremony held in Bhutan on 29th June 2019. The award was presented by Hon. Mr. Dasho Sherub Gyeltshen, Minister of Home and Cultural Affairs of Bhutan, The Secretary General of SAARC H.E. Mr. Amjad Hussain B. Sial, Mr. Karma Weezir, Director General of the Department of Culture, Bhutan and Ms. Renuka Ekanayake, Director of the SAARC Cultural Centre, were also present at this occasion.

Closing Ceremony of the SAARC Cultural Capital 2018-19

Date    : 29th June 2019
Venue : Thimphu, Bhutan

In pursuance of the SAARC Agenda for Culture the Concept of Cultural Capital was launched with the view to recognise and highlight the diversity of each SAARC Member State whilst celebrating the shared culture and heritage of the Region. Each SAARC Member State is invited to designate a city of their choice to be declared as the Cultural Capital of the SAARC Region for a period of one year. During this one-year period, the designated cultural capital would host a series of cultural and social events, made up of Participatory and Non-Participatory programmes. The SAARC Cultural Capital is declared to provide a platform for the SAARC Member States to promote Regional unity and enhance cultural activities.

The First SAARC Cultural Capital was the ancient city of Bamiyan located in the central part of Afghanistan. Bamiyan was officially inaugurated as the SAARC Cultural Capital on the 5th June 2015, and it became the host to many cultural programmes including the SAARC Artist Camp in 2015. The Closing Ceremony of the SAARC Cultural Capital of Bamiyan was held on 21st of September 2016. Thimphu, the Capital of Bhutan which is distinct for its unique culture and traditional values was designated as the SAARC Cultural Capital for the period from 2018-19. The Inauguration Ceremony held on 31st of May 2018 organised by the SAARC Cultural Centre in collaboration with the Department of Culture of Bhutan at the Clock Tower venue in Thimphu amidst a larger audience. The city became host to many cultural events which were organised to celebrate the SAARC Cultural Capital of 2018-19.

CLOSING CEREMONY

The Closing Ceremony of the SAARC Cultural Capital 2018-19 was held at the Conference Hall of the Department of Culture of Bhutan on the 29th June 2019 marking the end of the SAARC Cultural Capital Thimphu. Honourable Minister of Home and Cultural Affairs of Bhutan, Hon. Mr. Dasho Sherub Gyeltshen graced this occasion with his presence as the Chief Guest while the Secretary General of SAARC H.E. Mr. Amjad Hussain B. Sial was the Guest of Honour. H.E the Ambassador for Bangladesh in Bhutan, Mr. Sonam Topgay Secretary, Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs, Bhutan, Mr. Karma Weezir, Director General, Department of Culture, Bhutan, Ms. Renuka Ekanayake, Director, SAARC Cultural Centre and Officials from the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs, Bhutan were among the dignitaries present at the Closing Ceremony of the SAARC Cultural Capital of Thimphu.

The Event began with the “Marchang Ceremony” followed by the Special Theme Song. Mr. Karma Weezir, Director General of the Department of Culture, Bhutan delivered the Welcome Address. Hon. Mr. Dasho Sherub Gyeltshe, Minister of Home and Cultural Affairs of Bhutan praised the collective initiative taken by the organisers and appreciated the intention to promote culture, trust and understanding to bridge Regional connectivity.

Director of the SAARC Cultural Centre, Ms. Renuka Ekanayake in her speech highlighted the role played by the SAARC Cultural Centre and its continuous efforts towards the promotion of Regional unity and the preservation and protection of South Asia’s Cultural Heritage. She also praised Thimphu for the successful completion of the SAARC Cultural Capital 2018-19, appreciating the support rendered by the Royal Government of Bhutan. The Secretary General of SAARC, H.E. Mr. Amjad Hussain B. Sial conveyed his compliments to the Royal Government of Bhutan for their accomplishments during the SAARC Cultural Capital 2018-19 and commended the sustained efforts of the organisers for successfully hosting several programmes to showcase Bhutan’s unique cultural heritage for the visitors. H.E. the Secretary General also wished the SAARC Member State of India, the host of SAARC Cultural Capital for 2019 – 2020 all success. Ms. Renuka Ekanayake, Director of the SAARC Cultural Centre received the Official Scroll of the SAARC Cultural Capital on behalf of the Member State of India from H.E the Secretary General. The Closing Ceremony also featured a Mask Dance which is an integral part of Bhutan’s rich cultural and religious traditions. The programme concluded successfully with the Vote of Thanks delivered by Mrs. Kishani Jayasinghe-Wijayasekara, Deputy Director-Programmes of the SAARC Cultural Centre.

SAARC Research Grant Islamic Cultural Trails: Journey through Time and Space – Minarets and Mosques, Tombs, Trade, Tradition and Technology

1.    BACKGROUND

The “South Asian Cultural Trails” was approved by the 18th SAARC Summit in Kathmandu in November 2014.   The Islamic Cultural Trails is the third Research Grant on South Asian Cultural Trails and was approved by the 10th Governing Board Meeting of the SAARC Cultural Centre and the 56th Session of the Programming Committee of SAARC.  The Research Grants will provide an opportunity for the Member States to explore new research areas and sites along the Islamic Cultural Trails.  This will also act as a precursor to the Cultural Trails proposed for the future and lay the ground work in research to look at Cultural Trails as connected routes where ideas, information and knowledge travelled in all directions.  8 Research Grants will be disbursed, one for each Member State.

2.    OBJECTIVES OF THE RESEARCH GRANT

2.1    To encourage new research through the SAARC Research Grants on the Cultural Trails of the SAARC Region.
2.2    To encourage new research on identification of new sites, locations, cultural trails, tangible and intangible heritage associated with Islamic Cultural Trails.
2.3    To facilitate new research and new approaches to study the Islamic Cultural Trails as an integrated entity.
2.4    To study and analyse all different perspectives and areas which influenced the establishment, development and continuation of the Cultural Trails in the Region.
2.5    To present innovative measures for the conservation and preservation of tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the SAARC Region.

3.    RESEARCH GRANT OVERVIEW

One research proposal will be selected from each Member State to be awarded the short-term Research Grant of US$ 1,000/=.  The selection of Research Proposals will be carried out by a team of experts selected by the SAARC Cultural Centre.

The SAARC Cultural Centre invites Academics and Researchers from Member States to submit detailed Research Proposals (along with the detailed budget breakdown for US$ 1,000/=) for new and innovative short-term research projects on the Islamic Cultural Trails.  The first instalment of the grant (US$ 500/=) will be made at the commencement of the Research Project.  The final payment is subject to the review of the final presentation made to a team of experts via video conferencing and submission of the Final Research Report.  Any suggestions / recommendations made by the SCC team of experts at this stage should be included in the research process by the respective researchers.

At the completion of the research project, each researcher will be required to submit a Research Report of academic quality to be published in the “South Asian Cultural Trails” publication series of the SAARC Cultural Centre in 2020.  Academics and Researchers are encouraged to present the Research Project at a local or international forum within one year and to disseminate the knowledge gathered with the relevant stakeholders (academic discussion, tourism industry, sustainable development, etc.).  Relevant documents with regard to the above dissemination of information should be sent to the SCC.

4.    RESEARCH PROJECT THEMES

The following themes have been identified for the Research Seminar and Research Grant on Islamic Cultural Trails.  However, research proposals based on different themes will also be accepted depending on their content and relevance to the Islamic Cultural Trails.

4.1    Islamic Cultural Trails – (Refer to Annexure 1 for Details).
4.2    Identification of New Sites and Locations along the Islamic Cultural Trails.
4.3    Comparative Studies of Islamic sites (monuments, mosques, minarets, tombs, etc.,) in the Region.
4.4    Comparative Research and interpretation of Landscape values of Islamic gardens.
4.5    Travels of Islamic Pilgrims.
4.6    Cultural Symbolism of Islam.
4.7    Art and Architecture of ICT.
4.8    Archaeology of ICT.
4.9    Intangible Heritage of ICT (Music, dance, folk art, folk stories, traditional healing, handicrafts, etc.).
4.10   Trade and Commerce of ICT.
4.11    Manuscripts, texts and inscriptions, languages and scripts of Islam.
4.12    Technology of ICT (Irrigation, engineering, agriculture, etc.)
4.13    Cultural Diffusion of Islam.
4.14    Heritage Management of ICT sites.
4.15    Tourism promotion of ICT.

5.    ELIGIBILITY

5.1    Academics, Scholars and Researchers of the SAARC Member States.
5.2    Academics, Scholars and Researchers who have received Research Grants from the SAARC Cultural Centre previously will not be eligible.

6.    APPLICATION PROCESS

6.1    Format for the Application is attached herewith as Annexure 2
6.2    Each Member State can forward any number of Research Proposals for consideration.
6.3    Research Proposals should be for an innovative and new research based on the themes mentioned above (No. 4 of this document).
6.4    New themes related to Islamic Cultural Trails.
6.5    All sections of the application should be completed (Part A, B and C).
6.6    Incomplete applications will not be considered.
6.7    Applications must be forwarded to the SAARC Secretariat in Kathmandu, Nepal through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Ministry of External Affairs of the Member State.
6.8    An advance copy can be emailed to the SAARC Cultural Centre – scc@saarcculture.org with copy to dd-research@saarcculture.org
6.9    All Research Proposals must reach the SAARC Cultural Centre by 31st October 2019.
6.10    The Research Grant will be distributed in 2 instalments – The first instalment (US$ 500/=) at the commencement of the project and final instalment (US$ 500/=) after the submission of the final report with reviewers’ comments.
6.11    Each recipient of the SAARC Research Grant must submit a research report of academic quality.
6.12    The final payment is subject to the review of the final presentation made to a team of reviewers via video conferencing.   Any suggestions/recommendations made by the SCC team of reviewers at this stage should be included in the research process by the respective researchers.

7.    TIME SCHEDULE

7.1    Deadline for accepting research proposals – 31st October 2019
7.2    Selection of research proposals – 30th November 2019
7.3    Commencement of the research -10th December 2019
7.4    Submission of final report – 31st March 2020
7.5     Presentation of the research to the team of reviewers – May 2020
7.6    Resubmitting the research report with reviewers’ comments – June 2020

SAARC Research Seminar on Islamic Cultural Trails: Journey through Time and Space – Minarets and Mosques, Tombs, Trade, Tradition and Technology

SAARC Research Seminar, Research Grant and Publications
Islamic Cultural Trails: Journey through Time and Space – Minarets and Mosques, Tombs, Trade, Tradition and Technology

BACKGROUND

The Research Seminar on Islamic Cultural Trails is planned as a Regional forum of discussion for academics, researchers and policy makers to identify and develop the cultural, social, economic, religious, connections of the Region.  Islam is the only living religion to spread and take root in both east and west during the pre-Colonial era.  Islam disseminated from the land of its origin in the Middle East to South, Central and Southeast Asia, Africa and Europe.  Islam has enriched South Asia through its culture, transmitting art, architecture, technology, science through the trade routes.  The ancient trade routes have long been abandoned but the legacy of those who travelled these routes can be found in the circulated knowledge, ideas, religions and the diffusion of culture.  Islam is one of the shared cultural characteristics in the SAARC Region, with art and architecture portraying “unity within diversity” as seen in the evolving styles and the embracing of new characteristics through the ages.  This diversity was the result of interactions that took place along the trading routes criss-crossing East and West Asia, South and Central Asia, along with the exchange of merchandise, knowledge, concepts, designs, religions, technology and other sundry of objects and ideas.

The “Cultural Trails” portray the material culture (Tangible Cultural Heritage TCH) and the Intangible Culture (ICH) of our ancestors, their beliefs and ideologies, their life and culture.  The Islamic Cultural Trails (ICT) will be the third in a series of research fora aimed at strengthening cultural ties in the Region through a walk into the shared past of our ancestors, empowering us to work together as the custodians of a shared heritage for the future.  This will be an opportunity for the SAARC Member States to revive a dialogue addressing the issues of conserving and preserving the Cultural Trails on one hand and how we can utilize this space to understand of our past, to enhance our present and to be economically sustainable through tourism in the future.

OBJECTIVES OF THE RESEARCH SEMINAR

  • To create a platform for research initiatives for Islamic Cultural Trails in South Asia for academics, researchers and scholars.
  • To promote South Asian Culture through research and other activities.
  • To contribute towards the preservation, conservation and protection of South Asia’s Cultural Heritage through the dissemination of research.
  • To identify intangible heritage associated with Islamic Cultural Trails and to preserve it for posterity.
  • To disseminate research on Cultural Trails to promote collaborative activities within the region and actively promote cooperation between line ministries in the region.

RESEARCH SEMINAR INFORMATION

Themes for the Research Seminar
The following themes have been identified for the Research Seminar.  However, papers based on different themes will be accepted depending on their content and relevance to the Islamic Cultural Trails.

  1. Islamic Cultural Trails – (Refer to Annexure 1 for Details).
  2. Identification of New Sites and Locations along the Islamic Cultural Trails.
  3. Comparative Studies of Islamic sites (monuments, mosques, minarets, tombs, etc.,) in the Region.
  4. Comparative Research and interpretation of Landscape values of Islamic gardens.
  5. Travels of Islamic Pilgrims.
  6. Cultural Symbolism of Islam.
  7. Art and Architecture of ICT.
  8. Archaeology of ICT.
  9. Intangible Heritage of ICT (Music, dance, folk art, folk stories, traditional healing, handicrafts, etc.).
  10. Trade and Commerce of ICT.
  11. Manuscripts, texts and inscriptions, languages and scripts of Islam.
  12. Technology of ICT (Irrigation, engineering, agriculture, etc.)
  13. Cultural Diffusion of Islam.
  14. Heritage Management of ICT sites.
  15. Tourism promotion of ICT.

Dates and Venues
To be notified after confirmation from the Host Member State.

TARGET PARTICIPANTS FOR THE RESEARCH SEMINAR

The Nominees for the Research Seminar may be selected from amongst diverse disciplines among Academics and Policy Makers.  Priority should be given to mid to senior level professionals involved in heritage management, policy makers and persons associated with the Heritage Sites in the Region.

Academics and Scholars should include but not limited to:

  • Archaeologists,
  • Art Historians,
  • Conservators,
  • Curators,
  • Museologists,
  • Anthropologists,
  • Sociologists,
  • Heritage Site Managers,
  • Persons working with national and local authorities with experience in the fields of Conservation, Preservation,
  • Tangible and Intangible Heritage Experts,
  • Ancient Trade and Technology Experts and
  • Managers, planners and staff of heritage sites.

Policy Makers should include Professionals but not limited to:

  • Ministries of Culture (Culture & Information, Cultural Affairs, etc.)
  • Ministries of Education (Education, Higher Education, etc.)
  • Ministries of Tourism (Tourism, Art and Culture, etc.)
  • Departments of Culture.
  • Departments of Archaeology, Archaeological Surveys, etc.
  • Departments of Museums.
  • Any other relevant Ministries, Departments, Organizations and Institutions.

DETAILS FOR PARTICIPATION AT THE RESEARCH SEMINAR

Officially Nominated Paper Presenters from the Member States
The SAARC Cultural Centre invites all Member States to send a maximum of Five Official Nominations from experts and academics of their country.  The SCC hopes that at least one nominee would be from the Department of Archaeology of the Member State.

  • The SAARC Cultural Centre would provide the local hospitality (Hotel accommodations on full board basis) and the local transport to all Official Nominees of the SAARC Member States.
  • The Airfare of the Official Nominees of the SAARC Member States is to be borne by the respective Member State.
  • The Host Country can nominate a maximum of 15 Official Nominees.  All Official Nominees of the Host Member State will be invited to participate in the Cultural Tour and provided with the Seminar kit.  Official Nominees from the Host Country will be provided with accommodation if required depending on the availability of budget.
  • All Official Nominees must present a paper at the Seminar.

Other Paper Presenters

Category A – The SAARC Cultural Centre would also accept the participation of other Experts from the Member States (other than the Official Nominees of the respective SAARC Member States).

  • Applications should be sent through the respective Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Ministry of External Affairs to the SAARC Secretariat.
  • The selection of Other Participants (Category A) will be at the discretion of the SAARC Cultural Centre based on the availability of space and relevance of the abstract to the Seminar Themes.
  • Air Travel to be borne by the participant and SCC will provide accommodation, Seminar kit and the cultural tour.

Category B – Paper Presenters from the Host Country (Afghanistan) where the Seminar is held can participate.  (It is anticipated that Researchers, academics, etc., from the host city will present papers at the Seminar.)

  • Other Paper Presenters (Category B) from the Host country (Afghanistan) will not be provided with travel and accommodation.
  • Other Paper Presenters (Category B) will be provided with the Seminar Kit and meals during the seminar.

Other Information

  • Registration Forms of all participants (Official Nominees, Other Participants Category A and B) must be received through the respective Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Ministry of External Affairs of the Member State to the SAARC Secretariat.
  • The Language of the Seminar is English.  All abstracts and presentations must be in English.
  • The SAARC Cultural Centre reserves the right to select the Other Participants (in Category A and B) for the Seminar.
  • The Seminar facilities (delegate kit, tea, working lunch) as well as invitations to special events and the field trip would be extended to all paper presenters.

Nomination Process
The Official Nominees will be selected by each Member State comprising of leading academics, archaeologists and other experts from the Member State.  Official Nominations should be submitted to the SAARC Secretariat, with the Registration Form (Annexure 2) and the Format for the Submission of Country Papers / Abstracts (Annexure 3) attached (or downloaded from the SCC website) and the details requested below.

All Other Participants (Category A) from each Member State should forward their information (including the Annexure 2 & Annexure 3) through the respective Foreign Ministries to the SAARC Secretariat in Kathmandu.  An advance copy can be emailed to scc@saarcculture.org or dd-research@saarcculture.org.

The last date for sending the Official Nominations / Other Participants is 30th May 2019.

All Participants should include:

  1. Full Name and Affiliation of the Person and other details requested in the Registration Form attached herewith.  (Registration Form – Annexure 2)
  2. Detailed CV of the participant.
  3. Scanned copy of Passport / Scanned copy of National Identification from the Paper Presenters of the Host Member State of Afghanistan.
  4. An Abstract (300 words) of the proposed paper.  The Abstract should be submitted in the Submission Form attached herewith.  (Format for the Submission of Abstracts – Annexure 3)
  5. The participants are requested to submit their full papers by 30th June 2019 and prepare a PowerPoint Presentation of 15 minutes maximum to be presented during the Research Seminar.

Format for Submission of Abstracts

The Format for the Submission Abstracts are attached as a separate document (Annexure 3).

Time Schedule for the Seminar Paper Submissions

Call for Papers     05th February 2019
Deadline for accepting Nominees & Participants     15th July 2019
Selection of Abstracts & informing participants   As soon as we receive the Abstracts through the Secretariat
Submission of full papers to be published before the seminar    30th July 2019

Seminar      28th to 29th August 2019
Cultural Tour    30th August 2019

SAARC Sculpture Symposium

Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it” (Michelangelo)

BACKGROUND

Sculpture is an intricate branch of the visual arts and is a three – dimensional artform.  It is created in stone, metal, ceramics, woods, fibre and mixed media.  However, stone sculptures have survived the test of time along with metal and terracotta sculptures, which speak of history and of ancient cultures. With additive and subtractive processes as two basic techniques in sculpture, the South Asian art has reflected through the ages the cultural structure of beliefs, aesthetic preferences and social systems. The history of Asian art can be traced back to the ‘Indus Valley’ or ‘Harappan’ Civilization belonging to around 2300 B.C. in the present Pakistan. This ancient civilization on the banks of the river Indus has contributed to building cities which included making of roads, fire-burnt bricks, building public buildings, citadels and houses.  With expertise in pottery, terracotta figurines and jewellery making, the Indus Valley civilization has been the forerunner in contributing sculptures. The bronze image of the dancing girl of four inches in height exhibits a rare posture and movement with a prominent place in the history of sculpture, along with the bust from Mohenjo-Daro, the many terracotta toys, female figurines, torsos and pottery.

Proceeding through the artistic pages of history and the many contributions of the SAARC Member States to the development of the art of sculpture, the present symposium offers to open a dialogue between the sculptors and their art, creating a platform for interchanging of ideas, opinions and techniques. This symposium focuses on the creating of sculptures along with a workshop and discussion with experts in the field with interactive sessions.

Sculpture is one of the most enduring forms of fine art known to man and has played a major role in the evolution of cultures. The sculptors nominated from the SAARC Member States will work on sculptures based on the theme of ‘Sculpture Symposium – A Sojourn and Synergy’. Sculptures could be expressed as free-standing dimensional images, that give a 360-degree view to give a unique art experience, whilst high and low relief sculptural panels can add a narrative essence to the artistic expression. With the freedom to choose the medium of sculpture, the artists can find themselves involved in bringing to form sculptures based on the theme of ‘Synergy’, and altogether could add to the unity and sovereignty of oneness in diversity.

PROGRAMME

The SAARC Cultural Centre proposes for the SAARC Sculpture Symposium 2019 to be held for approximately four (4) days, in an accessible, vibrant and inspirational city in the host Member State of Pakistan.

  1. Working on site: The Artists will have an opportunity to work on site on the first and second day, and create one or two pieces of art (Sculptures) whilst focusing on the overall theme of ‘Synergy’.
  2. Interactive Workshop: Throughout the Sculpture Symposium, there will be an open forum for artists to interact with each other, observe and learn. It will also be an opportunity for tourists and the general public to talk to the Artists. On the third day of the Sculpture Symposium there will be an interactive workshop for the Sculptors to exchange ideas and further enhance the quality of work of Artists in the SAARC Region.
  3. A Piece of Artistic Unity: In addition, on the third day of the SAARC Sculpture Symposium, the Artists will be given time to work together on one joint piece of art, if possible with an equal contribution from each Member State. This will be a challenge for the Artists and will also encourage team work and leadership skills for the young sculptors of the Region. Adopting different forms, and working together with unifying and different shapes, sizes, combinations and creativity will be an unusual and unique experience and will be a highlight of the Sculpture Symposium. At the conclusion of the Programme, the final collaborative sculpture will have pride of place and be displayed in an appropriate manner at the SAARC Cultural Centre in Sri Lanka as a testament to the joint artistry of the Region.

PARTICIPANTS
All Member States are invited to nominate a maximum of four Artists. The Host Member State of Pakistan, is invited to nominate a maximum of ten Artists.

The Honoured Member States are respectfully requested to take into consideration the following guidelines when nominating Participants for this Programme:

  1. The nominated Artists to be prominent or upcoming Artists;
  2. With preferably a balance of gender amongst the nominated Artists, representing a combination of male and female Artists;
  3. The nominated Artists, if   possible, could represent diverse areas of the art of sculpture.

NOMINATION PROCEDURE

  1. The names of the nominated Artists, together with the relevant biographical information and contact details, must be sent to the SAARC Cultural Centre, through the relevant line Ministry concerned and the Foreign/External Affairs Ministries of the Member States, via the SAARC Secretariat, to reach the SAARC Cultural Centre.
  2. In addition, all Member States are kindly requested to forward the following biographical information of each nominated Artist, directly to the SAARC Cultural Centre.
    • Experience in the field of sculpture;
    • High resolution (minimum 300dpi) photograph of the Artist;
    • 3-5 high resolution (minimum 300 dpi) images of works produced by them;
    • Contact details of the Artist.

This information will be included in the official brochure, prepared for the Programme. Please forward this information to:
The Programme Assistant,
SAARC Cultural Centre, No. 224, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 07,
Sri Lanka.

LOGISTICAL SUPPORT

  1. As per SAARC practice, all airfare of the nominated Artists should be borne by the nominating Member State;
  2. All local hospitality including accommodation, meals and local transfers, will be provided by the SAARC Cultural Centre, for the officially nominated participants from the honoured Member States, for the official duration of the Programme;
  3. General materials, such as clay, plaster, wood, stone, fibre or mixed media will be provided by the SAARC Cultural Centre. However, the nominated Artists are encouraged to bring any relevant specific tools and specialist materials that they may require for use during the course of the SAARC Sculpture Symposium 2019.

VENUE OF THE PROGRAMME
The SAARC Sculpture Symposium 2019 will take place at a suitable location, as recommended by the Host Member State.

DATES FOR THE SAARC SCULPTURE SYMPOSIUM 2019
25th – 30th of November 2019

Courtesy call on Afghan Embassy Colombo

Director of the SAARC Cultural Centre, Renuka Ekanayake called on HE the Ambassador of Afghanistan M. Asharf Haidari on 27.11.2018. Director explained the Vission, Mission and Objectives of the SAARC Cultural Centre and they discussed the collaborative initiatives between two countries.

afghan