Living Lightly
Living Lightly - Journeys with Pastoralists is a travelling exhibition on the land, lives and livelihoods of Indian pastoralists. It captures their remarkable history of mobility, the eco-systems that nurture their life-worlds, their culture, science, art, politics, spiritual moorings and the economics and challenges of herding. The exhibition comes to life through a fusion of testimonies, ethnographic material, archives, poetic forms, music, storytelling, crafts, material, crafted narratives, film and performance.

The Living Lightly exhibition is curated by Sushma Iyengar and premiered in IGNCA, Delhi in December 2016 to wide acclaim. This first exhibition was used to shine a spotlight on the pastoralists of Kachchh, Gujarat. A smaller edition of this exhibition travelled to Ahmedabad, where it was hosted at the ATMA building in October 2017. Living Lightly will now move to the south and incorporate elements of pastoralism as practised on the Deccan Plateau, scheduled to be hosted at the Bangalore International Centre in late 2022.
Living Lightly - Himalaya is scheduled to unfold over the coming years as a series of small exhibitions, culminating in a full-fledged exhibition in 2024. We are in the process of developing a virtual form of Living Lightly in partnership with Google Arts and Culture.

Living Lightly has served to get wide swathes of Indian society interested in the land, lives and livelihoods of pastoralism. Visitors have ranged from politicians and bureaucrats to academics, activists, media, and students from schools and colleges. Living Lightly has also served as a platform for conversations, consultations, and policy dialogues. Each edition of Living Lightly has been accompanied by a range of consultations, including two international conferences on pastoralism in 2016; a national workshop on breeds in 2017; workshops on the production of cheese from buffalo, goat and camel milk; and two sets of consultations on how pastoralist communities might use the Forest Rights Act to improve their tenurial security over scarce grazing resources. 

  • Embroidery artisans at a photo exhibit, Living Lightly, Ahmedabad ©  Smriti Chanchani
  • Dung exhibit from the Vathaan Section, LL Ahmedabad, 2017 © Nipun Prabhakar
  • Herders enjoying embroidered vistas, LL Delhi, 2016 ©  Paresh Mangalia
  • Rooh ji Rehaan performance © Smriti Chanchani 
Pastoral Times
Pastoral Times is a broadsheet that started as a venue publication during the first Living Lightly exhibition in Delhi. Under the stewardship of Chhani Bungsut, Pastoral Times has now grown into a regular publication, released quarterly.

Pastoral Times is intended to be a current source of information on pastoralism. Articles are either sourced from other publications or are commissioned for PT and are intended to address the diverse contexts that define pastoral lives--their crafts and foods, breeding practices, their struggles, and any number of other facets of pastoral lives.

Please contact Chhani Bungsut for contributions and ideas for special issues.  

View Past Issues
Pastoral Dialogues
While exact figures are unavailable, large numbers of pastoralists graze India’s forests, grasslands and farm fallows, making significant contributions to India’s food security, biodiversity, livelihoods and crafts. Despite this, they remain marginalised, their mobility often seen as a lifestyle that needs to give way to a more settled mode. Pastoral Dialogues is a curated set of conversations on all things pastoral, covering the histories, lives and cultures of these communities. This is a joint initiative by Kalpavriksh, Centre for Pastoralism and the Indian Commoner.

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Pastoral times edition
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