People of the Upper Indus

Publication year: 

This 10 minute film looks at the use of video in raising awareness of environmental and health issues in the remote Ladakh region in north-east India. It suggests that video is a powerful tool which can be used to enable people to participate in the development process. In 1993 the Ethnographic Audio Visual Archive (EAVA) ran a two-day participatory educational workshop using video with representatives of the six villages in the Markhor valley. The workshop aimed to increase local people's awareness of the fragility of the Ladakhi environment, which is threatened by planned road construction schemes, and to develop measures for its protection (03). The villagers mapped out their locality and made a detailed model of the valley which clearly showed the impact of the road (04). It also highlighted the deforestation that had taken place over time (05). Role-plays were facilitated to enact traditional stories and the video footage was played back in the evenings (06). After the workshops policing committees were formed to prevent further deforestation. The second part of the film focuses on East Ladakh, nomadic herders among whom vitamin deficiency is common (07). A matrix ranking was carried out to identify local ideas on health problems. A simple method was devised of making berry juice rich in vitamin C from a local plant (08). The group discussions about the berries were recorded and played back to those who had not attended the workshops (09). The final part of the video looks at a student video project which investigated the pollution of local streams and the resulting conflict between women and men (09).

Interest groups: 
Likely to be of interest to those using video as a tool for education and development with rural communities.
Ethnographic Audio Visual Archive, Department of Photogrammetry and Surveying, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK.
Not known at time of publication
10 mins