Arali Katte: Celebrating Nature-Culture Relationships - Team

Abeer Gupta | Programme Manager

Abeer is the Programme Manager of the Arali Katte programme at WCS-India. He is the director of the Achi Association India, in Ladakh. He has directed several documentary films and curated art, education and community media projects. He directed A Day's Job, documentary-short (2006), executive produced, Siddharth, the Prisoner, fiction-feature (2007) which received the Critic’s Choice Award at the second annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA), Gold Coast, Australia, 2008 and Best Actor Award at the 10th Osian’s Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema, 2008. In 2010 Gupta received a fellowship from the Cluster of Excellence – Asia and Europe in a Global Context: Shifting Asymmetries in Cultural Flows, Heidelberg University, Germany on the theme: "Circulation of Popular Images and Media in Muslim Religious Spheres" and in 2011 Gupta received the Early Career Film Fellowships at Centre for Media & Cultural Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, and initiated the documentation of oral histories around the advent and the contemporary material and visual culture of Islam in the western Himalayas. 

He has participated in several group shows, such as Project Cinema City (NGMA India, 2012), Fibre Fables (The Stainless Gallery, New Delhi, 2015) and Witness to Paradise, (Singapore Biennale 2016). He co-curated Atoot dor: Unbroken Thread: The Banarasi Brocade Sari at Home and in the World (National Museum, New Delhi 2016), and curated Old Routes, New Journeys II (Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, Bhopal 2017) Graphic Storytelling in India (KNMA, New Delhi, 2018) and Urban Frames, Visual Practices and Transitions (Hyderabad City 2019).

Gupta has a long experience of teaching, prominently at the National Institute of Design (Ahmedabad), Ambedkar University (Delhi) and conducted a series of lectures at the School of Art and Aesthetics, JNU (Delhi). He researches oral histories, material cultures, and visual archives in the western Himalayas. He has published widely, and some of his articles are: The Visual and Material Culture of Islam in Ladakh (2014), Discovering the Self and Others in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh (Sage, 2014), A Sense of Place: Islam in the Western Himalaya (Marg, 2018), Material culture and art practice in Ladakh: notes from a collaborative art project, in Arts in the Margins of World Encounters, (Vernon Press, 2021) and Constructing Traditions: The Jamdani within Exhibition Practice of Handicrafts in (Projects / Processes Volume I, Serendipity Arts Festival, 2021). Gupta has a Masters Degree in Visual Anthropology from Goldsmiths College, London. 


 

Dhee | Social Science Research Consultant 

Dhee provides consultancy in designing and conducting social science research at WCS-India. She is a researcher interested in the human dimensions of wildlife conservation, specifically the psychological and socio-cultural factors that shape people's perceptions towards wild animals. Dhee has an MSc. in Conservation Biology from School of Anthropology and Conservation, University of Kent and a BA in Psychology from Ambedkar University, Delhi. She is curious about human-wildlife entanglements and how they shape and get shaped by stories, social institutions, cultures and histories. Apart from this, she has a keen interest in theatre and philosophy. More. 


 

Arali Katte: Celebrating Nature-culture Fellowship
Year 1

 

Akanksha Pandey

Akanksha is an anthropology graduate with a master’s degree in Development and Labor Studies from JNU. She has worked as a qualitative researcher for three years in educational policy and research in India before switching to wildlife and conservation. Since the last two years, she has worked with multiple short-term projects focused on behavior of non-human primates. Currently, she is affiliated to WCS-India as a Nature-Culture Fellow exploring  human-crocodile interactions in Goa.


 

Parivartan Pandia

Parivartan aspires to work in the field of environmental studies and examine issues through social-sciences lenses. During his bachelor's in English Honors at Ambedkar University Delhi, stories about the environment and how it shapes our societies often intrigued him. For his master's he enrolled in the Environment and Development program at Ambedkar University, Delhi and got interested in conservation and its societal impact. For his dissertation, examined the long-term impacts of conservation-induced displacement on Shariya Adivasis in Madhya Pradesh, studying rehabilitation and resettlement of the community. At WCS-India, his project aims to understand nature-culture relationships in urban spaces, around how people form norms and values about their environment such as trees, animals, and rivers.


 

Pavithran M M

Pavithran is a young social work postgraduate with a specialisation in community development. He has interned in various non-governmental organisations such as WWF-India, Action Aid India, and Bodhi Tree Foundation. 

He is passionate to work in the areas of green social work - environmental conservation, protection of indigenous cultures and practices, and human-wildlife conflict mitigation.. His interests include photography and writing poetry. He believes Environmental Journalism can be a good platform which combines his diverse skills and interests, from being trained in photography to a keen interest in creative writing and social work. His wishes to draw from his practice of photography during the WCS-India fellowship to create a photo essay on people’s perspectives towards gaur, folktales that revolve around gaur and the level of coexistence shared by humans and gaur in the Coonoor region of the Nilgiris District in Tamil Nadu.


 

Sahamatha

Sahamatha did her master’s degree in Physics from University of Mysore with specialization in Theoretical Physics. Her interests lie in interdisciplinary research - exploring the interface of natural and social sciences and ethnography of education. Having diverse interests made her explore multiple study areas. She taught particle physics at college level, worked in the remote villages of Maharashtra - understanding learners’ ideas and sense making in Science Education, collaborated with the folk musicians from Rajasthan, Kutch and Malwa exploring the cultures of teaching and learning folk music in different communities. At WCS-India, she’ll be studying human-whale interactions in Karwar, Karnataka. 


 

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