Field School | Stories of Jamdani People and Place, Borogaon
Summer 2023 BLC Field School Bangladesh Chapter
“Stories of Jamdani people and place, Borogaon”
Venue: Daffodil International University (July 10 – 11 and July 17-19, 2023) and Borogaon, Soanrgaon (July 12-16, 2023)
Welcome to Summer 2023 BLC Field School Bangladesh Chapter!
This Field School is designed to offer an immersive learning experience in documenting a local community’s built environment and cultural landscapes, learning how to write the local history of people and places “from the ground up” and learning from material through hands-on activities. The 10 days long field school program will provide basic training on how to study a community’s built environment, landscape, and culture and why these are important to document, fieldwork on site to apply the training, and the opportunity to showcase works done in the field school on national and international platforms.
The venue for the event is Borogaon, Jamdani village in Sonargaon Upazila of Narayanganj District, Dhaka. One of the old capitals of the historical Bengal region, Sonargaon served as the administrative center for eastern Bengal with a river port. With a huge population of weavers and craftsmen, its hinterland served as the hub of Bengal’s muslin trade. Jamdani (Bengali: জামদানি)is a fine muslin textile (figured with different patterns) produced for centuries in this area of Narayanganj on the bank of Shitalakhwa River (Source: Wikipedia). The production of Dhakai muslin and later Jamdani has always been one of the major factors that influenced the settlement pattern of this area. Bangladesh is losing its heritage pride day by day due to many reasons. Moreover, the situation of the weaver’s house and Jamdani aren’t in good condition. Working with the jamdani weavers, this field school will try to learn and document the history of jamdani weavers and their everyday place-making in the spatial setting of Borogaon village, from their stories and mapping.
The program will be divided into three parts:
- Training and Lecture sessions:
Participants will receive basic training and lecture sessions on:
Cultural Landscape and Material Culture
- How to organize a community walk
- How to look at and analyze buildings and landscapes
- How to take field notes and document the built environment
- How to photograph the landscape
- How to identify details of historical significance that require further research (in the archives or via oral histories)
Oral History and Other Ethnographic Methods
- How to conduct a successful oral history interview to collect the local history of a community
- How to create ethical guidelines and rules for an oral history project
- How to find, identify, and connect with a potential interviewee and apply observations
- How to use recording equipment, store and index interviews
- How to take notes and analyze interview data
- How to perform sensory ethnography
- How to write an essay based on oral history and participant observation
Archives and Libraries
- How to deploy cultural resource management strategies to identify assets for future economic and urban development (adaptive reuse, main street programs, heritage walks, heritage tourism, environmental stewardship)
- How to use digital tools and media to find information, index information, and disseminate information
- How to find and identify local archives
- History of Dhakai Muslin and Jamdani
Participatory Action Research
- How to connect with people
- How to perform participatory action research
- Why participation in research and practice is important
Mapping and Sketching
- How to do behavioral, social, and cultural mapping
- How to do environmental mapping
- Sketch as a method of mapping data
By applying the skills and knowledge gained from the training and lecture sessions, participants will
- Collect the local history of the Jamdani and Jamdani weavers through oral history and participant observation.
- Study, document, and analyze the built environment of Jamdani weavers’ houses
- Study, document, and analyze how the user influences the built environment through their everyday activities and the traditional practice of jamdani making.
- Study, document, and analyze the landscape of the Jamdani weavers’ community
- Hands-on workshop with building materials.
- Learning weaving from locals.
- Jamdani Haat visit and understand the local economy.
- Output production
- Finalize diagrams, sketches, and maps and scan those for the booklet and exhibition.
- Oral history transcripts and story writing.
- Separating small clips from audio and video recordings for an Audio-visual exhibition.
- Analytical essays on people and places.
- Photo processing for exhibition and adding metadata
- Designing the Exhibition Panels
- Documentary video editing and finalizing
Aim of the Field School:
- Encourage community-based learning and collaboration,
- Collect local histories of places of cultural relevance
- Gain skills that allow participants to collect and analyze data, and
- Empower local communities by hearing/responding to those voices that are often not heard in urban and official discourses.
Participants will learn and experience different methods of studying and analyzing a community, a community’s local and cultural history, built environment, landscape, settlement pattern, and participatory action research and practice. Also will learn traditional knowledge from the locals. This workshop will teach how to conduct collaborative projects using various methods.
The Field School is limited to 15 participants. The Field School will provide intense training, fieldwork, and output production opportunities for publications and exhibitions, and hence will require commitment and time dedication.
The workshop is open to students (at least 4th-year in an undergraduate program and graduate students), young professionals, and researchers from multidisciplinary backgrounds.
Registration Deadline and Fees:
Please note that the registration closes on July 6, 2023 at 11:59 pm.
Registration fee for the 10-day long Field School has been set:
For students (at least 4th-year in an undergraduate program and graduate students): BDT 6500
For young professionals from multidisciplinary backgrounds: BDT 8000
The registration will include transportation (Dhaka to Borogaon to Dhaka), shared accommodation in Borogaon, food, and materials for the hands-on workshop.
Registration Link: https://forms.gle/VVREggyn74oLuCYJA
or scan the QR code on the poster to register
10-Day Field School Schedule:
- Day 1 & 2 (July 10 and 11, 2023): Training, and Lecture Sessions
Location: Daffodil International University
- Day 3 – 7 (July 12-16, 2023): Field Work
Location: Borogaon, Sonargaon, Narayangonj
Day 3 (July 12, 2023): Arrival and activities after a small break
Activity 1: Walking as a method,
Activity 2: Note-taking.
Activity 3: Document the built environment
Activity 4: Adding Layers to read human activities and other environmental settings as a cultural system
Activity 6: Daily output and group discussion
Day 4 (July 13, 2023): Household, Activity mapping, and Oral History
Activity 1: Mapping Households (indoor-outdoor), behavioral, environmental, and cultural mapping
Activity 2: Note-taking, documenting, and adding layers to the built environment, Land-waterscape, Local landmarks, social spaces (public spaces), market, and other systems.
Activity 3: Initial discussion with the interviewee
Activity 4: Interviewing techniques, setting questions and methods
Activity 5: conducting and recording the interview to collect stories of jamdani weavers, stories of motifs, and stories of jamdani community and its transformation
Activity 6: Transferring the recording following storage convention
Activity 7: Daily output and group discussion
Day 5 (July 14, 2023): Jamdani Haat visit, Mapping, and Oral History continues
Activity 1: Visit local Jamdani haat in the early morning at 4:30 am.
Activity 2: Continuation of Day 4 activities
Activity 3: Daily output and group discussion
Day 6 (July 15, 2023): Hands-on Workshop Day
Activity 1: Hands-on work with available material.
Activity 2: Daily output and group discussion
Day 7 (July 16, 2023): Closing with community activities and return to Dhaka
Activity 1: History harvest: Recording stories from- Photo/visual elicitation or Picture Cards, Cultural probes, etc.
Activity 2: Closing ceremony in the presence of the community.
- Day 8 – 10 (July 17-19): Output Production, material prep for Exhibition
Location: Daffodil International University
Activity 1: Finalize diagrams, sketches, and maps and scan those for the booklet and exhibition.
Activity 2: Oral history transcripts and story writing.
Activity 3: Separating small clips from audio and video recordings for an Audio-visual exhibition.
Activity 4: Analytical essays on people and places.
Activity 5: Photo processing for exhibition and adding metadata
Activity 6: Designing the Exhibition Panels
Activity 7: Documentary film Making
*For more information email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Partners: Dilruba Ferdous Shuvra (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA, and BRAC University Bangladesh), Daffodil International University, Grammo, Revival, Context, SHEVA, Ethos, hal.fashion (Prothom Alo)
Dilruba Ferdous Shuvra
Dilruba Ferdous Shuvra is an architect, educator, and researcher. She currently holds the position of an Adjunct Lecturer and a Ph.D. graduate student in the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. She also holds a position of an Assistant Professor (on leave) in the Department of Architecture at BRAC University. Her research interest includes alternative knowledge (gender, vernacular knowledge, everyday human activities, etc.) in the production of space, cultural landscape, humanitarian landscape, r-urbanism, and de-urbanism.
Daffodil International University:
Daffodil International University (DIU) is recognized in independent government assessments as one of the top-graded universities in Bangladesh. The vision reflects the service to society. The mission of Daffodil International University is to pursue research, learning, and teaching of international distinction for the benefit of the nation.
For more information: https://daffodilvarsity.edu.bd/
‘Grammo’ means ‘of the village’. Grammo is an association of like-minded people who believe in the ‘life’ of a village. In collaboration with local partners, Grammo organizes residential workshops in villages of Bangladesh to learn from the locals and document the rural settlements of Bangladesh.
‘Revival’ is a social business initiative. ‘Revival’s motto is to achieve women’s & children’s independence through sustainable fashion and cultural exchange to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The main goals of the brand are women’s empowerment, cultural exchange by making a fusion between Japanese Fashion and Bangladeshi culture, ensuring more benefits for the women weavers and their families, and adaptive reuse of heritage buildings.
For more information:
Context (contextbd.com) is an online platform that aims to bring together professional and young creatives from a diverse range of backgrounds. Their mission is to unearth the best projects and to curate a selection of the most significant aspects of traditional and contemporary culture, architecture, and art of Bangladesh by publishing the projects, latest news and key issues in the field of architecture, design, technology, and art.
For more information: https://contextbd.com/
Ethos is a sister concern of Studio Dvoid and a team of enthusiasts that aims to create a community-based network that thrives to make connections between ancient ecological knowledge and contemporary people from all over the world. Ethos wants to re-think our contemporary world as a tool to connect with the ‘Ethos of Nature’.
For more information email: email@example.com
haal.fashion (হাল.ফ্যাশন) is a feature magazine of the Daily Prothom Alo, the largest circulated newspaper in Bangladesh. Haal.fashion features the latest news related to fashion, travel, lifestyle, food, wellbeing, etc.
For more information: https://www.haal.fashion/