Infrastructural Development; Fragile scapes, Fragmented lives

Status : On-going
Date : 2019-2020
Location : Gwadar, Balochistan, Pakistan

Infrastructural development such as roads and bridges promise mobility, change and development offering opportunities for populations that were otherwise restricted, remote or not connected to the contemporary world. However, they also have the capacity to organize and govern the political, social, cultural and economic lives of inhabitants and their landscapes. In addition to the opportunities and possibilities offered by infrastructures, their destructive potential for marginalized entities such as native communities and their landscapes cannot be ignored. This ambivalent nature of infrastructures will be explored in Laajverd Visiting School 2019 at Gwadar coastal town in South West Pakistan which being refurbished as a port city connecting China to warm waters. Gwadar is an old trading town which had historic links within and across the Arabian sea and Indian ocean where natives are involved in fishing business locally known as ‘mahigeeri’. The newly introduced Gwadar City Masterplan/ Port will disrupt and displace fisherman communities who have for decades lived and thrived in this land and in these waters. Through participatory workshops and creative mapping strategies, LVS explored socio-economic and cultural landscapes of fisherfolk, potential opportunities for local community and etho-ecologies of land life and water that compose the hammerhead known as Gwadar. Research for this project was co-led by Nishat Awan (Goldsmiths) and Zahra Hussain and conducted under Laajverd Visiting School 2019 funded by the Research and Enterprise Committee, GCRF Fund of Goldsmiths, University of London.