Special event Past event Friday, 20 October 2017

Culture in Crisis: Re-discovering Sikkim's Lost Heritage

  • NAL Centre Room

  • Free event

Culture in Crisis: Re-discovering Sikkim's Lost Heritage  photo

Cultural Heritage advocate and development professional, Pema Abrahams, will discuss the consequences for culture when a community is disenfranchised from its heritage, and the impact this has on the notion of identity within society.

Using as a case study her work in Sikkim - a previously independent state which was subsumed by India in 1975 - for which she was a recipient of a British Library Endangered Archives Programme grant (funded by Arcadia); she will discuss her efforts to digitise 100,000 documents from the Sikkim Palace Archive (1875-1975), which upon completion will create the first universally accessible archival collection of local origin.
This ‘in conversation’ event, hosted by Jody Butterworth, Curator of the British Library’s Endangered Archives Programme, will explore the value of the archive in restoring a sense of collective ownership in heritage preservation, and the role of an individual in spurring community engagement

Pema Abrahams, of British-Sikkimese parentage, raised in New York and the UK, has spent the past eight years living and working on the Indian sub-continent: in New Delhi, Kathmandu, and Gangtok (Sikkim). She has recently founded a non-profit collection of initiatives that facilitate scholarship and encourage creativity to strengthen Sikkim’s cultural heritage preservation. Its next project is the digitization and documentation of more than 100 ‘thangkas’ (Tibetan Buddhist scroll paintings) from the Royal Chapel in Sikkim.

Please note that for security reasons bags are not permitted in the National Art Library and as such we invite our guests to deposit their belongings in the cloakroom at the main entrance before attending the talk.
This event is part of the V&A’s Culture in Crisis Series, and programmed in conjunction with The British Library’s Endangered Archives Programme