Water and River Relations Workshop for Women

The Visualizing Water and River Relations Workshop for Women took place May 10th and 11th at the Centre for Mountain Dynamics in Pudung, near Kalimpong, and was attended by 20 Indigenous women of the Lepcha and Rabha communities from the remote river valley in Sikkim as well as villages in West Bengal.

The women who participated in the workshop were students, farmers, housewives, teachers, as well as forest and river activists. The goal of the workshop was to engage with women about their relationships to and interactions with water and rivers in their daily lives.  

Based loosely on a concept known as photovoice, which pairs written narrative with photos, the workshop was organized as a way to amplify women’s voices regarding their lived experiences and knowledge about water and rivers, and to (as the name of the workshop suggests) visualize these experiences and knowledge through written narrative, expressive drawings, and photography.

From this, the workshop imparts visual rhetorical as well as narrative composition skills, and explores the various ways story and image can be shared on various online platforms, such as social media, to express personal thoughts, experiences, and knowledge, as well as to mobilize this information in an engaging way.