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Title: The manifestation of change - a photographically based investigation that visualises the processes of urbanisation within the Kharnack Nomad communities
Author: Hall, Harry
ISNI:       0000 0004 6058 9785
Awarding Body: University of Sunderland
Current Institution: University of Sunderland
Date of Award: 2016
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This photographically led research investigates the issues responsible for the Kharnack Nomads moving from their traditional range on the Changthang Plateau close to the Sino-Indian border, to a town 125 miles away. The practice-led element was based on two extended field-trips (2011 and 2012) during which a multi-facetted photographic record was developed. Drawing also on audio recordings, field observations, formal and informal conversations, this photographic record in turn was edited and represented using a range of strategies outlined in the written thesis. In the written thesis, a contextual overview considers critical debates concerning the depiction of the 'other' through photography with specific reference to the relationship of photography with anthropology. Further contextual research was undertaken both prior to and during the field trips to investigate the historical and contemporary issues that are contributing to the urbanisation of the Kharnack Nomads. Alongside this academic research, a logistical investigation was undertaken to facilitate practical aspects of the field research. An intersubjective methodology for the research was developed in which members of the Kharnack communities were encouraged to become participants in, rather than subjects of, the fieldwork investigation. Through this methodology outlined in the written thesis, the aim was to investigate the 'social drivers' of the urbanisation process and to develop a range of photographic strategies to visualise this experience of change. This engagement with the communities facilitated a photographic investigation into the nomad's experiences of urbanisation from the diverse positions of those who had urbanised and those who chose to continue a traditional nomadic life. The field work investigation revealed that previously published research work on Kharnack urbanisation had become outdated due to the rapid rate of urbanisation, leaving only 14 families in Changthang. Furthermore, it was found that local climatic changes experienced during recent winters were also drivers of urbanisation. This aspect has not been noted previously in the published literature. The research has been disseminated in two diverse forms. An archive of photographs was produced for the community centre in Kharnackling; it contains my images made in Kharnackling, Zara and Spagmar with spaces for community members to add captions and comments. The archive is intended as a living document reflecting the development of the community as people add their own photographs and text to it. I have also drawn upon the tradition of the public lecture to disseminate my research to academic and other institutions. The contribution to knowledge this research makes is detailed in the written thesis and concerns: The production of a photographic investigation that depicts urbanisation as experienced by the Kharnackpa Diaspora. The return of an open photographic archive to Kharnackling for community use. Documenting people's experiences of local climatic changes that have become a driver of urbanisation. Confirmation of the assertion made by Sarah Goodall in her 2007 research: 'that once they had moved to town to attend school it would be unlikely that young people would return to Changthang' (Goodall, 2007).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available