During his time at Harvard, Faiham has been researching the world tea trade in Harvard’s museums and libraries. He recently gave a presentation titled “Cha Chakra: Tea Tales of Bangladesh,” chaired by Professor Sugata Bose with commentary by Curator Alison Nordström, in which he displayed his long-term documentary photography research project on tea industry. The project sheds light on the plight of the tea garden workers of Bangladesh who are among the lowest paid and most vulnerable laborers in the world yet are strangely invisible to the global media. Currently, the project concentrates on labor rights and conditions within Bangladesh’s tea industry, which are a direct result of a long history of colonialism and oppression. This project aims to collect the undocumented history of the global tea industry through photography, oral histories, and archival materials.
Every year the Mittal Institute publishes an annual report that chronicles the highlights of the academic year. This report showcases the breadth of interdisciplinary faculty and student research projects, programs and events that The Mittal Institute supports related to South Asia both at Harvard and In-region.
Congratulations to Green Screen and Umbulizer, the winners of our 2018 Seed for Change Competition. Umbulizer, the winner of Seed for Change Pakistan, will receive $15,000 to further develop a reliable, low-cost, and portable device that can provide continuous ventilation to patients in resource-limited healthcare settings. Green Screen, winner of Seed for Change India, will receive $40,000 to produce a zero-electricity, modular ventilation panel made from an agricultural waste byproduct and designed for the slums of New Delhi, India.
Before the upcoming Buddhism in Nepal conference on Monday, May 7, The Mittal Institute spoke with professor and conference organizer Leonard van der Kuijp about the conference and the Nepal Studies Program.
In anticipation of her upcoming book, The Mittal Institute Research Affiliate Vineeta Sinha sat down with us to discuss her work on the Hindu Diaspora in Singapore and her thoughts on being a woman in academia. “Sitting on recruitment and reviewing committees and on management boards, I have witnessed that even my lone presence as a woman tempers the tone of the discussion and prevents loaded and blatantly sexist and even racist questions to be raised — even if it is just for political correctness,” she says.
In the developing world, 95% of people with a clinically significant mental illness receive no treatment at all, and it costs the global economy an estimated trillion dollars a year. Vikram Patel is a distinguished Indian psychiatrist and The Pershing Square Professor of Global Health at Harvard Medical School. The Mittal Institute’s Hasit Shah caught up with him before our 2018 Symposium, where Professor Patel was one of the key speakers.
“The transformational support from Indian industrialist Mr. Lakshmi Mittal and his family ensures that South Asia remains an education and research priority at Harvard. The $25m naming endowment builds on the foundation established by the University and our Advisory Council. The Lakshmi Mittal South Asia Institute (The Mittal Institute) at Harvard University enters a new era of being a catalyst for interdisciplinary, Harvard-wide initiatives across South Asia.” – Tarun Khanna (Director, The Mittal Institute; Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School)
Was that a flash of gold I just saw? I moved around to the other side of the table, hoping to catch the light just right again. I was in a storage room of the Archäologisches Zentrum of the Museum fur Islamische Kunst in Berlin, viewing a folio of calligraphy signed by the Mughal prince Dara Shikoh (1615-59). I tilted my head as I followed the flowing lines of nast’aliq script around the page.
On April 17, The Mittal Institute hosted an opening reception and seminar for the exhibition, “Revelations: Reclaiming South Asian Narratives.” By exhibiting pieces from this year’s Visiting Artists, the show aims to unravel challenging social issues that often fall outside the limelight.
As a 2018 Mittal Institute Visiting Artist, Rajyashri Goody’s art revolves around the complexities of identity seen through the lens of larger social, political, economic, and religious structures at play — and consequently the tug between power and resistance that manifests itself within minority communities.