The Story of Earth Art Project
“We want to become educated nomads”
In September 2013, the members of Wall Art Project visited a school located at 15,000 feet.
When we visited a tent of a nomadic family that pastures pashmina goats one year ago,
we listened to the mother as she told us “My six year old son studies by living as a boarder.
” Then we got interested in what on earth that kind of school could be.
It took four hours from Leh, the principal town in Ladakh by jeep.
We arrived in PUGA surrounded by rocky mountains.
The Nomadic Residential School, Puga has 125 children belonging to nomadic families studying there.
The children were playing football just as they do in other countries with modern buildings.
We asked to children ‘’Why do you come to school?’’ then they replied that
“I want to be educated”; “I want to become an educated nomad”.
The rate of school attendance of nomads of that area is approximately 25%.
The back ground of Nomads
Nomads of this area moved around the foothills of Himalayas of Ladakh
to look for pastures for pashmina goats that produce the most high-class woolen goods.
There are seven nomadic tribes and 5000 people living in majestic natural surroundings.
They know that the most precious thing for them is the life that their ancestors have cultivated.
However, that is not enough.
There are kinds of problems that can’t be solved with experiences they have been through.
The pressures from the outside world due to globalization, the changes in environment…
Like the flash flood which destroyed the town of Leh in 2010, they faced the danger of glacial melting due to global warming.
Last winter, more than 30000 pashmina goats had been dead due to unprecedented snow. The worrying situation of the nomads is not spoken about in the town of Leh much.
Until 7 years ago government teachers were moving around in tents of the nomads and teaching children, but the education could not be spread and so the Nomadic Residential School was built, but the rate of school attendance has not increased very well.
The efforts of teachers appear to make children be satisfied, but the budget of education for each child is not sufficient.
How many people are interested in the situation of nomadic people?
Those people are part of the ‘art project’ based at schools.
We are the Wall Art Project, aiming to improve the educational situation
and continue to hold the activity of ‘wall art’ festivals in rural areas of India every year.
After holding WAF in two schools,
the number of children who wanted to be admitted to schools increased to about 100.
That is one of the results of getting the attention of school through art.
We create art projects with voluntary nomads, their children and the school teachers.
That means creating a place where art has free possibilities without limits born together.
First of all, a Japanese coordinator start preparing to move to live in Ladakh.
He will organize the executive team with the local people.
We call artists from Japan, India and other countries.
The selected artists can be those who can make artwork surviving several days at high altitude.
The artist team can make as much art work as they like using the earth as a canvas.
That is a challenge for artists.
Art work can be wall paintings, sculptures, stone circles, paintings on the ground,
photography, videography…the genre of ark work is not limited at all.
Artists will be debuted as “Earth Artist” at 15000 feet.
Communication will inevitably be created through art, and nomads,
artists and volunteers will have lots of mutual things to talk about.
The boarder school of nomads which is almost unheard of will be a foundation of worldwide art.
At the same time, we are creating the opportunity for children how to actually talk about themselves to others.