Pot Gan Performance of ‘The Lived Experience of Climate Change: A Story of One Piece of Land’

Pot Gan Poster

The Lived Experience of Climate Change: The Story of One Piece of Land in Dhaka forms part of the Global Development Institute’s (University of Manchester) programme of research on climate resilience, adaptation and land tenure. The urban poor show significant capacity to develop strategies to improve their resilience to climate change. However, these strategies can be affected by land tenure rights; with insecure tenure reducing the incentive for people to invest scarce resources in risk reduction. This study set out to understand how land tenure influences climate change impacts and in turn how land tenure can influence strategies for enhancing climate change resilience in a slum in Dhaka.

The University of Manchester’s Global Development Institute, in collaboration with the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Dhaka, decided to embark on an exciting initiate, using traditional forms of civic education and entertainment in the form of Pot Gans. Pot Gans are a traditional folk medium, featuring melody, drama, pictures and dancing. This Pot Gan performance designed and supervised by Mr Md. Ahasan Khan, and presented by students of the University of Dhaka’s Department of Theatre and Performance Studies is used to build awareness of how climate change affects the lives of those living in the project field site. Dr Joanne Jordan of The University of Manchester’s Global Development Institute spent several months talking to 627 people in their homes, work places, local teashops and on street corners, and this performance is based on some of the stories they shared with her.

It is a tale of how climate change is linked to many other problems experienced in the ‘everyday’ life of slums in Dhaka. It brings together the realities of exclusion and poverty and also the points at which it is important to intervene to make people more resilient to the effects of climate change. Climate change intensifies the exclusion suffered by the poorest, and in this performance, we are all encouraged to think about what needs to be done to support the people of Bangladesh to respond to one of the biggest environmental and development challenges of the 21st century.

The Programme was held at the British Council Bangladesh premises on April 28th, 2016 at 7:00pm.

To know more about the Pot Gan Performance have a look at the Flip Book

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