University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Visual Constructions of South Asia (2015-16) > In the shadow of Mt Kailash: The politics of visual constructions in a trans-boundary cultural landscapes

In the shadow of Mt Kailash: The politics of visual constructions in a trans-boundary cultural landscapes

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Annamaria Motrescu-Mayes.

The Kailash Sacred Landscape (KSL) is a trans-boundary landscape spreading over China, India, and Nepal around these countries’ western tri-juncture. Lying in a remote corner of southwestern Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR), China, Mt Kailash has been one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Bonpos, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Tibetan Buddhists. The parts of India and Nepal that adjoin this part of China have had historic trans-boundary ties of pilgrimage, trade, knowledge sharing, pilgrimage, natural resource use, and conquest. While Mt Kailash and its adjoining sacred lake Manasarovar have been described in mythic narratives and legends of diverse religious traditions for centuries, the last two hundred years saw a profusion of writing, photography, and map drawing on the KSL . More recently, certain dominant, totalizing narratives have emerged on the KSL from commercial and state interests promoting pilgrimage and tourism in the region. This talk will discuss how the use of the diverse body of local regional and historic sources for generating interpretation material on the KSL can provide a richer, more inclusive understanding of this multi-layered, complex landscape than the currently dominant narratives emerging through commercial and state narratives.

This talk is part of the Visual Constructions of South Asia (2015-16) series.

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