Tag Archive | Cultural Heritage

Kate: Singing in Dublin

I’ve finally arrived in Ireland and my research is going better than I could’ve hoped for!  Already I’ve been to two singing sessions, one in the heart of Dublin and another in the seaside suburb of Howth, as well as a concert put on by a more mainstream Irish singer inside a beautiful church in Dublin.  The next session I’m aware of isn’t until this Friday, so my task until then is to start scheduling and carrying out interviews.
The sessions have been fascinating thus far, consisting of people sitting around the pub drinking pints and taking turns sharing songs.  It is apparent that everyone is there to have a good time, but there is little talking and the songs are listened to with a sense of great seriousness.  People often close their eyes and seem to be almost in a state of meditation, only breaking the silence to say words of encouragement or maybe sing along for a phrase.  I saw a lot of the same faces at both sessions and was amazed by the encyclopedic memory of some singers- many seemed to be familiar with almost every song and I probably heard close to 100 songs!

I was also the youngest person there by close to 20 years, and many seemed amused that a young American girl traveled all this way to Read More…


Kate: On Tour

It is just under three days until I board my flight to Dublin, and I am starting to feel the usual pre-travel mix of excitement and nervousness.  I leave Bennington on Tuesday to swing by my home (in Mystic, CT), quickly pack up my stuff and head to Logan Airport on Wednesday morning.

I made up this dorky calendar to keep track of the different singing events I’m planning on attending.  Most are casual singing gatherings occurring in pubs, while a few are concerts performed by more high-profile traditional singers, and Read More…

Ali: Human Rights and Cultural Schizophrenia in Pakistan

Ali Faateh here, folks. I’m a senior and I study writing and public action at the college. This FWT, I’m back in my hometown of Lahore, where I’m working as a research assistant for the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), an independent, non-state organisation. Mostly I’m helping with their flagship annual publication, “The State of Human Rights in 2013,” and I contribute to their social media campaign too.

(Photos courtesy of Marc and Raphaëlle Chiapolino. A couple are mine.)

different centuries  Golden Mosque

Pakistan is a bundle of contradictions; it lives in different centuries at the same time, firmly rooted in tradition on the one hand while also warily inching—in fact, sometimes hurtling—toward modernity. It’s an unimaginably, ethnically diverse place, so although I’ve lived here all my life, Pakistan never ceases to amuse and amaze me with its cultural schizophrenia. As a “frontline state” in the war on terror and the supposed epicentre of terrorism, Pakistan has lost nearly 50,000 citizens over the past twelve years. Rampant violence, sectarian strife and a independence movement in Balochistan are threatening its existence.


Walled City Badshahi Masjid - Royal Mosque

The HRCP takes the state to task over its failure to protect its citizens; Read More…