The Spiti Valley is part of a ‘tribal’ region of the Indian Himalayas bordering Tibet, and its remote villages are among the highest inhabited places on earth.
Schools and classrooms are very basic in Spiti, and learning by rote is commonplace for the 3000 children living here. Our own children, by accident of birth, are lucky to have rich and creative opportunities at school in the UK. The Yak Pack Theatre Project was created to share these opportunities with Spitian children.
Following the success of our visit in 2018, we will be share the joy and drama of story telling by bringing a book to life as a performance:
"Rubbish Heap Rising" is a window into the mind of a reader.
We will take the show (and books) to schools, libraries and remote rural villages throughout Spiti.
We're looking forward to supporting the work of ‘Lets Open a Book' by providing story-telling workshops for teachers.
At the request of local people, our performance will explore the issue of plastic pollution, as well as celebrating the value of community and friendship. We will combine the performances with litter picks, and host craft workshops with local children to turn found materials into props for the shows.
We will start the Project working with 'Lets Open a Book' to provide story-telling workshops for local teachers.
During this first half of the Project, we will also be performing"Rubbish Heap Rising" in schools, and hosting craft workshops to make props from collected litter, which will feature in the performances.
[Photo from Yak Pack Project 2018: Izzy Lindsey-Clark mid-performance at Munsel-Ling School in Kaza]
For the second half the the Project we will travel on foot (and yak!) between some of the highest villages in the world, where people live a simple subsistence lifestyle, collecting litter en route.
We will run prop-making workshops for children with the collected litter, and perform our show to entertain families at the end of the working day.
[Photo from Yak Pack Project 2018: Village families in Demul enjoying the performance]
In total, we estimate that 1200 Spitian people - about 10% of the total population, and around a third of all the children - will see the show and enjoy our workshops.
To further encourage the love of books and creativity, "Rubbish Heap Rising" will be published as an 'illustrate-it-yourself' book to give to children who see the show. We will also bring books to donate to local libraries, with the guidance of 'Lets Open a Book'.
[Photo from Yak Pack 2018: Children in Langza village getting ready to perform as watch-sellers in the show]
For 2021, the Yak Pack performance team will consist of The Lindsey-Clark family (Ben and Louisa, with children Ollie and Izzy) plus Penny Falzoni and Arjuna Davis. The whole team will perform the story-telling show, along with a local performer who will join us in Spiti to translate the dialogue into the Spitian language during shows.
How the money works:
Funds raised will be used for delivering the Yak Pack Project itself, from 5th July to 31st July 2021.
The Yak Pack performance team are contributing their time for free in the UK and India, and will be paying for their own flights, visas, high altitude insurance, and food/accommodation for time spent in India outside of the Project dates. Overall, the team will be spending about £6,000 of their own money.
Your donations go towards:
- Staging performances throughout the Spiti Valley, with an aim of reaching at least 1000 children and families
- Workshops with 'Lets Open a Book' for local teachers to aid reading aloud
- Craft workshops for children to make instruments and props from collected litter and reused materials
- Donations of books for every library we visit (including school libraries)
- Illustrate-it-yourself book copies of "Rubbish Heap Rising" for audience children
- Paying for a local actor/narrator to join our team for 3 weeks
- Paying a driver/guide, and local transport, to join our team for 3 weeks
- Rehearsal and performance space rental in Spiti
- Props and costumes
- Accommodation in homestays and food, during the project weeks, for UK and Spitian Project members
- Transport from Shimla to Spiti (the team will self-fund its departure from Spiti)
We are committed to using only locally owned businesses so that every rupee spent by the project directly benefits residents of the Spiti Valley.
Thank you for your support!
[Clip from Yak Pack Project 2018: Performance at Munsel-Ling School, the largest school in Spiti]
[Clip from Yak Pack Project 2018: Teachers at Serkong School talking about the benefit of our visit to their school]
[Clip from Yak Pack Project 2018: Touring rural villages, travel by yak/donkey with shows in the evenings]
[Clip from Yak Pack Project 2018: A performance in Hikkim Village, home to the worlds highest post office!]
Photo credits: Louisa Lindsey-Clark and Peter Malan
Film credits: Ollie Lindsey-Clark and Louisa Lindsey-Clark
- Tim Simpson
- Karen and Darren Sharpe
- Darren and Poll
- Arjuna And Steffens Cycle - John O Groats To Lands End
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