"Pakaan" ™ is a Kashmiri word which literally means: "I am walking..." Metaphorically and as a local slang, it's used as an expression to communicate that "life is going on/ I am walking on the journey of life...!"
Hence, 'Pakaan...' at ICPP is a storytelling initiative holding space for our psychological struggles, narratives, shared experiences, empathy and connection. We are glad to see that you are interested in sharing your story with us. This initiative provides a space for you to share your story of survival, hope, and continuation - how you chose to go on despite chaos, conflict, and uncertainty. You may submit write-ups, poems, or other forms of work such as drawings, paintings, photographs, or videos. Your story matters and our aim is to share it so that it may inspire others or at the very least, express solidarity and empathy. In your submission, we encourage you to emphasize the things that help you or give you hope. This can be in the context of any conflict, crisis or challenge. For instance, you may be stuck in a dangerous/unhealthy home environment, struggling with your identity in any way, living in a conflict-zone, or affected by bigger policies. No experience is too big or too small to share. Your story can include experiences of metaphors, sayings, anecdotes; from your context, culture and tradition, that inspires hope and continuation.
Submission Form link: https://forms.gle/BHxDfPh5FEdc6m5v9
In Rahul's words:
Writing liberates us in ways more than we anticipate it to. To write is to let free thousands of birds chained inside us. For a lot of us, writing is an act of courage. Join us and an intentional community of writers for 2 hours to practice this act of courage.
What will we do?
Connect with our personal stories of emergence, chaos, hope, and realizations. Learn to honour & express our stories through ‘writing’ as a medium
Tie the threads of realizations and discoveries with our personal story
Learn a few tools and techniques to hold space for ourselves through writing
For anyone above 16 years of age
For anyone who wishes to practice writing as a medium of expressing one's life narratives.
For anyone who needs a safe & held space to write and share.
For anyone who needs encouragement to write, write and write.
For anyone who wishes to give their realizations some tangible form
Note: The medium of instruction will be mostly in English. However, you can write in any language. Sharing of our writings will remain optional.
About the host:
Rahul Hasija is a story-weaver, intergenerational facilitator, and game designer. He has worked with several schools, inter-generational groups, and organizations on alternative learning methodologies, expressions and communication, and fostering nature interconnections. He currently runs his game-design studio called Swacardz (www.swacardz.com) with the intention to create games and interfaces for meaningful conversations. He is a trained Flow game host.
He is the preliminary editor of the book ‘Narmada – River of Joy’ and ‘The Original Forest’. He has worked as a Sub-editor at ‘Eternal Bhoomi’ in Bangalore. His articles have been published in Free Press Journal, Eartha-Mag, Eternal Bhoomi, Eco-Folk, and The Common Indian. He believes music, dance and stories hold the potential to bring harmony into our world of chaos and he often writes his realizations on https://thefreedomwalker.wordpress.com
"Back in 2019, post the abrogation, I was supporting 300-400 Kashmiris outside of Kashmir through volunteer psychological support, along with logistical and financial help. It started taking a toll on me. I was slowly losing hope; becoming more fearful and scared of the situation around me. One day, I made a semi-colon symbol on my wrist. It somehow kept reminding me of why I was doing the work I was doing - how it was impacting people’s lives in those grim times; and why I needed to survive, despite the chaos. It made me realize how survival sometimes is the most revolutionary act. And that I, we, must survive to tell our stories. It resonated with my anxiety struggles that had started during that time. And made me feel more empathetic towards mine and others’ mental health struggles. I dedicated the semicolon symbol (which I kept drawing again and again on my wrist) to all the people who live in and with conflicts, trauma, pain; and keep inspiring themselves and others to go on. This included people who I have worked with very closely during the past decade in Kashmir, including women, children, youth, and half-widows. I carry their hearts in my heart. And hope the semicolon symbol and initiative can support a bigger community through sharing, expression and creating of a space to hold each other and each others' narratives with empathy, love and kindness. The impetus of this project comes from our daily struggles of living in a conflict-zone which we call home. We also later learnt that there’s a similar project that facilitates stories of hope and mental health struggles, Project Semicolon. We feel inspired by their work as well."