Padma Rigzin

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Shiv Nadar U.

Grant number

Gr. 10536

Approve Date

April 6, 2023

Project Title

Rigzin, Padma (Shiv Nadar U.) "Exploring Contemporary Ladakh: Human-snow leopard Relationships in the Anthropocene"

Snow leopards sit at the intersection of the globally changing environment. The project brings Anthropocene to provide an enabling lens to make sense of the pronounced impact of anthropogenic climate change in Ladakh, a trans-Himalayan ecosystem. The research then traces how Anthropocene is reframing snow leopards. Earlier, the snow leopards faced threats of getting killed by livestock herders who eliminated snow leopards when the predator preyed on livestock. Now, the cat is seen as a victim of the changing climate. In this context, this project explores the changing aspects of multispecies cohabitation in Ladakh. The study will examine the emerging relationship between humans and snow leopards by following how the cat connects (with) human companions like conservationists, travel agents, tourists, rural Ladakhis and more. In particular, this project traces: How have snow leopards come to generate immense affective responses from humans? To pursue the above problematic, I will conduct participant observation for 12 months. I will do a research internship with a wildlife conservation non-governmental organisation and travel agency and do fieldwork in snow leopard tourism villages. The project aims to contribute to highlighting a form of multispecies cohabitation on a ‘damaged planet’.