An alternative vision for
the arts and media



About us

Restoration of LAMO centre
Exhibitions & Workshops
Announcements & Events
Work opportunities
Support LAMO
Contact LAMO







LAMO Art Workshop for the Ladakh Heart Foundation
November 11 onwards

LAMO was delighted when Ven. Chogyal from the Ladakh Heart Foundation asked us to come up with paintings for their Children’s Ward so that the admitted sick children would feel happier during their stay at the hospital. We decided that student artists would do the job best. So on 11th November, 2014 we started the first phase of the workshop and we were delighted to see 19 talented students from various schools of Leh come to participate. During the first phase of the workshop, we held three sessions. The sessions were interactive­-among the many things, we saw local documentaries on environment and health issues, arts from around India, and looked at an array of books on contemporary and historical art.

We also had talks from our Art Officer, Isaac Gergan on the importance of art, how to develop ideas, communicate through art. He also took the participants through a brief timeline of art history. All in all, over the three weeks of the workshop, we had a great time, sharing jokes, ideas and coming up with some well thought out and beautifully executed paintings. We want to congratulate all the participants on a fantastic job.

LAMO will present the paintings to the foundation in the month of June-July (tentatively), at a small event of discussions and presentations, in the presence of Carina Chatlani, who sponsored the workshop and Ven. Chogyal from the Ladakh Heart Foundation





Mapping Old Town - Archival studies and contemporary responses
June 12 - September 30 2013

This exhibition focused on the work LAMO has done during ‘The Neighbourhood Project – Old Town Leh’. Since 2010, LAMO has been researching and documenting the neighbourhood of Old Town Leh through household surveys, informal discussions and interviews with residents, recording their memoires and dreams for their neighbourhood, documenting the artistic heritage of the area, responding to it through the creation of contemporary art works, collecting archival and contemporary visuals, making videos, looking at public spaces and commercial establishments, exploring the cuisine, music and clothing, and advocating the importance of the area amongst stakeholders and policymakers. Through this project and the exhibition, LAMO’s endeavour was to disseminate the cultural practices of the Old town, recognise the community that lives here and exemplify their hopes and aspirations for the regeneration of the Old Town.

The Old Town of Leh bears testimony to the architectural heritage and socio-cultural history of Ladakh. Situated behind Leh’s main market, the Old Town lies spread across the southern slope of the hill with the Palace at the top and extends as far as the Polo Ground to the south, the Balti bakeries in Chute Rantak in the west and the motorable road going up to the Palace in the east. The area is connected by a labyrinth of narrow, winding pathways that meander past homes some that are over three hundred years old as well as more recent constructions. The Old Town is home to a diverse community from various socio-economic backgrounds. Besides those that belong to Leh’s Buddhist and Muslim households, the neighbourhood’s population is also composed of various migrants who have settled in from other parts of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir as well as seasonal migrants from other States in the country who have made the Old Town their home because of the employment opportunities available in Leh.

The Old Town of Leh is locally known as ‘Skyanos Gogsum’. The core areas within this include Kharyok, Stalam, Lobding, Stago Philog and Maney Khang. Peripheral areas include Chute Ranktak, Now Shar and Zangsti. Located within this area are some of the most important historical buildings including Leh Palace, Namgyal Tsemo Monastery and the Jama Masjid, as well as Leh’s first cinema hall. The area dates back to the first part of the 17th century, when Leh Palace was constructed. The first king to take up residence at the Palace was Senge Namgyal, one of the most powerful rulers of the Namygyal dynasty. Most of the residents of the Old Town lived here by virtue of their affinity to the King – his ministers, secretary, horsemen, tailors, jewellers, musicians and artisans amongst others – and had accommodation of varying sizes and types depending upon their rank in the area below the Palace. Thus, the area was the most important part of Leh, as well as the wider Ladakh area, as it played a crucial role in the political, commercial and cultural life of the region.

Many of the homes that remain display some of the best remaining examples of the vernacular domestic architecture of this time. The area was enclosed by a wall that had four gates that were opened every day from 6am to 8pm. Apart from residential buildings, the area was also home to a bustling marketplace where artisans, craftspeople and traders set up shop. It remained the hub of cultural and religious life till the Dogra invasion of Ladakh in 1834. Soon after the Dogra invasion, the royal family vacated their Palace at Leh and moved to their residence at Stok where they reside till date. The wall and gates surrounding Old Town were gradually brought down. With the departure of the royal family from the Palace the grandeur and importance of the place diminished. Residents of the area followed, most moving out to homes in lower parts of Leh town where they owned land. With their movement out of Old Town a slow and steady deterioration of the neighbourhood took place – homes lay neglected, some falling almost to ruin, while others were demolished. In 2008, Old Town was declared an endangered site and included on the World Monuments Watch List.

This Exhibition focuses on the work LAMO has done during ‘The Neighbourhood Project’ as it remembers, reflects on and celebrates the importance of Old Town Leh.

This Exhibition has been made possible with the generous support of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Jammu & Kashmir. It is part of the ‘Old Town Leh – The Neighbourhood Project’ that is supported by the Ministry and the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, Mumbai.


Your Dream Home - Old Town Leh
No matter how inconsequential dreams may appear to be, they still influence and motivate us. Your Dream Home, a project by Baptist Coelho, explored the bricks and mortar of people’s hopes, dreams and aspirations. The use of talu as a local building material, talked about the construction of a home which people’s lives depend on. The contribution of drawings and notes by local inhabitants of Old Town were used to generate a dialogue and form the impetus for this part of the exhibition. These multi-disciplinary, location-specific, artworks provided unique viewpoints and described the relationships and incongruities that exist between peoples dreams and the reality of the spaces that they actually cohabit.

The project, Your Dream Home, involved the local community in Old Town contributing written notes and creating drawings describing their vision of an ideal home. These handmade aspirations were been gathered from a varied population spanning across age, gender, economic status, educational background and religious beliefs. The research material was compiled locally, and used to prompt several queries pertaining to the human condition and reflects on how we actually coexist in our environments. Through this anthology of notes reflecting on how we define our ideal dwelling space, certain themes recur which transcend the local, and become universal. One common theme that is often highlighted reflects on the predicament people face with increased urbanization and how it affects their approach to living.

Baptist Coelho received his Masters of Arts from the Birmingham Institute of Art & Design (UK), and has held several solo and group shows in India, Europe and South East Asia. He was awarded the “Promising Artist Award” (2007) and the “Johnson Prize Fund” (2006). As part of his practice, Baptist incorporates installation, video, sound, photography, found objects, site-specific works and public-art projects. The artist lives and works in Mumbai.


Playwriting Workshop
June 28, 29 2013

A two day workshop on playwriting was held at LAMO Centre on June 28 and 29, 2013.  The resource person for the workshop was Emma Goidel—playwright, dramaturge and performer—based in Philadelphia (USA).
The workshop was attended by 45 students and teachers from various educational institutes. On day one, Emma took up basic introduction of playwriting and with the help of writing exercises, such as play writing using ones imagination, made them understand the basic skills of playwriting. Later, she also let the students enact their plays. On the second day, Emma taught the participants plot in playwriting. By the end of the workshop, the participants had a clear understanding of the concepts and various other important elements of playwriting. The workshop was thoroughly enjoyed by the participants and gave them a chance to explore their creativity in writing.




Art Recycled
May 24-30 2013

A recycling workshop was conducted by Juhi Pandey and Sophie Morbe of TARA Trust, Goa from May 24 to 30. The workshop focused on the use of waste material to create art.  It looked at issues of waste management and garbage collection in Old Town and how these can be improved. Films on the subject were also shown, including the Disney movie ‘WALL-E’.
Taking waste material found in Old Town, a mural was created looking at these issues and the mural was displayed at the LAMO Centre from June till September 2013.


Understanding environmental issues for better reportage.
A media briefing for local journalists
8th and 9th April 2013

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), New Delhi and the Ladakh Arts and Media Organisation (LAMO) held a workshop on the environment and its reportage.
Issues such as climate change, water and urbanization trends were covered in the workshop, the stress was on understanding how best to identify, research and report on them.

The workshop was open to journalists working on local environmental issues; over 20 people participated from both Leh and Kargil Districts. Resource people from CSE included Souparno Banerjee (programme director-media), Richard Mahapatra (senior editor, Down To Earth), and Anumita Roychowdhury (executive director-research and advocacy) as well as key people working in the environmental field in Ladakh – T Norphel (glacier engineer) and Tsewang Namgail (wildlife biologist).



Collage making workshop - Imagining Old Town: A youth's vision
The workshop was conducted by LAMO’s Art Officer Chemat Dorjey, a Graduate from the Fine Arts Department, Jammu College, and focused on teaching foundation lessons on collage making.
Over 20 students from Grades 9 to 12 attended the workshop. The theme of the workshop was the Old Town of Leh.  Through their art works the students explored ideas of heritage and tradition, transformation and change.  They also learnt how to work with recycled paper and other materials.
At the conclusion of the workshop a public exhibition was held at Lal Chowk (in front of the Jama Masjid), on 26th January 2013.




heart 1

heart 2

heart 3



ot expo 1

ot expo 2

ot expo 3

ot expo 4









dream home









playwriting 1

playwriting 2



recycled art






paper plane workshop






E&W 2012

E&W 2011

E&W 2010


Copyright LAMO 2010

Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy