AsConConversations || Culture meets Hydro-diplomacy

Date:   Mon Aug 31, 2020 - Mon Aug 31, 2020 , Contact: , Hosts:   Asian Confluence















Rivers have always defined human civilization. South Asia is a land connected by rivers which have through time immemorial bound the peoples and nations of the region towards a shared destiny based on common threads of culture, livelihoods and challenges. They are therefore an integral component of international relationships. Today as nations seek to come together to address shared concerns on water-related issues, can hydro-diplomacy, which focuses on how states communicate with each other, invoke culture as a system of inherited conceptions expressed in symbolic forms, to better understand sites of diplomacy.



Dr. Medha Bisht, Senior Assistant Professor, Department of International Relations, South Asian University, New Delhi, India

Dr Bisht is a Ph.D from Diplomatic Studies Division, Jawaharlal Nehru University, where she wrote her thesis on Multi-stakeholder negotiations on security and development. She works at the intersection of strategy and philosophy and is particularly interested in non-western sources of diplomatic practices in Asia. Her book, ‘Kautilya’s Arthashastra: Philosophy of Strategy’ is currently in the publication stage with Routledge.  Interested in the concept of water diplomacy, her research engagement has highlighted the micro and macro narratives related to water governance  and water diplomacy in South Asia. She has conducted  stakeholder engagements and dialogues in South Asia to identify the political, cultural and ecological perspectives pertaining to rivers and riparian communities. She was a consultant to IUCN-India in 2017, where she co-authored a course on ‘Hydro-diplomacy in South Asia’  in collaboration with Dhaka University. The course was pilot-tested in India and Bangladesh in 2017 with mid-level water professionals. 

Syed Jamil Ahmed, Professor, Department of Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

Syed Jamil Ahmed is a theatre director and designer based in Bangladesh, along with being a Professor. He founded the Department of Theatre and Music at the University of Dhaka in 1994 and served as its Chair till 1997. His book length publications in English include Acinpakhi Infinity: Indigenous Theatre in Bangladesh, In Praise of Applied Theatrics: Essays in Refusal. He has published extensively in academic journals, edited volumes and encyclopaedias, both at home and abroad, in Bengali and English, and has been translated in Norwegian, French, Russian, Chinese and Korean. He has received two Fulbright fellowships as well as prestigious awards at home and abroad, and has served as visiting faculty in the US, UK and India. 


Mr. Sabyasachi Dutta, Founder Director, Asian Confluence, Meghalaya, India

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