For more details, you can download his CV, or contact Kiran directly.
Kiran has adopted the following principles to guide him in his work; partnership, social and cultural equity and diversity, knowledge sharing, self-reflection and a strong belief in orientation towards relationship, transparent and receptive communication.
Kiran enjoys managing, creating partnerships and working collaboratively. He enjoys working as part of a team, and independently.
Personal Statement – What has led to my interest in folklore combined with peace and conflict resolution?
As far back as I can remember, I’ve had a strong interest in people and how they see, experience, and make sense of our often complex world. I believe that connecting to people and learning to be aware of the barriers that are often placed before us, that may define who we are, and that we make for ourselves lies at the heart of developing a peaceful and conflict-free world. In my own life, I have been both witness and subject to overt and subtle forms of conflict in various communities–conflict that at first glance seemed insurmountable. Through the lens of folklore, I’ve grown to look at conflict as behavior, treating it as a form of vernacular expression with meaningful cultural value. As a result, I began to utilize methods that allow me to take into account the very subtle ways that conflict is manifested through cultural ideology, and that quietly and rather subtly exists in the day-to-day engagement and exchange between people, in order to pave the way for the power of human creativity to empower, create solidarity, and challenge conflict in communities. It is through these subtleties of expression that the lens of folklore offers opportunities to recognize and understand difference, in order to build peace and achieve conflict resolution.
As folklorists become skilled in identifying the cultural assets that exist among diverse communities, we are not only able to recognize the voices of everyday people who have historically been rendered invisible or sidelined from society, but at the same time we are often in prime positions to broaden the recognition of vernacular arts and traditions to which groups attach important and significant meaning. Folklorists create such bridges of communication. As the folklorist offers a perspective that looks at issues that pertain to conflict at the micro level, he or she thus can facilitate communication between communities in conflict. It is through this detailed level of deep inquiry that we are able to unpack the tensions that often ignite into violent conflict.
However calling oneself a folklorist brings with it responsibilities, as we grapple with ethnographic points of entry, notions of collaboration, and the dilemma of holding positions of power and authority. In studying a group’s traditions, we must be aware of the way that our work contributes to cementing, altering, preserving, or destroying the way a community is viewed from outside of its group, as well as how the study might alter the way a community sees itself. In choosing to give voice, validation, and recognition to one person or a group of people, we must additionally be aware that our actions may, in some instances, stimulate conflict through resentment, suppression, or marginalization of other voices.
While these issues are not to be taken lightly, I believe that a folklorist’s ability to “read” the vernacular can offer a unique mode of interaction with communities that can lead to beneficial outcomes for all. As a folklorist, I aim to thoroughly investigate these issues in terms of my own work in the field, in order to most successfully navigate my way through the ethical dilemmas, intentions, and ethnographic stages I may encounter in my approach with working with others and in determining the outcomes of my work.
Kiran is also a slam poet, and enjoys full community engagement, as a poet and artist, photographer and community member. He writes, performs, and creates written and spoken word poetry. He has a passion for elephants and focuses much of his own visual arts on his study of three Indian elephants: Raja, Damani and Chandrika. Kiran has developed and performed monologues in plays, and also been a Gospel Singer, as part of Glasgow Gospel Choir.
He loves to cook fusion, and once had his own recipe published.
Kiran enjoys cooking, the great outdoors, and thrives being in and amongst nature, forests, and mountains and being deeply immersed in cities and communities. Kiran has lived in 4 co-op international communities, and has a special interest in co-operative and communal living.