From 23 – 25th July 2011, Khorog’s Central Park was host to the fourth annual “Roof of the World” Festival. The University of Central Asia’s School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPCE) Khorog, along with other international agencies supported the participation of Kyrgyz Republic and Kazakhstan musical groups in the festival.
This is the second time this cultural-ecological festival is being held in Gorno Badakhshan, and this year’s activities were around the theme “Culture and Nature are Foundations of our Life.” Musicians from Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic, whose travel was sponsored by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in cooperation with SPCE Khorog, participated in both the music programme and an exhibition of traditional crafts. The delegation joined other local and international participants at the exhibition, demonstrating traditional handicraft manufacturing such as knitting, embroidery and souvenior making.
SPCE Khorog, also hosted the screening of documentary films and organized master classes. Highlights included the films “Customs and Tradition of Kazakh Nomads” and “Overview of Culture and Tradition of the Kyrgyz". During the master class, which was popular with guests, all musical groups performed a finale together, and demonstrated their traditional musical instruments, dance and folk music.
The open-air festival featured music from all over the Pamirs and surrounding regions including China, North Pakistan and Afghanistan. Different events were showcased on one small "electric" stage interspersed with other smaller daytime acoustic "unplugged" workshops in different parts of the park to take advantage of the unique mountain acoustics. Events included performances in traditional and alternative music, poetry, theatre and local crafts.
The festival organizers included the University of Central Asia, the Aga Khan Health Services (AKHS), the Mountain Societies Development Support Programme (MSDSP) of the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the public association Amesha Spenta, De Pamiri Handicraft, the Christensen Fund, and the Swiss Cooperation Office (SDC), as well as a number of public associations and neighborhoods of Khorog.