Dr. Navina Jafa: Gatekeeper of the Spectacular:
HERITAGE PERSONIFIED ---- Dr. Navina Jafa
Called the “Gatekeeper of the Spectacular” by the Financial Times, Dr. Navina Jafa is Heritage personified. She was a Fulbright Scholar at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC where she worked on cultural representation through exhibits, cultural management and much more.The intensity of the manner in which she crafts and presents Heritage is validated below…
“….Where, and how else can you get someone to help you to understand experienceand access the multiple layers of this complex country? Navina through her knowledge, her energy and dramatic presentation highlights the understated, interprets the silent features, collapses time past with time present, and performs INDIA…” …Elizabeth Conrad, tourist from Australia
Dr. Navina Jafa has to her credit a copyright and trademark on Academic Tourism a concept under which she has for the past two and half decades created out of the box in-depth and holistic experiencescovering various cities and regions of India. The concept of Academic Tourism has two product services:
“INDIA IS NOT A COUNTRY BUT AN EXPERIENCE…” Navina Jafa
Dr. Jafa is passionate about the Indian Subcontinent. She has studied India through dance, history, political science, and Sociology and languages .Her book titled Performing Heritage: The Art of Exhibit Walks” is the first academic work on the craft of Heritage Walks. She has lived and experienced India by working closely with grassroots tradition bearers in different regions of India.
In her Avatar as a curator and a presenter of Indian Heritage Dr. Jafa has had the opportunity to curate and present Academic tours to Kings, Queens, Nobel Laureates, and Corporate, Tourists, students, World Leaders and footpath dwellers.
Presently, apart from being A Heritage Tourism Specialist, Dr. Jafa is Vice President of Centre for New Perspectives (www.cnpindia.org) which works on Traditional Knowledge Skills and Sustainable development. Dr. Jafa has taught Culture and Development as a Feldman Scholar at the Heller School of sustainable international development- Brandeis University. Her dissertation on Intangible Heritage along with her experience as a Fulbright Scholar allowed her to develop strategies for and on Traditional Knowledge/ Cultural Skill Mapping, creation of pilot programs for sustainable livelihoods for creative communities and unique programs for sustaining Heritage Ecosystems through projects on living heritage aimed to develop Sustainable responsible tourism.
Where Heritage Presents Heritage: These testimonies say it all:
I have been visiting the Dargah (Sufi Monastery) of Hazrat Nizamuddin in Delhi since my childhood but for the first time I saw the last letter of my father in the hands of the keeper of the Sufi monastery. – Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan