Twenty years later, the Ladakh Arts and Media Organisation (LAMO) approached the Munshi family with a proposal to restore the house and turn it into a community arts centre. From 2005 to 2010, together with the adjoining Gyaoo House, the buildings were restored to create an arts and media centre designed to conduct outreach programs, research, workshops, performances and exhibitions that showcase Ladakh’s material and visual culture, performing arts, and literature.The presentation looked at the old town of Leh, its development and importance in the Western Himalayas, and its gradual decline. It outlined the stages in the restoration of the Munshi and Gyaoo Houses, describing the building process and looked at the adaptive reuse of the historical buildings as a community arts space.
Monisha Ahmed is an independent researcher whose work focuses on art practices and material culture in Ladakh. Her doctoral degree from Oxford University developed into the book Living Fabric: Weaving among the Nomads of Ladakh Himalaya (2002), which received the Textile Society of America’s R L Shep Award in 2003 for best book in ethnic textile studies. She has published several articles on textile arts of the western Himalayan world, co-edited Ladakh – Culture at the Crossroads (2005), and collaborated on Pashmina – The Kashmir Shawl and Beyond (2009 & 2017). More recently she published a chapter on textiles for The Arts and Interiors of Rashtrapati Bhavan – Lutyens and Beyond (2016), and the catalogue Woven Treasures – Textiles from the Jasleen Dhamija Collection (2016). Formerly Associate Editor of Marg Publications, she is co-founder and Executive Director of the Ladakh Arts and Media Organisation.