Each project includes an ethnographic film about a particular cultural practice, an audio collection of the accompanied folk songs and other creative endeavours undertaken in the field of collaborative ethnography.
What we do:
Our team consists of an audiovisual ethnographer, a sociologist, an illustrator, a translator and a producer. We offer acquaintance with your interest group through an embodied camera. Our work areas include:
Observation, participation and self reflection (translation); this is our methodology. We work on acquainting our viewers with the ‘other’ through an embodied camera. Our dynamic style of research could help you in designing innovative products, rural marketing/ community engagement, team building and in redefining ways of safeguarding the intangible heritage.
We transform spaces into an ethnographic field site. In an urban setting, we recreate our encounter with the rituals and cultural practices, by mixing bits of ethnographic observations and experiences. Hence, offering the viewer an opportunity to truly become a participant through the film. We also offer filmmaking and folklore workshops in classrooms and offices.
We redefine ways of safeguarding the oral traditions of India. Living with the community, participating & documenting our lives together and then organising screenings and discussions about the film and the filmed, amongst young and old, this and that. Engaging the communities in a discussion about their own traditions and ensuring innovation, not preservation.
Janeu (film) gets selected for International Festival of Ethnological Film ‘KRATOVO 2016’, Macedonia
Good news everyone! Our film Janeu | Bhojpuri Initiation Rites & Folk Songs has been selected to be screened at THE 5th INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF ETHNOLOGICAL FILM „KRATOVO 2016“ to be held from 30 September – 2 October 2016. The festival is organised by The Macedonian Ethnological Society and Culture center L. Sofijanov in Kratovo, […]
Our founder, Rajat Nayyar, was interviewed by Shamina de Gonzaga from Mediaforchange.org Background SG: How did you come to name your project “Espírito Kashi” and qualify your work as documenting “intangible cultural heritage”? RN: “Intangible cultural heritage” or “ICH” is a term I came across going through UNESCO’s charter. I use it to encompass oral and […]
On 6th of July, our house was transformed into a film set. I live with a Banarasi family and their distant relatives in a three storeyed, courtyard house at the Panchganga Ghat, close to Thateri Bazaar in Varanasi. In total, we are 9 people living in the house. Espírito Kashi, our little office is […]
It took us some years to realise that the we are not after sustainability of our film, but the sustainability of the folklore itself. This is a huge task and surely the conventional preservationist model does no good in that regard. We do not want to make films and put them in archives and […]
Visual Anthropology and Collaborative Ethnography: Ways of safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage
June 18th, 2016 | By Rajat Nayyar The report reflects upon a collaborative project undertaken with a young and educated member of the rural community in an attempt to redefine ways of safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH). The project was initially to audio-visually document the Bhojpuri folk songs that were to be sung by […]
When river meets the sea | A viewer’s account of experiencing film-screening of Janeu: Bhojpuri Initiation Rites and Folk Songs.
By Jennifer D | May 14th, 2016 The recently concluded Delhi screening of Janeu, interested those who still wished to be associated with the enchanted world of myths, rituals and folk songs rather than the politics, scientificity and rationality of it, which pre-occupies the disenchanted modern day. Rightly pointed at the beginning as rite de […]
Espírito Kashi produces ethnographic films about the folklore of India and disseminates the films at different platforms – online as well as offline through film screenings in both urban and rural settings.
September 30th, 2016 – 5th International Festival of Ethnological Film „KRATOVO 2016“, Macedonia | Screening of ‘Janeu’ | Event Link
September 27th, 2016 – VI International Festival of Audio-Visual Anthropology, Moscow – Russia | Screening of ‘Janeu’ | Event Link
July 20-23, 2016 – EASA 2016 Conference, Milan – Italy | Screening of ‘Crossing a River, Losing a Self’ | Event Link
May 4th, 2016 – UChicago Center in Delhi | Screening of ‘Janeu’ | Event Link
April 26th, 2016 – Symposium “Word Power” | University of Tartu, Estonia | Screening of ‘Janeu’ | Event Link
November 6th and 7th, 2015 – Samvaad – a pan-India tribal conclave by Tata Steel, Jamshedpur | Screening of ‘Mission Menauli‘
October 29th, 2015 – National Seminar by Discipline of Anthropology, IGNOU, New Delhi | Screening of ‘Vivah Samskara‘
October 9th, 2015 – 5th International Conference of Young Folklorists, Viljandi, Estonia | Screening of ‘Vivah Samksara’
May 22nd, 2015 – Student Ethnographic Film Festival, Zadar – Croatia | Screening of ‘Vivah Samskara’
March 18th, 2015 – Centre for Women’s Studies & Development, Banaras Hindu University | Screening of ‘Jakari’
January 22nd, 2015 – Café Couleur, Die Brücke – International Centre, Münster University, Germany | Screening of ‘Vivah Samskara’
November 27th, 2014 – The Institute of Musicology, Münster University, Germany | Screening of ‘Vivah Samskara’
September 21, 2014 – International Seminar on Indian Feminism in Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh | Screening of ‘Vivah Samskara’
“The value I see in your work is that it has the potential to safeguard a heritage that is as rich as it is threatened, documenting it in a way that is as little intrusive as possible. This, by the way, is a feature of the film I liked, that the viewer feels very close to the event, but not as an intruder or voyeur. Now I have difficult decision which of your movies I will use in my ethnomusicology teaching this summer.”
(Musicology Department, University of Münster, Germany)Dr. Judith I Haug
“Conicidental meeting with Rajat Nayyar turned out to be a fruitful one as we could produce an ethnographic documentary on Jakari–a sub-genre of Haryanvi Women’s folksongs. It was a pleasant and innovative experience to work together with Rajat. He is an editor par excellence besides being a nice human being. I will cherish the memories related to our collaboration for many years to come. Best wishes to Rajat and his mission.”
(Department of English, Banaras Hindu University)Dr. Devender Kumar
I am very impressed by your ideas, even though they are different from mine. It is interesting that you are redefining: we were preserving, as it is. We always do it to archive it, to document history. But I enjoy that you are creating discussions in the village by showing your films.
(Folklorist, Bhadwar Village – Bihar)Dr. Ram Narayan Tiwari