Espírito Kashi is an avant-garde media project being run by it’s founder Rajat Nayyar, currently enrolled with the department of Anthropology at Tallinn University (Estonia), who is exploring emergent visual technologies and participatory methods in engaging with rural communities of India. Many a times, local people from the community, as well as students from departments of Social Entrepreneurship, Media and Anthropology, have assisted in creating, disseminating and organising the content.
Rajat also works with Indi.com, a great new social video platform that helps Brands rethink customer from a sales target to a strategic asset. He has organised and directed massive ‘folklore documentation drives’ in rural Bihar and introduced the concept of Folklore 2.0, which is now being realised in the form of Interactive Cultural Landscapes for Gram Panchayats of India. This being a digital home for the community, they can interact with and through this to the world, at the same time engage with their own cultural heritage using new media/mobile technology. He is currently working on an interactive documentary about his encounter with Burhwal village in Bihar – the film would allow audience to become active users and be able to weave their own journey through the documentary film.
He graduated from the Young India Fellowship, a liberal arts program run by Ashoka University, in 2014. Currently, he is enrolled at the Department of Anthropology, Tallinn University – Estonia. In the past, he has worked in Brazil with an NGO that advocates for the rights of artisanal cheese makers and travelled across Minas Gerais. He also worked on a documentary about the religious/spiritual scene in Brazil and documented various rituals: Umbanda, Santo Dime, Candomble and various other healing rituals in the state of Bahia. Rajat has worked as an assistant director with Aarti Chabria for her debut feature ‘Mumbai Varanasi Express’ starring Darshan Zariwala. For his MA thesis, he follows the dying pilgrims who are brought to the holy city of Varanasi for their last vital breath, ensuring Moksha (Permanent Liberation). This ethnographic study contributes to the anthropology of dying spaces.
Rajat continues to celebrate his relationship with the camera. For him, its an extension of his body.