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 practicing visual anthropology and collaborative ethnography towards redefining ways of safeguarding the Intangible Heritage 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 as an ethnographic filmmaker for Product/Service Designers and Design Researchers, who require visual insights about not only what people say, but what they do, show and feel. Rajat demonstrates through an embodied camera his ability to be a bridge between you and ‘other’. 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 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 for one year in Brazil with an NGO that advocates for the rights of artisanal cheese makers. 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.