Indian has been a land of oral traditions - passing of knowledge from one generation to the other through songs, tales etc. Even Vedas existed in the oral form for centuries. A report by IGNCA to UNESCO mentions that more than 60% of the folk music of India is either extinct or dying quickly and soon will become parts of our forgotten history. We believe that safeguarding is not just about documenting the ICH and building inventories, but it also carries a responsibility to sensibly present this content. It is with this understanding that Espírito Kashi was founded.
Espirito Kashi (a luminous state of mind) is an avant-garde media organisation rooted in Varanasi. It is actively working towards safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage of India through the medium of visual anthropology. It produces aesthetically-rich audio-visual content based on the folklore of India. Espirito Kashi uses new media technologies to disseminate the content online as well as offline in rural India. This content is ethnographic in nature and aims to make the audience participate in the performance, break the cultural barrier between the viewers and performers, and thereby, increase cultural sensitivity.
Thanks to all the contributors, Espirito Kashi recorded over 100 folk songs in Bhadwar village, Bihar and produced a documentary film - Vivah Samskara, Bhojpuri Wedding Rites & Folk Songs. The documentary is about the folk songs that are sung by women during a Bhojpuri wedding that is spread over 5 days. It contains a first hand description of Bhojpuri wedding rites from the point of view of a Brahmin family residing in Bhadwar village of Bihar. Link: http://youtu.be/fbpoUC71iMM
ABOUT THE TEAM
Rajat Madan is an alumnus of TISS (MA in Social Entrepreneurship) and holds a degree in engineering from NIT Trichy. He has worked in the past with iRunway, a boutique technology, finance and litigation consulting firm with primary expertise in intellectual property. Linkedin: http://in.linkedin.com/in/rajatmadan
Rajat Nayyar is a Young India Fellow (2013-2014). He started Espirito Kashi 3 years back and has filmed various purification rituals around India and Brazil, including Antim Samskara, Santo Dime (Ayahuasca) and Umbanda. Linkedin: http://in.linkedin.com/in/rajatnayyar
You can visit their website and read/watch interesting stories on folk culture, mythology, and traditions of Varanasi, the cultural capital of India.