Her new perspective through an old Kodak | The Katkari Tribe | Gandhinagar, Medha village

Pooja Dzado Gandhinagar, Medha Village, Satara

Pooja Dzado
Gandhinagar, Medha Village, Satara

Katkari Tribe

Katkari Tribe

I reached Medha Village located in the Satara district of Maharashtra with Jeronimo Miguel from Sapana.org, who has been working in the surrounding villages towards the empowerment and sustainability of the Katkari Tribe, in collaboration with Shramik Janata Vikas Sanstha, a local NGO. They together were trying to impart skills to the Katkari women. One such project was to make quilled paper earrings.

In collaboration with Sapana.org, we gave a basic camera workshop to Pooja Dzado, from the Katkari tribe. She took photographs of her daily life for 3 days. Since we were using a very old analog camera, we were not sure what the outcome would be.

A bit about the process

Every day, we would go at noon and again around dusk to Gandhi Nagar and ask for Pooja Dzado. All the children would shout her name and in a few minutes she would appear, holding the camera from it’s strap, almost disheartened, would return the camera back to us, announcing that it doesn’t work anymore. We would then tell her that it’s just the film roll that needs to be changed. “You clicked 32 photos already?” Yes, she said, every time.  We would change the film roll and this went on for 3 days. By the end we had 6 film rolls and 150 photos.

I returned to Mumbai with the film rolls and I was told by the studio that only these photos could be saved. It was sad, since we couldn’t retrieve any photos of the Ganpati celebration, which happened as well. I retouched the photos a bit on Lightroom.

About Pooja and Gandhinagar village

Pooja is 16 years old and was married to someone she loves in her tribe two months back. She stays in a 2-room shanty with her partner’s family. She is currently also making quilled paper earrings, which Sapana.org buys for INR 20 each. (We will be producing a film about the creation of livelihoods through this process, in the next days). Next to her house, in another shanty, lives her mother and her little sister. Her father died a few years back. The tribe marries within themselves. Seemed to me that all are one big family with their stories woven into each other. The only profession pursued by the tribe is fishing – the men fish and the women sell it outside in the Medha Village.

Here are some of the photographs taken by Pooja Dzado, in and around Gandhinagar (Medha Village), Satara, Maharashtra. 

(We plan to gift a digital camera to Pooja Dzado with a memory card, if you like to donate for the same, drop a comment with your e-mail and we will get in touch.)

Walking Tours, Varanasi

Every object rightly seen, unlocks a new faculty of the soul.

The city of Shiva, the oldest living town of the world, probably because of the luminous state of mind, that people have kept intact for generations. It talks very clearly in their communication, sense of humor, beliefs and day long activities. The city is a museum and people live inside it.

Varanasi is therefore the cultural capital of India, situated at the banks of mildly flowing Ganga river which sparks with light from the Sun all day long and by the evening, from it’s worship. It is also the biggest cremation ground for hindus. The city celebrates death – for hindus, to die here is to attain Moksha (liberation). But on the extreme side, the city is also a home of the Sun God, who is believed to be present in the Lolark Kund (Trembling Sun’s Pond) nearby. People take a dip here to be able to give birth to a progeny.

 

 

Death and Birth, both are present in this town. There is a network of narrow alleys (7.5 km) which homes various cultures, aromas and celebrations. It is often thought of as a colorful labyrinth, which exists between the event of birth and death.

 

 

Allow us to show you the many facets of this magnificent city. We can show you the unexplored and the oldest parts – on the way, we’ll do temple hopping and enquire about the mythological tales attached to the deity of that temple. Varanasi celebrates 410 festivals in a year – each one has it’s roots in the old scriptures. If you are walking with us, we can discuss and try to find the meta message behind these stories.

 

Our Walking Tours include:

  1.  Walking in the narrow by lanes, exploring the oldest parts (known as the Pakka Mahaul) of the city which includes – wholesale markets for dairy products (Khoya Gali), steel utensils (Dal Mandi) , perfumes, flowers (Baans Phatak), clothes, sweets (Thateri Bazaar) and many more. Along the way, we will discuss the traditional architecture.
  2. Temple Hopping & a visit to the Lolark Kund (An ancient step well believed to be the home of the Sun God)
  3. Meeting with musicians from the Benaras Gharana.
  4. Walking by the River Ganga at the Ghats & Boat Rides
  5. Observing the many rituals that are being practiced by the River Ganga
  6. Visit to the local Akhara or Traditional Wrestling School
  7. Meeting Silk Weavers/Saree Makers and a look at their practices.
  8. Discussing socio-cultural issues.
  9. Spotting the ruins
  10. Eating local snacks!
  1. Tourists
  2. Students/Research Scholars
  3. Photographers/Filmmakers
  4. Groups

and not for those who would expect us to know the precise date when this city was built, for it is eternal.

 

Prices can vary according to the itineraries and number of people in the group. For an individual we charge Rs. 1000/person for a 3 hour walking tour, excluding  the boat ride. 

 

Some Reviews about us:

We have just returned form Varanasi. It depends on what you want but for us Rajat, who runs Espirito Kashi, took us beyond the tourist venues. None of the guides you can get will have a deep knowledge of the detailed social, cultural and religious history of Varanasi. If you want  insight into any specific aspect then let Rajat know so that he can prepare a background brief before the group starts. Be specific and he will be able to prepare a suitable itinerary. His team connected our group of 15 with a side of Varanasi which is hard to find. We did not come away full of knowledge about religion and culture (you can read this in guide books) but we did come away understanding something about Varanasi which you do not find in guide books or from other guides. If you want a conventional tourist tour you will find many poor quality guides but if you want more than this you will not find many like Espirito Kashi.

-Pelham Roberts, Head of College (UWC, Pune) 

The students from UWC, Pune also got a documentary film made about their experiences with us in Varanasi. You can watch it here:

 

 

Get in touch with us:

espiritokashi@gmail.com

0091-7838039929 

Vivah Samskara | Bhojpuri Wedding Rites & Folk Songs | Experimental Doc

Vivah Samskara is a documentary film about the folk songs that are sung by women during the Bhojpuri wedding rites. It is a ceremony-wise musical annotation of a typical Bhojpuri wedding that is spread over 5 days. The documentary contains a first hand description of Bhojpuri wedding rites from the vantage point of a Brahmin family residing in Bhadwar village of Bihar.  The film is a part of a project on preservation of the Bhojpuri folk music.

an Espírito Kashi film