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Wilting Flowers, Fading Songs: A Documentary Project about a tribe from the Western Himalayas
  • Hi there! In the last 3 years I've been involved in documenting the oral traditions of a very small ethnic community in Ladakh, India near the border with Pakistan. Much of the work was done on self funding until now, but this time not possible :/ so we started an Inidegogo campaign -

    They are called "Brokpa" (aka 'Highlander' - a bit neglectful name given by the Ladakhis) and are quiet popular nowadays with tourist because of their aryan origin, Mediterranean features and gorgeous traditional dresses and ornaments. But no one knows a bit about their culture, as they are not documented at all and local government is treating them quiet bad also!

    The problem is that they are less than 2000 in population and due to the impact of modernisation and sensitive politic situation with Pakistan and China, all their traditions are very rapidly diminishing... Nowadays they are kept only by a very few members from the older generation with not much hope to be passed to the younger one :( This will very soon lead to an irretrievable loss of identity :/

    I saw it myself and that was my biggest motivation for starting this documentary project. The idea is to make at the end a series of short documentaries and bring all of them along with music recordings and research papers online accessible for everyone and to the community as well. We've managed to do much of this work, but still need one more really extensive fieldwork (~50 days on spot or two and a half months the whole trip).

    This thread is not really to ask for money (though every $ will be welcome :p) but just to let you know about this. It will be much appreciated if you could spread the word about the campaign, share it etc. As you know campaign fundings depends very much on clicks and activity... so a bowing thanks for every share! -

    The above footage was shot in 2011 when we had a 5d mkii and a GH13. It's a quick edit, as much of the footage and audio are still being edited. This year I have a GH3 (really hope for a hack soon) + some minolta md glass and SLR magic 25mm & 12mm and a BMPC if I'm lucky enough to get it before 15th September. The audio will be on a Marantz 661 + NT-4 and NTG-2 with lots of batteries. They don't have electricity yet in those villages, so we had to charge all batteries and laptop on the solar panels of the locals. That was very time consuming and it's another reason we decided to try to raise some more money to cover a generator.

    I'm be happy for any feedback, suggestions and support! If you know new budget ways to charge in the field, please let me know!

  • 2 Replies sorted by
  • Hey Aleksandar!!!

    Amazed that of 1145 viewers nobody said/gave a word

    Though - right now - it is just the surface of the trip I liked it; looks well though and done :D It is nice to see people at ease, that most probably means they trust you and you're a good communicator, very important!

    The only thing it really turned me off was the hyper-fast intro shots... Those mountains, valleys, rivers seem timeless. Specially in this particular matter, I would enjoy/engage better a good frame where to "expand" the gaze in the 10 directions ;-)

    When I have opportunity I'll show your video to my Nepali (and Sikkim) friends, to see what they think.
    Best luck with founding

    Tashi delek

  • @maxr thanks for the comment! Absolutely agree about the fast edits! They are just to tease, no way it stays like this really lol! It's also quiet long 'promo' anyway! The people are really great – they haven't seen many cameras and mostly ignore all the tech! No panic, always relaxed!

    their tashi delek is just "ju" [zhu] like in portuguese :0