Somewhere around 2002, thanks to some early chat boards, I bumped into a request for someone to take care of digital equipment at a video workshop in India, a place I’d never heard of. I wrote and said I could do that, but likely it would be a better use of my talents to do something more. This begot a long, India-time, discussion which ended up with me offering to go for some months, for no pay, just transportation and accommodation while I was there. At the last moment the person I was dealing with mentioned they knew someone at the US consulate in Mumbai, and next thing I knew I was under a cultural exchange program, and getting paid. I spent one month in Raipur, and another in Kolkata, working all the time. It was a wonderful experience, from which I retain good friends. For further thoughts see this.
CHHATTISGARH SKETCHES is a videographic notebook of a journey in India in the spring of 2003. It was made during brief periods free while I was conducting a practical digital video workshop in the small city of Raipur, in Chhattisgarh, in an out-reach program intended to provide lower-caste and tribals access to, and experience with, digital video. Most of the material in this work was made during weekend trips to the villages of the students, who invited me to stay with them. As such the film is an impressionistic glimpse of a non-touristic area of India, one of its poorer and less developed regions. It was my intention to capture more the “spirit” or “sense” of the place – the languid pacing of time, the light, the richness of color – than in any sense to make a clinical “documentary” about it.
Included in the film, at the end, is a sequence of shots made by my students during the workshop conducted in Raipur.
2004 | Chhattisgarh, India | DV | Color | Sound | 76 minutes
Producer, Director, Cinematographer, Editor : Jon Jost