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Local Cultures Need to be Respected while Documenting Heritage

Kochi: Capturing history and preserving heritage should not be intrusive during documentation which is a process that accords importance to narrative, a national seminar by Sahapedia noted here.

The workshop titled ‘Understanding and Documenting Heritage’ took place over the weekend, saw speakers talking about the efforts to retrieve cultural loss like the one that happened following a monsoon-time calamity that Kerala faced last year.

On its Sunday session led by renowned photographer Dinesh Khanna who specialises in cultural projects centred around preservation. “As a photographer, I always believe that it’s a way of documenting our culture and heritage,” the photographer said in the session titled ‘Photographing Culture and Heritage’. “Photographing contemporary culture is tomorrow’s heritage.”

Khanna, who has been in the field since the 1990s and is the visual consultant for Sahapedia, emphasised on the quality of patience expected from a photographer. Khanna said, “As a photographer, one must be very patient and wait for the surrounding to get accustomed to you. We must remember that the camera is always intrusive. We should speak to the people before capturing their surroundings.”

Another session was chaired by Anoodha Kunnath, founder of Curiouser. She spoke about documentation in the context of videography and elements to keep in mind while filming a specific theme.

Sahapedia Executive Director Sudha Gopalakrishnan said the prime idea behind the workshop was to understand the various methods to document and preserve history. “The event aimed to touch upon the spectrum of preserving history and culture. The idea is to understand that importance of achieving and the various aspects to do it,” she said. “Documenting the cultural history can only happen through co-operation as we in Sahapedia strongly believe. ‘Saha’ means ‘together’ – I believe together we can conserve and document our cultural history better.” Sahapedia also distributed certificates to the participants at the two-day seminar.

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