Monday, 13 December 2010

Our Project in News

The Hindu - Monday, December 13, 2010

Cambridge project to preserve rare Indian and other languages

In U.K., the site lists 21 disappearing languages
There are more than 6,500 living languages now

London: The University of Cambridge has launched a unique project to provide universal access to languages of India and elsewhere that are endangered and part of the world's disappearing spoken traditions.
The open database, called World Oral Literature Project, has been developed by the University's researchers and is available at the following URL:
In India, the projects include ethnographic documentation of the literature and culture of the indigenous Mudugar and Kurumbar communities in Palakkad district of Kerala using digital video, audio and photography.
Another India-based project is a 20-hour-long recording of a ballad about the life and adventures of Tejaji, the Snake Deity, sung by the Mali community (gardeners) in Thikarda village of Bundi district in Rajasthan, along with the documentation of Tejaji customs and traditions in the Hadoti region of the State.
The recordings will be transcribed and translated from Hadoti into Hindi and English and distributed as books and DVDs.
The project will also keep records of 3,524 world languages, ranging from those deemed “vulnerable” to those that, like Latin, remain well understood but are effectively moribund or extinct, the University sources said.
Other projects on Asia include a year-long assignment to collect, record, transcribe and translate Torwali oral literature with the full participation of the community in Pakistan, building on the ongoing Torwali dictionary project supported by the National Geographic.
In Nepal, the project includes recording, transcribing and translating the oral literature of the Ngadag Lamas of Nubri, and four weeks of fieldwork in Mustang, during which 51 songs from the orally transmitted Kha Lu repertoire were recorded, transcribed and translated.
Researchers hope that the pilot database will enable them to “crowd-source” information from all over the world about both the languages themselves and the stories, songs, myths, folklore and other traditions that they convey.
Users can search by the number of speakers, level of endangerment, region and country.
In the United Kingdom, the site lists 21 disappearing languages, ranging from the relatively well known, like Scottish and Welsh, to obscure ones like Old Kentish Sign Language.
“We want this database to be a dynamic and open resource, taking advantage of online technology to create a collaborative record that people will want to contribute to. At present, the world has more than 6,500 living languages, of which up to half will cease to exist as spoken vernaculars by the end of the century,” Mark Turin, Director of the World Oral Literature Project said.
In most cases, their disappearance is a by-product of globalisation, or rapid social and economic change, he added.
The project aims to document and make accessible these spoken traditions before they are lost without record.
“While some severely endangered languages have been well documented, others, which may appear to be less at risk, have few, if any, records,” Dr. Turin said.
“Here in Cambridge we are interested not only in language endangerment levels but also in what might be called a ‘documentation index.' To this end, we are locating references to and recordings of oral literatures in collections around the world. Of the 3,524 languages listed, about 150 are in an extremely critical condition.” In many of these cases, the number of known living speakers has fallen to single figures, or even just one. — PTI


Saturday, 4 December 2010

To The Land of Leeches

Anand Thomas Mathew had made a travel-documentary of the students of Women's Christian College, Chennai, visiting Attappady. The 18-minute documentary gives the expression of the students and their activities with the tribal people. It also provides an account of the attitudinal changes of the tribal people when they were with a group of young city-bred girls.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Our Media Officer, Sachindev P.S., invited to attend WOLP workshop 2010 at University of Cambridge

The Mudugar-Kurumbar Research Centre (MKR Centre) team is extremely happy to announce that Sachindev P.S., the Media Officer of MKR Centre, Attappady, is invited to attend "Archiving Orality and Connecting with Communities: World Oral Literature Project 2010 Workshop"organised by World Oral Literature Project, University of Cambridge, London. The workshop will be held on 10th and 11th December, 2010, at Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, 17 Mill Lane, University of Cambridge. He will present a paper titled, "The Challenges in the Field: A Case-study of Fieldwork with Mudugar."

Sachindev was one of the initiators of the project and was actively involved in the establishment of Mudugar-Kurumbar Research Centre. He has done extensive fieldwork with Mudugar (indigenous community) living in the hills and plains of Attappady. He was instrumental in making four video-documentaries describing the lifestyle of Mudugar. He is currently pursuing Masters in Mass Communication in University of Hyderabad.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

19 Students from Women's Christian College, Chennai, visits Mudugar-Kurumbar Research Centre

(Photograph: KA Ramu)
Nineteen students of ecoliterature course (II B.A. English) in Women’s Christian College, Chennai, visited Mudugar-Kurumbar Research Centre on 31 July 2010 and 01 August 2010. They were accompanied by five professors from the College including the Principal. They reached Attappady at 7.00 a.m. on 31 July, 2010. On that they, they visited the Silent Valley Rain forest. In the evening they visited Thunduur, a hamlet of Mudugar.

(Photograph: Crystal Maritta Sam)
There they witnessed the tribal people dancing and singing in their traditional way. On 01 August, they visited Thunduur again for fieldwork. The students were, in advance, given the following topics for research:
1. Dress of Mudugar
2. Food practices of Mudugar
3. Occupation of Mudugar
4. Hamlet structures of Mudugar (patterns of house, materials used to make them, distance between houses, rooms in houses and their patterns)
5. Role of Women in Mudugar life
6. Festivals of Mudugar
7. Ritualistic practices of Mudugar (Birth, death, coming of age, marriage)
8. Supernatural in Mudugar Life
9. Medicinal plants of Mudugar
10. Music in Mudugar life (role of music, literature in music, musical instruments)
11. Stories, Myths and Legends of Mudugar
12. Agricultural practices of Mudugar
13. Children’s play
14. Language of Mudugar
15. Familial relationships of Mudugar
16. Social structure of Mudugar hamlets
17. Mudugar’s relationship with other communities
18. Use of bamboo in Mudugar life
19. Trees in Mudugar Life
20. The concepts of Land and ownership
21. The concepts of Work and Leisure

At 3.00 p.m. they were taken to the office of MKR Centre. The Story of Mudugar, an introductory video-documentary on Mudugar was screened following a photo-tour on Mudugar.
Some comments of the students are given below:
(Photograph: Fazil NC)

“The trip was interesting. The experience was an eye-opener and was informative. It was nice to interact with Mudugar and watch the excitement in their eyes.”
- Cherubine Deepika David

“It is a very commendable work that is being done here. It is wonderful to see the efforts taken to record the rich culture of Mudugar.”
- Anitha Iris

“It was a totally new experience seeing people living one with nature.”
- Kaavya Gnanaraj

“The trip gave me a holistic idea of the worldview, life and culture of Mudugar. It helped me change my perspective.”
- Reshma Cheriyan

“Commendable efforts to have such an ethical Research Centre.”
- Poorvaja S.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Cambridge News carries our centre's photograph!

Out of the 6,700 languages spoken by people all over the world, a third are in danger of extinction.

Preventing this, or at least slowing the process, is the massive challenge faced by researchers and academics at the World Oral Literature Project, which was established by Cambridge University in January 2009.

Dr Mark Turin, director of the project and research associate at the Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology, said the project has attracted much interest since its inception.

It works with local communities and fieldworkers who are now collecting and recording texts, myths, songs, legends, proverbs, narratives and other various literatures that can be used to save a language from vanishing without record.

Dr Mark Turin
Dr Mark Turin
Dr Turin said there were many reasons for preserving and documenting endangered languages.

He said: “Each and every language is a celebration of the rich cultural diversity of our planet and an expression of the unique ethnic, social, regional or cultural identity and world view of a people.”

The project is funding fieldwork and other projects through grants in locations all over the world, including Colombia, Malawi, India, Mongolia and Nepal. It has so far supported the documentation of the oral literature, traditions and languages of some 15 communities.

The work of preserving the world’s languages, time-consuming and intensive, comes with a sense of urgency. According to Dr Turin, the process of extinction can be quite rapid.

He said: “We should remember that the evolution of a species or a language takes much longer than its extinction.”

However, determining whether a language is actually endangered is not a precise science.

Researchers need to not only look at the total number of people who speak the language, but their ages as well. If the majority of people speaking a language are elderly or above the age of reproduction, the language is at risk of dying off with the living population.

Village elder Ranki
Village elder Ranki
Researchers also study the rate of transmission between parents and children to establish whether the language will be actively used by subsequent generations.

Another key determinant of the survivability of a language is whether it has a writing system. Some languages are only spoken or signed. In Nepal, for example, only 10 per cent of the more than 100 languages spoken in the country have writing systems.

Geographically, endangered languages are thought to be concentrated between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, especially around the Equator.

Dr Turin said: “Recent scholarship on language endangerment points to an intriguing correlation: language diversity appears to be inversely related to latitude, and areas rich in languages also tend to be rich in ecology and species.

“Both biodiversity and linguistic diversity are concentrated between the tropics and in inaccessible environments, such as the Himalayas, while diversity of all forms tails off in deserts.”

Globally, the majority of people speak just a handful of languages. In fact, 95 per cent of the world’s population speaks just 5 per cent of world’s living languages.

The world’s most popular languages, such as English and Spanish, are often second languages for many people, but can quickly become primary languages out of necessity. Because of this trend, there has been a growth in “heritage languages” – those in which people only know how to say a few select words, such as grandmother or grandfather. Once a language has reached this phase, it can quickly become extinct.

And the risk of extinction is now more prevalent than ever. Globalisation, although also a key element in preserving languages, has caused a massive cultural and geographical shift. People looking for a better standard of living move from rural to urban areas, often cities, where they need to speak the most common urban or national language.

There is also a perception that traditional languages are outdated or unfashionable, whereas widely spoken languages are seen as worldly and sophisticated.

Dr Turin said: “People think that to be modern they have to leave their old ways at the doorstep of modernity.”

The project is trying to counteract this trend and has received support in its efforts from some unexpected sources. For example, a man from Taiwan – a member of the Paiwan ethnic group, which had a total population of just over 70,000 in the year 2000 – walked into the project’s offices with tape recordings of songs and prayers in his traditional language, which he wanted the project to help him preserve.

Judging from these types of responses, there is a strong desire to keep the world’s linguistic diversity from fading.

The project has been holding workshops and lectures to provide an opportunity for researchers and academics to share their knowledge and findings with the public and each other. The lectures are free and open to the public – the workshops cost £30 for registration. The next workshop, in December, will focus on the distribution of oral literature through traditional and digital media.

For more information, see

Monday, 19 July 2010

Searching Ethics of Documentation

The video derives the ethics of video-documentation in ethnography. The 5.55-minute video is the analysis of videography done by fieldworkers at Mudugar-Kurumbar Research Centre, Attappady.

The presentation is one of the outcomes of the research done by Justin Raj (our intern at Mudugar-Kurumbar Research Centre) and Sachindev P.S. (Media Officer, Mudugar-Kurumbar Research Centre). The show gives a comprehensive idea of what "occupation" means to Mudugar.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

World Oral Literature Project: An Internship Experience in Jungle.

A few months ago, when Rayson K. Alex, the Principal Researcher of the project briefed me about World Oral Literature Project and asked me to join the team, more than the international relevance of the project, I was attracted to the offer of staying inside jungle, having adventurous treks, camping and finally making a videodocumentary. Moreover, I found it interesting to have a productive vacation.

The focus of my documentary or internship was the occupation of Kurumbar Tribal Community dwelling in deep jungles of Attapady region. We have made contacts, planned to stay with them and wrote the script for the documentary. After that meeting, every day I dreamt of great tribal adventures and a great documentary shooting.

All those jungle-dreams got shattered into air when we were stopped by the Forest Officers at the Forest Range Office and rejected our request for going into the jungle. We didn’t have sufficient documents to enter the jungle. That was the reason, officials had said. I was deeply disappointed that day. I had no other go other than changing my focus from Kurumbar to Mudugar. Mudugar hamlets are closer to mainland compared to Kurumbar’s.

Focus had changed. Mind set had changed. Thrill of going inside deep jungle and meeting up with Kurumbar had subsided. I had a big job at hand and the next challenge arose: lack of manpower. Especially, when it comes to making an anthropological documentary, we need good support and help from the indigenous communities. Without a guide or a member of indigenous community, going into their hamlets is bit difficult. It doesn’t matter how many contacts you have, you are still a stranger in their eyes. Gradually, I came to know that it is very difficult to swim against the tide and it is better to swim along with it.

For first few weeks, Sachin, the Media Officer, and I went to few hamlets where contacts have been previously made by the Principal Researcher and the Collaborator. We talked to them, interviewed them and took footages for the documentary. Even though we could capture good footages, I always needed more.

Fortunately, the project got a great momentum when a young Mudugan named Raghu voluntarily joined our team. He was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable on Mudugar culture and history and also very well aware of the world outside. Without his support and help I never think my documentary would have been completed successfully.

Life at Attapady

Green mountains covered with fog and waterfalls flowing down rocks, green lush meadows, chirping of birds on tall teak trees, splashing of streams carrying crystal clear water; old and young at a local food stall, discussing daily news while sipping their regular dose of tea; laborers moving in a slow and steady pace with tools hanging on their shoulders. In the midst of all these natural beauties, there stand windmills, electric transformers, DTH satellite receivers and mobile towers as symbols of a modern world outside. Life at Attapady was great but slow. With no network coverage for my mobile and a slow internet connection, I was totally disconnected from the outside world.

Cheap and mouth watering local food was another attraction apart from the beautiful sceneries this place always offers. I could see all aspects of a village life there. No one is in hurry like in cities. Everybody has luxury of time to talk to their neighbors and have fun with their children. This slow paced life was bit boring but it gradually became a habit for me.

Every morning I woke up seeing the mighty ‘Maleeshwaran Mudi’, the mountain to which all the myths and history of Mudugar and Kurumbar is related to. The days which I had a shoot was enjoyable with treks, funny jeep rides and lonely bike rides. A day without shoot is nothing more than a limbo. Watching movies or surfing on net usually gets disturbed with fluctuating electricity. So, for me, only feasible past time activity was reading.

Making of Bele.

Bele means ‘occupation’ in Muduga language. It is a 20 minute bilingual documentary which features both traditional and progressive occupations of Mudugar community. Karara, Karuvara, Thundoor, Jellipara are few of the Muduga hamlets we have visited to shoot.

Mudugar were very friendly people who, when we explained to them the significance of this project, were seemed very cooperative. Although they were shy to face the camera, they gave good interviews for us.

The main challenge we have faced during the shoot is the indifference and intolerance shown by some Mudugar. One day we even had to hear and bear bad words from them. I was really glad that since those bad words are in Muduga, the language which was not easily understandable by me.

I agree that documentary making is not an ecological process. But at least we are making a sincere attempt to digitally document and archive these vanishing cultures. There is always a linguistic and cultural barrier between us and thereby it was little bit difficult to make them understand the significance of the project we are carrying out.

However, with the support and help of Raghu and some other forward thinking people, we have carried out the shoot without much trouble. We have explored hamlets like Manjacholla, Kallamalla et al from where not only we got great footages but also an amazing, breathtaking trekking experiences.

We braved the swamps, rain, steep climbs and blood sucking leeches to gather information, to take photographs and to capture footages for the documentary. In certain places and events we were not allowed to shoot by community members. In such instances we just switch on the camera and recorded their songs and music.

The editing part was the most tiresome part in the whole documentary making process. I have to watch all the footages with a strange language which we had taken for the past 60 days. Raghu had rendered a great help by staying with us for two days to translate and give voiceover for the documentary.

I should have completed the documentary within one month, but with lack of proper information and guides, the shooting has dragged to more than two months.

Collaboration with Moon TV

Moon TV is a local cable television channel in Attapady which boasts of a subscription base of more than 8000 households. Media has power, a wonderful power to change. I have learnt it from my experiences as a media student and also as a freelance journalist.

With the support of Rayson.K.Alex I initiated collaboration between Mudugar Kurumbar Research Centre and Moon TV. The collaboration includes telecasting the documentaries which have been made by the Research Centre.

As a part of this initiative, I have helped Moon TV, which has been suffering from lack of manpower and ideas, in covering some important events happened in the region. After checking their programme schedules, I could find number of gaps which they are filling by merely relaying Tamil movies and music. I suggested to them that it will be better if they can relay some informative programmes on Muduga, Kurumba and Irula communities and make it more interactive for the local viewers. They accepted the idea.

After pondering over these gaps, I have designed for them two programmes called ‘Thanathu Geethangal’, a programme which showcases singing talents in tribal communities and also their folklore and songs. Another programme I have designed is called ‘OoruKootam’ which explores and showcases each hamlet in Attapady. There are nearly 150 hamlets in this region and this programme will help to showcase each hamlet’s and its people’s stories and life style.

The people behind this television channel had given me full support and help to carry out the shoot. I have made two episodes of ‘OoruKootam’ covering two hamlets namely Sambarkode and Thundoor.

Tribal Life

“Forest culture is the mother of all culture”- unknown author

The quotation mentioned above is the one which I had read on the walls of Mukkali Forest Range Office, Attapadi on the first day of my arrival in that scenic place. Each day with indigenous community members and involving in most of their important events, I came to know that the quotation is true.

In jungle, everything from birth to death is a celebration. They have no yesterday and tomorrow, they have only today. They worship the jungle and its unseen forces and these forces give them what they need for their living. The mountains, trees, animals and even small insects are their gods. They are deeply devoted to their gods since they know very well that without gods their life will be in peril. They possess the greatest wisdom, which we, modern men lack: without nature, there is no life; nature is not to be conquered but to enjoy and preserve for posterity.

They dance. They sing. They rejoice. Women and men, old and young, as a whole community, participate in all events. They make a living together. Community feeling is so strong in their hearts. Women enjoy the same freedom as men. They play a major role when it comes to taking important decisions.

I got rare opportunities to have food with them and take part in their festivals and ceremonies. Words are not enough to express the love and care they show towards me. They shared with me forest fruits which were very tasty compared to what we get in markets.

One day, while shooting under a jackfruit tree, I just mentioned to one of young Mudugar who gathered there that I love jackfruit. As soon as I uttered those words, the biggest jackfruit on that tree was under my feet! It was tastiest jackfruit I have ever had in my life!

I was amazed to see their intelligent indigenous traps and weapons. They have shown us how they use those tools and also give us invaluable interviews.

One day, I got an opportunity to attend a death ceremony also known as ‘Cheeru’ in Muduga. That day and the event altogether taught me a different lesson and altered my viewpoint on human life. I have seen women and men dancing, rejoicing and using intoxicants together. Even the modern day pubbing and clubbing, I think, originated from jungle. Some people say, ‘western culture’ has invaded our country and our rich culture. Now I tell those people to look into tribal culture. I feel that so called ‘western culture’ is prevalent in jungles long ago without attention of our modern society where isolation has become a reality and community life has become a distant dream.

I was also really impressed with the boundless enthusiasm and energy Muduga children possess. They were really entertaining and interactive even to strangers like us. Whenever there is a shoot these kids often bring us very sweet mangoes and cashews. They were surprisingly camera friendly and even took our photos!

In global context, World Oral Literature Project is a great initiative. In the name of modernism, number of rich and vibrant cultures in this world is perishing. It seems impossible to preserve these cultures in its real form. Only feasible option for amateur film makers and freelance journalists like us is to digitally document these cultures and make it freely available to future generations. Even though I had my own share of boredom, loneliness and hardships, I’m really happy to be a part of this great project.

Now, while sitting comfortably on the couch at my home and happily typing this blog post, only one thought persistently troubles me: I COULD HAVE DONE MORE!
Written by Justin Raj

Image Courtesy: Sachindev, Dilip and Dinesh

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Our Photograph becomes the theme of the Conference at University of Cambridge

This is the promotion material of the International Conference on "Archiving Orality and Connecting with Communities: World Oral Literature Project 2010 Workshop" held on 10th and 11th December, 2010 at University of Cambridge. The photograph used for the poster is taken by one of our intern, Mr. Dileep Kumar. In the photograph are (From Left) Mr. Kiran Tom Sajan (Intern), Ramu (Field worker belonging to the tribal community, Mudugar) and Ranki (an elderly woman in a hamlet of Mudugar).

Archiving Orality and Connecting with Communities: World Oral Literature Project 2010 Workshop

Friday, 10 December and Saturday, 11 December 2010
Location: Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), 17 Mill Lane, University of Cambridge

This workshop explores key issues around the dissemination of oral literature through traditional and digital media. Funding agencies, including our own Supplemental Grants Programme, now encourage fieldworkers to return copies of their work to source communities, in addition to requiring researchers to deposit their collections in institutional repositories. But thanks to ever greater digital connectivity, wider internet access and affordable multimedia recording technologies, the locus of dissemination and engagement has grown beyond that of researcher and research subject to include a diverse constituency of global users, such as migrant workers, indigenous scholars, policymakers and journalists, to name but a few.

For more details check:

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Creative expressions of Nisha.

This is a 4-minute video of Nisha, a 6-year old tribal (Mudugar) girl taking pictures of what she likes outside her house. Her likes and creativity is pronounced in the video. Watch it you will be surprised to see the excitement of the little girl. The video is made in Mudugar-Kurumbar Research Centre, Attappady, a Centre established for documenting the vanishing cultures of indigenous communities, with the World Oral Literature Project Fund of University of Cambridge, London. The video is conceived by Sachindev. P.S., cinematographed by Justin Raj and Sachindev P.S., edited and voiceovered by Rayson K. Alex.

Creative Expressions of Nisha

Check how a 6-year old Mudugar (indigenous community) girl expresses herself using digital camera ...

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Fieldworkers at work

The ppt presentation gives a glimpse of the fieldwork done in Mudugar-Kurumbar Research Centre, Attappady in June 2010. The Centre is established with the financial support of World Oral Literature Project of Cambridge University, London.

Monday, 7 June 2010

In their eyes...

A seven minute video-documentary of the responsive expressions of Mudugar, a tribal community in Attappady, watching themselves on screen. Watch the twinkling eyes that look on the camera! The documentary is made in Mudugar-Kurumbar Research Centre, Attappady, with the financial and conceptual support from World Oral Literature Project of University of Cambridge.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Justin Raj and others in the field

Click here to view the powerpoint slideshow.

Mudugar-Kurumbar Research Centre is established with a fund from World Oral Literature Project of University of Cambridge. It is a space of Mudugar and Kurumbar to preserve documents in digital formats. The slideshow gives an idea of the kind of work that is done in the Centre. Justin Raj is at present working in the Centre as intern. He is researching on the occupation of Mudugar.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Who works at the Research Centre?

From Right to left: Kiran Tom Sajan, Sachindev P.S. and Ramu

Mudugar-Kurumbar Research Centre is managed by tribal people and non-tribal researchers. A video-camera which is hired on a monthly basis is used by the fieldworkers for daily documentation. Research is done by the fieldworkers and interns from colleges. From the interested applicants, six from Madras Christian College were selected as interns. They were divided into groups of three. The first group led by Kiran Tom Sajan (Final Year Mass Communication, Madras Christian College) reached Attappady on 24 April, 2010. They did an extensive research for twelve days. Their focus of research was "The dress-patterns of Mudugar." They are now in the process of making a video-documentary on the above-mentioned research topic.

The Story of Mudugar

Who owns the documents?

Mudugar and Kurumbar are two tribal communities, who can be traced back to the tradition of Sangam period in Tamil Nadu. The songs that they sing, the stories that they tell and the culture that they practice have similarities with the descriptions of Sangam people. But influences of external cultures could have made drastic changes in their life, culture and literature. So it becomes impossible, now for the community members and researchers, to trace the authorship or creatorship of oral literature and practices. So, the question of ownership is a difficult one to answer. The complexity is that it certainly belongs to the contemporary tribal people and their dead ancestors. So the photographs, videos, dissertations and articles written on the literature and culture of Mudugar and Kurumbar actually belong to the community. The Research Centre was founded to collect and centralise already existing materials and to document memories which are diminishing and fast forgotten. Here is a link from which is a trailer of a video-documentary on Mudugar. The documentary is titled The Story of Mudugar.

How and why a Research Centre for Mudugar and Kurumbar?

Office of Mudugar-Kurumbar Research Centre, Attappady

Mudugar-Kurumbar Research Centre is established with the funding of World Oral Literature Project of The University of Cambridge. It is a space of the tribal people and others to interact, express, refresh memories, experience the joy of ethnicity, enjoy the power of tradition, learn indigenous culture and to promote ecological life. This space is completely created with an aesthetics of indigeneity with the help of tribal leaders and empathetic non-tribal persons. A wider scope of the space is to translate the ecological way of living to mainstream spheres like academia, everyday life and even thinking of the modern people. As a beginning to this movement, the Centre wishes to video-document the oral tradition of two tribal communities, namely, Mudugar and Kurumbar in Attappady. Video documentation will be done with the participation of the members of the communities.

Objectives of the Project:

1. To create a resource centre of digital and print documents for Mudugar and Kurumbar
2. To produce ethnographic video-documentaries on the life of the communities
3. To create a space for the communities to recap their memories
4. To provide guidance for research scholars in the area
5. To bring to light the issues pertaining to the communities


Documentation will be done using digital video-camera and still-camera. The documents created will be classified, edited, described and stored. Some documents will be uploaded on the internet and will be provided to research scholars on demand. The documents will be disseminated through workshops and seminars held in local schools and colleges.


Nirmal Selvamony (President, OSLE-India)
N. Watson Solomon (Media Advisor, OSLE-India)
Rayson K. Alex (Principal Researcher)
Sachindev P.S. (Media Officer)
C. Ramu (Field worker)
Vasantha (Field worker)
Manoj U.A. (Collaborator of the Project)
S. Susan Deborah (Public Relations Officer)
Samuel Moses K.S. (Convener, Ecomedia Team)

About OSLE-India

Organisation for Studies in Literature and Environment-India (OSLE-India) is a forum for promoting ecocriticism, especially in India and also in other Asian countries. Today, 'ecocriticism' has come to mean not only 'the application of ecology and ecological principles to the study of literature,' but also the theoretical approach to the interrelational web of natural, cultural and supernatural phenomena. It is the first ecocriticism forum in India, promoting the cause of this discipline. Due to its persistent motivation, already some academic institutions in India have introduced courses in ecocriticism. This forum continues to bring out an online newsletter and a journal (Indian Journal of Ecocriticism). It has brought out a volume on ecocriticism entitled Essays in Ecocriticism and conducted workshops and international conferences.

About Ecomedia Team

Ecomedia Team is a group functioning within OSLE-India, specialising and researching on the ecological aspects of media like, print, video, film and internet. It conducts workshops, competitions and is currently engaged in the making of an ecological video-documentary.