Arik Moran | Chidra

Arik Moran | Chidra

  5 - 7 p.m.
  10 (ISAS Conf. Room) Stephens Hall
Arik Moran, Alexander von Rospatt

A screening of Chidra, a documentary that explores an ancient human sacrifice ritual that takes place in an indigenous Hindu community in the Western Himalayas.

Screening will be followed by a Q&A with the writer, Arik Moran.

Director: Nadav Harel
Writer: Arik Moran
Length: 40 mins
Date of creation: 2018

In the mountainous interior of the Himalaya, a highland peasant transforms into a redeemer by cutting holes (chidra) in the social fabric and delivering them to the gods through his body as sacrificial victim. Closely observing this unique ritual-spectacle, Chidra examines how men, gods, and mediums handle the dangerous substance of actions (karma) at the frontier of the Hindu cultural sphere.

Chidra (2018) is the product of a collaboration between documentary filmmaker Nadav Harel and Himalayan specialist Arik Moran. The movie follows a transmuted human sacrifice ritual that is unique to the Ind-Tibetan frontier valley of Kullu in Himachal Pradesh, India. By steadily focusing on the expiatory methods that are enacted during this ritual-spectacle, Chidra explores the psychological and social constructs surrounding the communal cleansing of sin at the frontier of the Hindu cultural zone.

See the trailer HERE

Arik Moran specializes in the history and culture of the Western Himalaya. He holds a doctorate in History from the University of Oxford (2010) and is a member of the Department of Asian Studies at the University of Haifa. His research focuses on the social history, ritual cultures, and oral traditions of mountain societies. His forthcoming book, which is entitled Kinship and Polity on the Himalayan Borderland (Amsterdam University Press), examines the creation of novel group identities among Rajput elites in early colonial Himachal Pradesh (1790-1840) and their impact on postcolonial readings of South Asian history writ large. The film "Chidra", which was co-created with documentary filmmaker Nadav Harel, is part of Arik's recent research on the evolution of ritual cultures among the Khas ethnic majority.

Event made possible with the support of the Sarah Kailath Chair of India Studies

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Please note that parking is not always easily available in Berkeley. Take public transportation if possible or arrive early to secure your spot.

The event is FREE and OPEN to the public.