Riverlapse: Celebrating a River's Many Forms

First published in Sanctuary Asia, Vol. 40 No. 6, June 2020

By Siddharth Agarwal

Filmed while on a six month walk along river Ganga as part of Veditum India Foundation's Moving Upstream project, this short film or visual essay is a mix of intimate moments with the river and riverscapes. 

A collaboration, the original sound track to this film/essay was produced by Zahaan Khan (instagram.com/zanuski) as a response to the visuals used in the film. Early discussions about the soundtrack involved words like “spacey”, “folk”, “instrumental”. The final soundtrack really captures the river’s rhythms very well. In the end, the delicate sound design by Shivajee Biswanath (instagram.com/shivajeeb) just took it a few notches higher.

It might seem ironic that an essay with time lapse videos is called a pause, but if one thinks about it a bit more - it is the pauses while walking along the river that allowed these views to be captured. We’re often too much in a rush otherwise. Also important to note is that every frame used in this film was easily accessible on foot. There wasn’t ever a need to go out of the way to get these fabulous views.

Siddharth Agarwal of Veditum India Foundation has been walking across India, along rivers and lesser accessed landscapes, working to document and bring marginalised stories of people and the environment into the mainstream. 

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