A Visual Anthropology Laboratory has been established to capture the ethnographic nuances around important social issues concerning everyday life of local communities. The laboratory aspires to become the epicenter of documentation, projection and advocacy of anthropological insight at a national platform. Arguing that visual representation is one shade closer to reality in comparison to the conventional ethnography, the presence of Visual Laboratory helps in recording and analyzing history in a visual perspectiveas well as documenting visual imageries of present day life. The visual medium is becoming important genre for unfolding policy initiatives and programme by Development planners and administrators. Visual text and visual archives provide the necessary disciplinary insight in this direction for policy planning and governance.
contact: Dr. Avitoli G. Zhimo (

  • Beyond School (2019)
    Conceptualised, Edited and Directed by Avitoli G. Zhimo
    A short film on the importance of letting the children be. "Sometimes a child's life should not, but be"
    Beyond School is a short film focusing on the importance of letting the children live their childhood. The film was shot partly in Delhi and mostly in Zunheboto (Nagaland). This short film was conceptualised, and edited by Avitoli G Zhimo, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi. The protagonist Samria (5) and her sister (2) are being raised in New Delhi, the capital of India. The parents feel that their city upbringing should not deprive them of what it means to be free and unafraid and daring. Beyond School is an initiative to take them to their roots, letting them learn their school lessons from nature.
    Note: None of the activities was forced on the children. There are no staged scenes except for narration. Dr. Zhimo followed her two children with video camera for one whole month.
    Inspiration: Anthropology of Childhood; Visual Anthropology; ethnographic filmmaking.

  • Co-Exist (2019)
    Conceptualised, Narrated and Edited by Avitoli G. Zhimo
    Short documentary film CO-EXIST : The case of a small hilly town Zunheboto.

    "I grew up in this small hilly town; went to one of the best schools at that time. I was familiar with the sound of prayers that came over loudspeakers, the worship hymns and the bells. But never heard of clashes. Yes there are differences and conflicts but nothing to do with one's faith; nothing to do with who you worship, or what you eat. Time is slow here, it rains almost two-third of the year.. but the attitude and the hospitality of the people are remarkable.
    For this documentation, I adopted a reflexive approach; reminding myself of my position (as an insider/local), and gender and also being conscious of others' space and norms. This documentary features four languages - English, Hindi, Nagamese, Sumi Naga. I admit there are many dimensions which I could not cover due to time constrain but there will always be another day, another theme...
    This documentary was shot in the month of June 2019. It rained the whole month. I was worried about the sound of the rain. But when I was editing, I simply fell in love with the sound of the rain. It's beautiful and refreshing".
    Inspiration: Cultural Relativism, Anthropology of Religion, Visual Anthropology

    ETHNOGRAPHIC SHORT/ FILMS: Edited and Directed by Under Grads (Visual Anthropology)


  • A short film "Being Ansar"conceptualised and edited from Visual anthropology lab won Second prize in Short film competition at Antardhwani festival 2014.
  • Ten days Research Methodology Course on "Participatory Digital Methodologies and Ethnographic Filmmaking" was organized for research scholars from 14-24 January 2019. Participants were from disciplines like Media studies, Culture studies, Social Work, Community Health and Medicine, Sociology, Gender Studies, Education. For details Click here
  • A special lecture on "Ethnographic Filmmaking in Anthropology" was delivered by Dr. Alison Louise Kahn, Academic Director, Oxford Documentary Film Institute, UK, on 18th January 2019.
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