Harvard's Sensory Ethnography Lab

Foreign Parts

J.P. Sniadecki, Véréna Paravel
France, USA | OmeU
A hidden enclave in the shadow of the New York Mets’ new sta­di­um, the neigh­bor­hood of Wil­lets Point is an indus­tri­al zone fated for demo­li­tion. Filled with scrap­yards and auto … read more

Kale and Kale

Stephanie Spray
USA 2007 | 51 Min. | OmeU

The film explores the subtle every­day inter­ac­tions and rela­tion­ships among an uncle and nephew, both nick­named “Kale,” or “black one,” and their fam­i­lies in rural Nepal. The roles they play in the vil­lage, with their fam­i­lies, and out­side of the vil­lage are grad­u­al­ly revealed by way of dis­crete vignettes. Through the pacing of the scenes and the length of shots, this ethno­graph­ic video is also a depic­tion of time and its pass­ing in rural Nepal. The work invites the viewer to engage unhur­ried­ly and sen­so­ri­al­ly with its sub­jects and their­nen­vi­ron­ment.  (www.stephaniespray.com)


In explor­ing the lives of two wan­der­ing Nepali musi­cians, an uncle and nephew who share the same name, KĀLE AND KĀLE (pro­nounced kah-lay) expos­es the root­less occu­pa­tion of the Gaine caste and com­mu­ni­cates both its joys and pit­falls – domes­tic, eco­nom­ic and spir­i­tu­al – in their daily lives. Reject­ing didac­ti­cism as a means of ethno­graph­i­cal obser­va­tion, the film con­sists of dis­tinct episodes that value the qual­i­ty of the gen­uine moment.” (Cinema Guild)

Creative Ethnography of Beings and Things The films by Judith and David Mac­Dougall have had a deci­sive impact on the work of the Sen­so­ry Ethnog­ra­phy Lab. Lucien Cas­taing-Taylor, the founder … read more


USA 2009 | 115 Min. | OmU
Sheep – as far as the eye can see. The anthro­pol­o­gists and film­mak­ers Lucien Cas­taing-Taylor and Ilisa Bar­bash spent three sum­mers doc­u­ment­ing sheep farm­ing at one of the last family-owned … read more

The iron ministry

Hamid Jafari, J.P. Sniadecki
USA 2014 | 82 Min. | OmeU
P. Sni­adec­ki, who lived in China for a long time and trav­elled all over the coun­try by train, con­densed the results of these ethno­graph­ic excur­sions into a mul­ti­far­i­ous and col­or­ful … read more