Anna Stirr is an ethnomusicologist who creatively documents music, poetry, and dance from Nepal through writing, performance, and audiovisual media. Author of the award-winning book Singing Across Divides: Music and Intimate Politics in Nepal (Oxford, 2017), this is her first film. She is Associate Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii Manoa.
Bhakta Syangtan is a multimedia artist from Sindhuli, Nepal. With a background in audio production, this is his first film. He is currently Managing Director of the community radio station Radio Namobudhha.
Bhakta grew up hearing Khusiram Pakhrin’s songs, and found them incredibly moving. Anna first heard his songs during Nepal’s People’s War, around 2004, and recognized in them a depth of feeling and poetic imagery beyond the usual fare of political protest music. Bhakta began to make a documentary about Khusiram while Anna was digitizing his photo archive; we met through a mutual friend who thought Bhakta should interview Anna for the film. Shortly after the interview, Khusiram suddenly passed away. When we met again, we joined forces to make this tribute to him and his songs. We thank his family, party, and fellow artists for their generous assistance with this film.