Aesthetics of dying, family as a unit of care and the last vital breath in Kashi, India’s sacred city. My interlocutor Shiv’s dying mother announced to the family, ‘it calls me’. Terminally ill, barely able to communicate and be understood by others, she found her life impossible. Subsequently, with her family by her side, she embarked on an arduous journey to Kashi—India’s holy city—to release her last vital breath and achieve the ultimate possibility of existence in Moksha. Reflecting upon my work with families who make a pilgrimage to Kashi, this research examines audiovisual ethnography as a shared ontological approach to researching and understanding the imaginative lifeworlds family members inhabit while waiting, confronting and performing the dying process of their parent at Kashi Labh Mukti Bhawan (a local salvation home).
India, 2018/Shooting locations: Varanasi/Original language: Hindi