After the creation of borders between India and her neighbours in 1947, the movement of foreigners into Shillong began to arouse unrest. A people who had previously moved freely in the Khasi Hills began to be seen as an unwelcome influx, threatening the land and purity of the Khasi race. ‘Where the Clouds End’ documents the Khasis’ struggle to claim an authentic ethnicity, racial purity and right to land. It challenges stereotypical notions portrayed by the media of the unwanted ‘outsider’ who threatens traditions, social structures and moral values. Explored over three chapters, whose titles are the pillars of the Khasi traditional faith, ‘Where the Clouds End’ examines tribal identity as a fluid concept which defies man-made imaginations, historical ideals, political definitions and geographic boundaries. The film has been supported by the Early Career Fellowship of the School of Media and Cultural Studies, TISS and funded by the Jamsetji Tata Trust. Sound Design and Mix: Reuben Beddoe; Music: Tarik, Rida and the Musical Folks
Wanphrang K Diengdoh is an independent film maker and founder of reddur, a production space for films and music. In 2009, he was awarded the public arts grant from the Foundation of Indian Contemporary Arts for his installation Kali Kamai. The installation was a semifinalist at the International Award for Public Arts (IAPA) in the Middle Eastern and South East Asian region. In 2011, his debut short film 19/87 bagged all the awards at the GISFF Film Festival. In 2013, he was awarded the ‘Early Career Film Fellowship’ from TISS, Mumbai, for his documentary proposal ‘Where the Clouds End’ – a documentary about tribal identity and border politics. The film premiered at the United Nations World Urban Forum, Medellin, Colombia. In 2015, he directed Between the Forest and the Song, a film that explores the song naming tradition in Kongthong Village and the implications of modernity in tribal spaces. In 2017, he released Because We Did not Choose, a film on the participation of tribal labour in the First World War. Wanphrang also co-wrote and edited My Name is Eeooow. The film was awarded the prestigious Intangible Culture prize at the Royal Anthropological Institute’s Ethnographic Film Festival, UK and Best Film at the Film Festival della Lessinia in 2017. When not making films, Wanphrang writes poetry and produces music.