FSC-Harvard Fellow 2016-17
Harsha Menon, MFA, is a researcher, scholar, artist and filmmaker who produces films, videos, and sound pieces for the cinema and the gallery. Her research interests include film studies, post-colonial theory, social practice, sonic ethnography, South Asian studies, transnational feminisms, and the role of research in cinematic and artistic practice.
Her previous films shot on 35mm, were both recipients of the Panavision New Filmmaker Program and screened at the Director’s Guild of America and the Sundance Film Festival. Her work has been awarded a Flaherty Film Seminar Fellowship, a Harvard Presidential Scholarship, and a Robyn Gittleman Teaching Fellowships at Tufts University, where she currently teaches a class in Civic Engagement and Contemporary Art. She studied filmmaking at Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Lab and documentary production at New York University.
Her FSC project, Fire for Girls is an experimental documentary set at the Saraswati Soni Akhila Bharatiya Ashram in Dehradun, North India. This observational piece focuses on the sounds of the daily morning fire ceremony, a Sanskrit ritual from 1800 BCE that is still performed for empowerment and peace. Usually reserved for men, here the older women teach the ceremony to ashram resident girls in a form of embodied transmission.