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Elephant bath

4 minutes

There is deep trust and affiliation in the mahout ritual of bathing an elephant

A mahout is the person charged with looking after an elephant, a relationship that lasts for the duration of both their lives. As part of his responsibilities, the mahout regularly bathes the elephant in his charge, massaging its thick hide with the husks of coconuts. In this wonderfully observed sequence, which was shot in Kerala, South India, the director Tom Goudsmit shows the ritualistic bathing of the elephant by the mahout, all carried out with remarkable reverence.

Director: Tom Goudsmit

Video/History

An African-American revolutionary and fugitive reflects on decades of exile in Cuba

13 minutes

ORIGINAL
Video/Values & Beliefs

Great news: pleasure is the purpose of life. Bad news: moderation is key

6 minutes

Video/Music

What happens when rock stardom doesn’t quite work out?

10 minutes

Essay/Rituals & Celebrations

Mrs Myself

Self-marriage promises love and fulfilment – but is it a radical act or a depressing concession to self-absorption?

Polina Aronson

Video/Demography & Migration

On the US-Mexico border, loved ones on both sides can see each other but cannot touch

12 minutes

Idea/Race

How ‘white people’ were invented by a playwright in 1613

Ed Simon

Essay/History

Les Anglo-Saxons

Not just American or British, the Anglo-Saxon is a mirror to Frenchness: the country’s alter-ego and most feared enemy

Emile Chabal

Video/Law & Justice

What is Mother’s Day to a child whose mother is in prison?

8 minutes

Idea/Cities

This striking feature of Manila makes it an emblematic global city

Nancy Kwak