Violence on women’s, queer and marginalised bodies continues to be a daily, horrifying reality across the region. From the more obvious forms of assault, women are also confronted with online violence, which seeks to push them out of the digital public. On-screen violence both blatant and insidious has been the staple of mainstream cinema in Southasia. This panel explores how hyper-nationalistic and right-wing discourse and their imagery impacts the rights of women and other marginalised sections and also, how it has been met with creative resistance and pushback.
Moderator: Pawas Manandhar, researcher and program manager, Hri
Moderator: Kanak Mani Dixit, Chair, Film South Asia
The contemporary history of Southasia is one of upheaval, transformative social change and the pushback. This panel will explore the documenting of narratives as insiders and participants, training the lens both within and without.
Moderator: Laxmi Murthy, journalist and researcher
The pandemic has been a tough period of artists, filmmakers, and performers across the board, with fund crunches, lack of mobility and people-to-people contact having been drastically curtailed for the most part of two years. Confined to individual spaces, cut off from real life public interactions, mental health challenges have encouraged a re-think of ‘creativity’ and ‘productivity’ and perhaps even ‘art’ itself. This panel will explore the making of art during lockdowns, finding innovative ways to exhibit and share visions in unprecedented ways. From going digital to using social media, to broadening horizon due to unlocking of physical barriers, artists have come through the trial in different ways.
Moderator: NayanTara Gurung Kakshapati, photographer and curator
Southasia has witnessed tumultuous times since the beginning of the formation of nation states in the region. Border and territorial disputes, armed conflict and violent ethno-nationalism has led some people to be driven away from their land, some never to return. The panelists speak to our deepest longing to remain connected to our homelands and our people. Painful journeys, poignant moments and the dailiness of alienation are inherent to the human condition, whether or not we belong.
Moderator: Aunohita Mojumdar, Southasian journalist with experience of working in India, Afghanistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Former editor, Himal Southasian.
Caste in Indian mainstream cinema has been largely invisiblised and/or stereotyped, much like discussions around caste in Indian society itself. What have been the markers to signify caste and how do they reinforce the caste system? How has the savarna domination of production, direction and casting influenced the content of popular cinema? To what extent do more recent films break these moulds and reshape the marginalization of caste, gender, sexualities and ethnicity?
Moderator: AS Panneerselvan, Fellow, Centre for Study in Public Sphere, Roja Muthiah Research Library, Chennai
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