Looking back at Bharat ki Chaap, television series in 1980-90s
Chandita Mukherjee, August, 2015
Conversation with Chandita Mukherjee, director of Bharath ki Chaap, a television series that aired on Doordarshan. The series focused on the history of science and technology in India.
"The orbiting of Haley’s comet looked like an excuse to do a history of science in India. This was also the time when agitation for the Ram Mandir was beginning in the early 1980s. The Hindutva brigade were giving a very colored view of the history of science in India - saying things like “Haven’t you heard of the Pushpak Viman (as antecedents to the modern airplane) and the Brahmasastra in Mahabharata (atomic bomb)?” The other extreme was also people who were saying that all our scientific knowledge is learnt from the achievements of the West."
What are the Rhythms of Work and Leisure?
by Anushka Meenakshi and Iswar Srikumar, Nov 2013
U-ra-mi-li or song of the people is an archival project that looks at the sounds, songs and rhythms of work and leisure. Anushka Meenakshi, a filmmaker and Iswar Srikumar, a theater actor set out on a journey from Chennai that meandered through Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Mizoram. What began as travel and adventure and escape changed in a moment in Tabo, Spiti where they observed and recorded a group of farmers and women breaking mounds of soil in the fields and working. "The collective energy, the strong lines, the dance-like footwork, the hypnotic swing of the shovel, the song - and here it was, happening in something so 'everyday' and by a group of 'regular people'." Work has many rhythms and cadences from the singing by the kalaakar in Rajasthan, the guitarist practicing with newspaper headlines in Manipur, to the 'dance' of large herds of cattle and animals in Spiti that returned to their homes without a single human in sight.
Bruce Chatwin in his book 'Songlines' about aboriginal song, rhythm and nomadic travel speaks of those with “wanderer in the soul”, and in this project's 94 pieces of video, long and short, are the musings and wonder of two wanderers through their journey.Future Power Plants in Chhattisgarh: a Documentary Film Treatment / Script
Sunil Kumar, June 2013
छ्त्तीसगढ़ में आने वाले पॉवर प्लांट्स के शोध पर आधारित डॉक्यूमेंट्री फिल्म ट्रीटमेंट/स्क्रिप्ट
सुनील कुमार, जून 2013Scripts of Genders and Sexualities
by Sunil Mohan and Sumathi Murthy, February 2014
This essay has been written from the perspective of Sunil Mohan and is part of the archival project on Queer Self-Reflections which has been researched and archived by Sunil Mohan and Sumathi MurthyPerfumed Arts all over Bangalore
Queer and trans people have lived in an atmosphere of acrimony, persecution and with an awareness of the uniqueness and triumph of their own stories. This collection of videos, shot largely in 2012, records some of the life-stories and self-reflections of queer and trans individuals across southern India.
by Suresh Kumar Gopalreddy, February 2014
A text accompanying the video materials which are here: https://pad.ma/grid/title/project==PerfumesFilming the Many Afghanistans
Suresh Kumar is an artist and self appointed documentationist. With zealous energy, he has documented several of the lively years of the Bangalore art scene especially when collective groups and spaces were either just being formed or were active: Samuha, Jaaga, 1Shanthi Road and the government-owned Venkatappa Art Gallery.
by Mariam Ghani, February 2013
The Afghan jeshn would continue to be a major reference point for Afghan films, as it would for Afghan society itself, right up to the present day. Significantly, the jeshn is anchored neither to a single historical event, nor to a fixed date on the calendar. Instead, it has been a shifting set of commemorations that reflect the continually changing identity of the twentieth-century Afghan nation-state.THE 377 TRANSCRIPTS: A Brief History of the Naz Foundation Judgement
This essay emerged from a collaboration between Creative Time Reports, which commissions reports from artists around the world, and The New York Review of Books.
by Siddharth Narain, February 2012
The July 2, 2009 Naz Foundation decision by the Delhi High Court decriminalised homosexuality in India, immediately finding itself at the centre of much debate and analysis. The text of the judgement has gone on to become a standard reference in law schools across the country. As a lawyer at ALF, Siddhharth and his colleagues were in the thick of this action, minuting the twelve days of final arguments in great detail. These minutes later became an important record of the Naz case, laying the foundation for what was to come in the later stage of the case.Some Environmental concerns in the Cinema of Tsai Ming Liang
by Iyesha Geeth Abbas, July 2011
Some Environmental Concerns in the Cinema of Tsai Ming Liang is an attempt to understand how objects like a funeral urn, a watch, an apartment, orient themselves in the landscape of Tsai’s films. We find ourselves in a hyper-neon lit Taipei and a grainy Kuala Lumpur, cities suffering from endemics of the air and water. Objects take over from human bodies to interpret or, at least, survive the sensory confusion that surrounds them.Mandala
by Simpreet Singh, June 2011
"Take whatever you're getting, or else we'll send you to Mankhurd," Maharashtra's state authorities and builders say. Mankhurd, a north-eastern suburb of Mumbai, is where the city's 'dregs' are washed to shore - its garbage and its oft-resettled working-class population. Here, activist Simpreet Singh of the Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan (GBGB) narrates the history of Mandala, a slum settlement in Mankhurd. Within a stolid timeline of demolitions carried out by the state in the name of urban development lies a deeply personal account of the protests staged by residents and activists. It exposes the violence that marks perennial displacement and sets forth Mandala's proposal for community-led redevelopment.Radia Ga Ga
by Nisha Vasudevan with Zinnia Ambapardiwala, June 2011
It began with a call to crowdsource. Following this call, Reading Radia was set up, inviting volunteers to help transcribe the Radia tapes. Egged on by this collective initiative, pad.ma decided to archive all the available audiotapes, which were sourced from the Outlook website. Those with transcripts were carefully proofed at pad.ma. Untranscribed tapes were then meticulously transcribed and proofed. Each tape was then transcoded to create black subtitled videos.Writing Over A Hundred Cups Of Tea
by Ranjana Dave, February 2011
They visited the toy stores in Ginza and were accorded the privilege of dancing barefoot at a Noh theatre. In 1986, at her home in Tokyo, Kumkum Lal hosted Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra (Guruji) and a group of musicians including the renowned composer Pt. Bhubaneswar Mishra, for a month. During his stay there, Guruji taught Kumkum and held workshops for her students. Kumkum and Guruji also travelled across Japan, performing at venues as wildly apart as a Nohgakodu in Tokyo and a studio in a popular department store. Twenty-five years later, Kumkum Lal revisits the Japan tour through recordings made by her husband Ashok with his first video camera, then a novel purchase he was tremendously excited about. While watching Kelucharan Mohapatra outside the performance space makes everything about the footage seem out of the ordinary, Kumkum makes her way through days and nights spent choreographing, cooking, teaching, drinking tea, dancing, stopping, to take in the ephemeral, scattered moments that are windows into other lives and other stories."The Bomb that Saved the City"
by Taha Mahmood, December 2010
The Manchester City Center was destroyed by an IRA bomb in 1996. The City Center was later re-designed as part of a larger regional planning initiative. The space of the city-center at Manchester has been a locus of mercantile activity since the Roman times. During the blitz of WWII it was completely destroyed for the first time. Since then the City center has been shaped by various spatial policies each reflecting the ideological stance of the political party in power. In the UK, policing reforms were introduced during the Eighties, which sought to change the role of the police from re-active to pro-active.
24X7 monitoring of spaces with CCTV cameras came became universal as a result of these reforms. CCTV was projected as a prevention for crimes. However there is no evidence to support these claims. This annotative essays brings together many themes like risk, information harvesting, policy frameworks and surveillance technology to think about ways in which the idea of a public space have been articulated in UK.The Bombay Bargirl: An Archival Adventure
by Sreemoyee Nandini Ghosh, December 2010
In this essay I look at the emergence of the Bombay bar dancer as legal subject / tabloid sensation / human rights victim / ethnographic object, in the context of the ban on bar dancing and the subsequent legal challenge to the ban . The trajectories I describe that allow the bargirl to speak within the law, also paradoxically lead to the precise moment of her abandonment by the law. If the law is marked by its ability to abstract material experiences into domains of non-experience, how do we look at ways of providing accounts of the legal that are firmly rooted in the force field of law? In what ways can she who is rendered ‘illegal’ speak in the law—only as a vanishing presence, a residue in the archive, or in more robust ways? In this text I search for some of these answers, referencing often video material shot in 2006, that is now in Pad.ma.Narayan Surve - A Tribute
by Anjali Monteiro and K.P. Jayasankar, December 2010
Filmmakers Anjali Monteiro and K.P. Jayasankar remember the revolutionary poet who chronicled working class life in Mumbai, in his poems. Surve appeared in Saacha (2000), their film about Mumbai’s working class, but more significantly, inspired them with his unbounded optimism.Don't Wait for the Archive II
October 2010, Cairo
Pad.ma was presented at a conference in Cairo titled Speak, Memory in October, 2010 (http://www.speakmemory.org). The conference was on the politics of archiving and (re)activation of cultural memory, and at the conference different visions and stratagems of archiving were discussed including open or closed, institutional or radical, private or government, pirate or commons etc. Here we share four texts that elaborate on certain issues around archiving that interest us, including the problem of displaying the archive, legal edifice for archives, politics of technology and notes on collaboration.10 Theses on the Archive
April 2010, Beirut.
1. Don’t Wait for the ArchivePad.ma 2009
2. Archives are not reducible to the particular Forms that they take
3. The Direction of Archiving will be Outward, not Inward
4. The Archive is not a Scene of Redemption
5. The Archive deals not only with the Remnant but also with the Reserve
6. Historians have merely interpreted the Archive. The Point however is to Feel it
7. The Image is not just the Visible, the Text is not just the Sayable
8. The Past of the Exhibition Threatens the Future of the Archive
9. Archives are governed by the Laws of Intellectual Propriety as opposed to Property
10. Time is not Outside of the Archive: It is in it