Moving Politics. Cinemas from India

Wolf, Nicole and Wenner, Dorothee. 2010. Moving Politics. Cinemas from India. In: "Moving Politics. Cinemas from India", Arsenal. Institut for film and video art, Germany, June to October 2010. [Show/Exhibition]

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Item Type:

Creators: Wolf, Nicole and Wenner, Dorothee
Deutsche Guggenheim, BerlinGermany
Arsenal. Institut for film and video artGermany
Abstract or Description:

On the occasion of the exhibition, "Being Singular Plural: Moving Images from India" at the Deutsche Guggenheim, we will present the film and discussion series, "Moving Politics – Cinemas from India", curated by Dorothee Wenner and Nicole Wolf. Three program blocks with a selection of recent feature and documentary films as well as several classics of Indian film history will give an impression of the diversity with which (film) policies are made in India. At issue are the visual vocabularies of power, the subtle forms with which traditional conditions are on the one hand reinforced and on the other called in question in cinema. Not only ostensibly political films unfold a large scope in this respect. At least from a Western point of view, politics in Indian mainstream cinema at times appears in a quite exotic guise. Independent feature film and documentaries also reflect their time of origin, the production conditions and habits of reception, and come up with peculiar forms of politics and cinematography.

The first program block (June 27 to 30)—"Action/Bewegungen"—questions how a sense of belonging is negotiated. How do political collectives become established beyond the state and political parties? Are they a response to draconic interventions into civil rights or a part of them? The state of emergency under Indira Gandhi not only contributed to the urgency of the emerging student and workers movements, and a bit later a varied women’s liberation movement, it also counted as the dawn of independent political documentary film. At the same time, the capability of filmic-political constellations was continuously revised, newly conceived and translated into the most diverse genres and narrative modes.
At the opening of "Being Singular Plural: Moving Images from India" and in the presence of the artists of the exhibition at the Deutsche Guggenheim—Desire Machine Collective, Shumona Goel, Amar Kanwar, and Kabir Mohanty—we will take up the question posed by Jean Luc Nancy as to "being-in-a-community." Also present are the filmmakers Paromita Vohra and Partho Sen Gupta, as well as the curator Kaushik Bhaumik.
The second part of the film and discussion series under the title "Practices of Belief/Glaube, Liebe, Hoffnung," is dedicated to the influence of religion(s) on Indian cinematography, which can hardly be overrated.
Hinduism is probably the most cinema-compatible of all religions. Bollywood owes its most beautiful scripts to the Mahabharata and Ramayana, and Indian stars may be closer to their gods than any other religion would ever allow. And yet this creative proximity is precisely what also bears enormous dangers, for India is not a Hindu country, even if Hindu fundamentalists vociferously claim so.
The third part is dedicated to the theme of "Family Ties" and focuses on the varied relationships between actual family ties and their fictive counterparts in film. For example, the arranged marriage in India, usually oriented toward collective family interests, is by no means a thing of the past — and therefore a constantly ticking, political time bomb posing a threat to individual desires of the heart. At the same time, family relations are being newly conceived — in, with, and outside of cinema.

Official URL:
Keywords: Cinematography; India; religion; family; politics; documentary; feature films
Departments, Centres and Research Units: Visual Cultures
Date range: June to October 2010
Funding bodyFunder IDGrant Number
Deutsche Guggenheim, BerlinUNSPECIFIED
Arsenal. Institut for film and video artUNSPECIFIED
Related URL:
Event Location: Arsenal. Institut for film and video art, Germany
Item ID: 4146
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2010 13:16
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2017 15:23


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