My Moonwashed Horizons: Moheen and I

Guest Author: Debmalya Bandyopadhyay The first month of college was lonely. Fresh out of school, I was suddenly in a place filled with strangers and had no one to really talk to. As I tried to leave my shell to make friends, I somehow got invited to ‘Music and Lyrics,’ a collaborative event by the […]

Burning Chest and Stormy Eyes: Alienation on Arrival in Gaman

By Sumit Ray One of the most soul-stirring songs to come out of Indian cinema is from a relatively under-regarded film called Gaman (1978, Dir: Muzaffar Ali). In the film, Farooq Sheikh’s character is an urban migrant who has moved to the city of Bombay (as it was called back then) to find work after […]

Ankahi: A Sonorous Proclamation of Wordless Love

By Rohit Saha Though short films, through their apparent structural constraints, appear to be a tricky territory to navigate, filmmakers have time and again found it a very liberating format to tell stories about love. As Tagore said about story stories, ‘Sesh hoyeo hoilo na sesh’ (it ends, but doesn’t seem to have ended), scriptwriters […]

The Genesis of Indo-Funk: The Music of Ananda Shankar

By Puja Nandi Perhaps sometimes dwarfed by the meteoric fame of his uncle Ravi Shankar, Ananda Shankar, unarguably among the pioneers of the Indo-Funk genre of music, is not talked about as often as he should be. His unique style was the uninhibited blending of the East and the West; guitars melded with the sounds […]

The Multifarious Mansions of Mrinal Sen

By Sumit Ray “Night grinds on and the huge decrepit mansion continues talking in unceasing whispers…” Ek Din Pratidin (1980) “From Baishey Shravan in 1960 … ‘ruins’ have played an important role in many of my films.” Always Being Born All of us have, at some time or another, imbued the houses we have lived […]

Sunil Janah: Photographing a Modern Nation

The third of three articles on photographer Sunil Janah Read the previous post here Guest Author: Sourajit Saha On Nehru’s death in 1964, the New York Times referred to the first Prime Minister of India as ‘the maker of modern India’.1 Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, a central figure of India’s Independence movement, was inspired by socialist ideas […]

Sunil Janah: Photographing People

The second of three articles on photographer Sunil Janah Read the previous post here Guest Author: Sourajit Saha Ethnographic studies came hand in hand with colonialism in India. Many examples can be found in colonial art, sometimes even commissioned by the British, of the ethnographic studies of contemporary Indians in the 18th and 19th centuries. […]

Representing the Third World: Social Consciousness in the Photography of Sunil Janah

The first of three articles on photographer Sunil Janah Guest Author: Sourajit Saha Very few have photographed the country as Sunil Janah did. He was a mere college student, an active member of the Student Federation, when P.C. Joshi, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI), visited Calcutta and offered Janah, ‘Come […]

The Bengal Famine of 1943: Chittaprosad Bhattacharya and Political Art

By Anuska Guin It has been widely discussed that the Bengal Famine of 1943 was perhaps a man-made genocide in the making, with some deep-rooted factors that led to the catastrophe. While a lot of these factors get directed to Churchill’s policy lapses, one cannot ignore the role of class and ethnography in what was […]