War criminal notes. 

Someone scratched out his eyes. 

Apparently when the note is wet and rubbed with a coin, the ink comes off. Still legal tender – money itself is not the greatest evil, but illusions in piggy pollies must be criticised. 

Orientalism for kids – again

FeaturedOrientalism for kids – again

Am gearing up for another round of kiddy tv and hoping there are new programmes since the mind worms of Iggle Piggle and Peppa Pig did their damage. This time Theodor and I are reviewing the options for Annabel’s rapidly arriving toddler indoctrination sessions. First exhibit on review is Nicklodious’s ‘Shimmer and Shine’.

Flying carpets, shalwar kameez, wayang kulit shadow puppets, princesses and dragons (with bad breath). The two genies have 3 wishes an episode to bestow, of course wishes go astray, are wasted frivolously, but a lesson is learned. Nothing new then, and some pretty standard 1001 nights fare, along with a geography-hopping sampling of almost any magical tradition anywhere. Ok, not so worried about that, but there is a dad who eats popcorn – very suspicious. He may work in films. Big eyed anime influence, suburban values and cinema in-jokes. Does the obvious fun they had making this mean the stereotypes are somehow undone? Nope, but a popcorn munching genie is better than that 60s comedy dream of Barbara Eden.

Oh damn, there’s a prince in it, daft boy in specs – and now sitar fusion cartoon songs. I preferred the Beatles cartoon trip to India bit posted on my film course blog.
This is what we do on Sunday mornings…

Nuclear Hallucinations with Raminder Kaur, Joram ten Brink, Rosie Thomas and others

FD-zone London Fifth Edition

a collaboration between the Faculty of Media, Arts and Design, University of Westminster, and the Films Division, Government of India

Imagining Facts: Documentary Narratives and the Indian Nuclear Project

Monday 25 April from 6pm to7.45pm

Room: UG05, University of Westminster

309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HW

In the current Indian scenario where diverse people’s movements challenge the Indian state’s nuclear project, we ask what is the role of “scientific facts” in providing legitimacy for particular truth claims? Through a curated screening of non-fiction films from 1960s onwards, the session will explore how documentary becomes a terrain to articulate opposing assertions about the Indian nuclear project. The films from the archives of Films Division, the key filmmaking unit of government of India, provide striking examples of non-fiction strategies which get mobilized to create expert claims about the “safe” nature of the nuclear project. However the certainty of such facts are challenged through other representations. The session will discuss the particular ways in which diverse narratives resist the hegemony and violence of ‘undeniable facts’, and address the gap between pro-nuclear documentary assertions, on the one hand, and the filing of sedition cases against anti-nuclear protestors, on the other.

The films will be introduced by curator Fathima Nizaruddin (University of Westminster). The screening will be followed by a discussion with Prof. Raminder Kaur (University of Sussex), author of the book Atomic Mumbai: living with the radiance of a thousand suns, Prof. Joram ten Brink
(Academic Director, International Centre for Documentary and Experimental Film, University of Westminster) and the curator. The session will be chaired by Prof. Rosie Thomas (Director, Centre for Research and Education in Art and Media, University of Westminster)

From Tiny Grains of Sand, (Director: Arun Chaudhuri, 1961

11 minutes, 45 seconds, Films Division)

The film explains the different stages involved in the mining of atomic minerals. It stresses the importance of atomic energy and the achievements made by India in this field.

Atom Man’s Most Powerful Servant ( Direction: P.B. Pendharkar, 1974

13minutes 10seconds, Films Division)

This film produced by Films Division in 1974, the year in which India conducted its first nuclear weapons test, makes a strong case for the role of the atom to facilitate the progress of the nation. The test is not presented as a weapons test. Instead, scientists explain that it was a scientific experiment to help oil and gas exploration.

Atomic Energy and India (Direction: Vijay B.Chandra, 1972, 10 minutes, Films Division)
In this film, Vijay B. Chandra, who directed many films which were categorized as experimental, uses an unconventional narrative to situate nuclear reactors as the new temples of modern India.

Child on a Chess Board: (Direction: Vijay B.Chandra, 1979
7 minutes 47 seconds, Films Division)
Vijay B. Chandra uses an abstract narrative yet again in this film. However, here he

ruminates about the precariousness of life in the planet amidst nuclear weapons.

Song of Coastal Lilies (Neythalin Paadal): (Director: Sreemith Sekhar, 2012, 7 Minutes)
This independent film provides an account of the anti-nuclear movement against the Kudankulam Atomic Power Project in Tamil Nadu through a protest song from the movement.

Nuclear Hallucinations: (Director: Fathima Nizaruddin, 2016, 10 minute extract)
Nuclear Hallucinations is a film, which claims to be a documentary, and it is centered around the anti-nuclear struggle against the Kudankulam Atomic Power Project. In a context where cases of sedition and waging of war against the state are filed against anti-nuclear protesters, the film attempts to question the totalitarian nature of pro-nuclear assertions through comic modes.

FD-zone London is a collaboration between the Films Division, Government of India, and the Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media (CREAM) at the University of Westminster. Established in 1948, Films Division India is one of the largest documentary, experimental and short film-producing units in the world. It has an archive of more than 8000 titles, which chronicle the story of independent India through diverse narratives. FD-zone London will bring this archive into conversation with contemporary independent films through a programme of regular screenings and discussions curated by film scholars.

The event is free and all are welcome but registration is essential.

Please reserve your place by registering online at

Please address any queries to Fathima Nizaruddin:

Radiating Globality: Old Histories and New Geographies

Draft programme

International CONFERENCE


20-21 February 2016

Salle Viseoconférence UCAD 2, Cheikh Anta Diop

Dakar, Senegal

**************   O  **************


Samedi 20 Février 2016

09:00 – 09:15

Ibrahima Thioub, Rector – UCAD

Welcome adress

09:15 – 09:30 Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, History and Overview

09:35 – 09:50 John Hutnyk, Global Gifts and Capture

09:55 – 10:10 Discussions

10:10 – 10:30 Ben Baer, Regionalizing Socialism — (Pan-)African Exemplarities

10:30 – 10:55 Kanu Agrawal ‘The Role of Designers, Making Connections’

10:55 – 11:15 Joël Ruet, From Development Model to Emergence Toolbox? Agriculture & Industry in West Bengal, Yunnan and Senegal

11:15 – 11:30 Discussions

11:50 – 12:10 Lakshmi Subramaniam, Riverine regions and littoral spaces: mobile geographies and connected histories

12:10 – 12:25 Discussions

12:25 – 13:45 Lunch

13:45 – 14:05 Emmanuelle Kadya Tall, Cultu(r)al productions of the South Atlantic radiating globality: Mami Wata & the Twins

14:05 – 14:20 Discussions

14:20 – 14:40 Sylvain SANKALE, Thinking economic development in Senegal around 1820 Crossing experiences

14:40 – 14:55 Discussions

14:55 – 15:15 Break

15:15 – 15:30 Souleymane Bachir diagne, Comments

15:30 – 17:00

Afzal Guru Protest: JNU under Police Action, NDTV Reports (which is ironic since they are in part to blame for the travesty under protest here).

NDTV have a record on this topic which is, erm, unenviable. For example, they had run a phone in poll to see if their audience wanted Afzal Mohammed Guru hanged, held before the court gave its verdict, on what was a frame-up according to many, and the ‘torturer for the nation’ proudly proclaiming his role in getting Afzal’s confession… So it is deeply troubling that even now Police action cracks down on legitimate dissent. Cultural event! Maybe there is more to it, but it looks dubious to me – what threat was this demonstration to the nation? Kanhiya Kumar  zindabad.

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 11.29.01

Full story here.

DD Kosambi

“Certain opponents of Marxism dismiss it as an outworn economic dogma based upon 19th century prejudices. Marxism never was a dogma. There is no reason why its formulation in the 19th century should make it obsolete and wrong, any more than the discoveries of Gauss, Faraday and Darwin, which have passed into the body of science… The defense generally given is that the Gita and the Upanishads are Indian; that foreign ideas like Marxism are objectionable. This is generally argued in English the foreign language common to educated Indians; and by persons who live under a mode of production (the bourgeois system forcibly introduced by the foreigner into India.) The objection, therefore seems less to the foreign origin than to the ideas themselves which might endanger class privilege. Marxism is said to be based upon violence, upon the class-war in which the very best people do not believe nowadays. They might as well proclaim that meteorology encourages storms by predicting them. No Marxist work contains incitement to war and specious arguments for senseless killing remotely comparable to those in the divine Gita”

 Exasperating Essays: Exercises in Dialectical Method (1957)