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

http://www.eventbrite.com/e/fd-zone-london-imagining-facts-documentary-narratives-and-the-indian-nuclear-project-tickets-24329984639

Please address any queries to Fathima Nizaruddin:   fathima.nizaruddin@my.westminster.ac.uk

Radiating Globality: Old Histories and New Geographies

Draft programme

International CONFERENCE

« RADIATING GLOBALITY / OLD HISTORIES AND NEW GEOGRAPHIES »

20-21 February 2016

Salle Viseoconférence UCAD 2, Cheikh Anta Diop

Dakar, Senegal

**************   O  **************

Programme

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)

G. N. Saibaba’s Bail Cancelled, Contempt Notice Slapped On Arundhati Roy

Countercurrents.org – 24 December, 2015

The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court cancelled the bail of Delhi University professor G. N. Saibaba and asked him to surrender before the police by 25th December. The Wheelchair-bound Saibaba who is over 90% disabled will celebrate Christmas in jail. A single judge bench of Justice Arun Choudhari also charged Author Arundhati Roy for criminal contempt for writing about Saibaba’s imprisonment and the court’s denial of bail in her article “Professor P.O.W.” in Outlook magazine in May. Arundhati Roy has to reply to the notice by January 25, 2016.

Prof. Saibaba was arrested by Maharashtra police in May 2015 for alleged Maoist links. On July 3, a two-judge bench of the Bombay High Court at Mumbai had granted Saibaba bail on reports that his health was deteriorated severely after 14 months in Nagpur jail. He has been paralysed from waist-downward since contracting polio in childhood. Since obtaining bail in July, Saibaba has been undergoing treatment at the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre in New Delhi. He had an angioplasty in August.

The order canceling Saibaba’s bail says that there is sufficient material for the court to consider that the allegations made against Saibaba under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act as true and thus, to cancel his bail order. It states that the Revolutionary Democratic Front of which Saibaba is a member, though not banned by the central government, “could be called as frontal organization of the CPI (Maoist)”.

The order cites several pages of Roy’s article and notes that the article had a “mala fide motive to interfere in the administration of justice”.

“Instead of challenging the orders passed by Sessions Court and the learned Single Judge of this Court, the author appears to have invented a novel idea of bashing the Central Government, the State Government, the Police machinery so also judiciary and that was, prima facie, with a mala fide motive to interfere in the administration of justice.

The language used by the author in her article against the Government and the police machinery is as nasty as it could be and one really wonders whether the same would befit to the prestigious awards the author is said to have won. Calling the Government and police as being “afraid” of the applicant, “abductor” and “thief” and the Magistrate from a “small town”, demonstrate the surly, rude and boorish attitude of the author in the most tolerant country like India…

…The author has even gone to the extent of scandalizing and questioning the credibility of the higher judiciary by giving examples of the orders of bail granted to “Babu Bajrangi”, “Maya Kodnani” and “Amit Shah”.

Does the author know that the grant of bail depends on the facts and evidence in each case and there cannot be any such comparison. Is it not the fact that the Central Government, the State Government, the police machinery and the armed forces are fighting for prevention of unlawful and terrorist activities in the country when the Naxal plague has taken a pincer grip.”

Arundhati Roy said she will respond to the order in court.