Schedule: Film Symposium



OCTOBER 19 – 20, 2015

This symposium focused on the challenges and risks faced by filmmakers as they document, often risking their lives, human rights violations in South Asia. It bridges the gap between academia and the community through film screenings, scholarly presentations, and conversations with filmmakers. It explores how cinema interacts with the modern rights movement, and can be used as a tool for resisting against human rights violations.


Monday, October 19: Thomson Hall (Room 317) University of Washington, Seattle

09:00 – 09.15 Opening Remarks: Alka Kurian

09:15 – 11:15 Film Screening: Red Ant Dream, Directed by Sanjay Kak

11:30 – 12:30 Panel One: Minority Oppression

  • Sanjay Kak: Folding Film into the Resistance: A Short and Personal History of the Political Documentary in India
  • Deepti Misri: Return and Irreconciliation in Onir’s I Am (Megha)
  • Bidisha Biswas: In Kashmir, They Disappear: Revisiting AFSPA through the Lens of Haider

12:30 – 01:00 Panel discussion

01:30 – 02:00 Film Screening: Dalit Women Fight, Directed by Thenmozhi Soundararajan

#dalitwomenfight panel

#dalitwomenfight panel

02:00 – 02:30 Post-film conversation with Asha Kothal (General Secretary of All Indian Dalit Women’s Rights Forum and Manisha Mashaal (State coordinator, Haryana, All Indian Dalit Women’s Rights Forum).

02:30 – 03:30 Panel Two: Caste Oppression

  • Thenmozhi Soundararajan: Dalit Women’s Resistance 2
  • Bindu Menon: The Spectacular and the Quotidian: Caste Violence in Fandry and Papiliobuddha
  • Shoba Sharad Rajagopal: Thugs, Dacoits, and Politicians? Indigenous Communities in Indian Cinema Today

03:30 – 04:00 Panel Discussion

04:15 – 05:15 Panel Three: Gender Violence

  • Sangita Gopal: New Indian Cinema and the Woman Question
  • Shreerekha Subramanian: Feminist Masculinism: Imagined Response to Violence Against Women in Pradeep Sarkar’s Hindi Film Mardaani

05:15 – 05:45 Panel Discussion

Tuesday, October 20: University of Washington, Bothell, North Creek Event Center

09:00 – 10:30 Film Screening:

  • The Nightingales of Pakistan, Directed by Fawzia Afzal Khan
  • Among the Believers, Directed by Hemal Trivedi and Mohammad Naqvi

10:30 – 11:30 Panel Four: Gender, Nation, Identity

  • Hemal Trivedi, Mohammad Naqvi: Secularism, the Rise of the Right wing, and Minority Persecution
  • Fawzia Afzal Khan: Feminist Mediations: The Sacred and the Secular in three Pakistani Female Singers
  • Alka Kurian: Integrating Whose voice? Class and Nation in The Reluctant Fundamentalist

11:30 – 12:00 Panel Discussion

01:00 – 3:00 Work in Progress: Rakesh Sharma.

03:15 – 04:15 Film Screening: Silence in the Courts, Directed by Prasanna Vithanage

04:15 – 05:15 Panel Five: Human Rights, Censorship, and Nation

  • Bruce Kochis: The Future of Human Rights
  • Prasanna Vithanage: Many Faces of Censorship in an Ethno-Religiously Polarized Society
  • Nadeem Uddin: Bhopal 84 – Denial, Resistance and the Continuous disaster 30 years on

05:15 – 05:45 Panel Discussion  3

05:45 Closing Remarks