Books saved my sanity, knowledge opened the locked places in me and taught me first how to survive and then how to soar.

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Feb 10: How to Write About WAR: Indian Cinema as Battleground

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How To Write About WAR: Indian Cinema as Battleground

LIVESTREAM: February 10, 2023
12pm New York   |   10.30pm Mumbai   |   5pm London 

WATCH here!


India is home to the world’s largest film industry that instrumentalises soft power to generate all kinds of imperial fantasies and aspirations. It has historically been plagued by a pernicious nationalism wherein the othering, vilification and downright humiliation of religions, races, ethnicities and castes is normalized. A recent spate of blockbusters as well as several smaller films on streaming platforms have become cultural battlegrounds that work to manufacture an ideological consensus about violent interventions in Kashmir and other occupied regions, sustain hostilities with neighboring countries and foster malevolent forms of Hindu nationalism.

Azad Essa is South African journalist based between Johannesburg and New York covering US foreign policy, Islamophobia and race in the US for Middle East Eye. He is the author of "The Moslems are Coming" (Harper Collins India). His new book Hostile Homelands: The New Alliance Between India and Israel is forthcoming with Pluto Press.

Natasha Javed works with governments, United Nations agencies and Civil Society Organizations on ending violence against children globally at End Violence Against Children; a global Partnership hosted by UNICEF. Born and raised in Lahore, Pakistan, she is an activist, film maker and the founder of Lok Katha, a storytelling platform and production house focusing on stories from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. Her first documentary capturing stories of the people from Punjab who were uprooted during the 1947 Partition will be released in September 2023.

Suchitra Vijayan is a writer, photographer and activist. She is the founder and Executive Director of The Polis Project. For her book, The Midnight's Border: A People's History of India, Suchitra traveled across the 9000-mile Indian border. A barrister by training, she previously worked for the United Nations war crimes tribunals in Yugoslavia and Rwanda before co-founding the Resettlement Legal Aid Project in Cairo, which gives legal aid to Iraqi refugees.

Bhakti Shringarpure is a writer and educator who co-founded and edited Warscapes magazine for ten years before it transitioned into the Radical Books Collective. Her book Cold War Assemblages: Decolonization to Digital looks at the ways in which the Cold War thwarted decolonization movements in colonized regions and used soft power to shape their literary cultures.