Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Auroville Film Festival 2009 will feature 115 films

Other States - Puducherry

Auroville magic, mores through celluloid

Staff Reporter

94 films will be judged by three eminent personalities

— Photo: T. Singaravelou

Tinsel town air: Actor Revathy, who is one of the jury members at the Auroville Film Festival 2009, Puducherry, in conversation with Marco Feira, the organiser of the festival.

PUDUCHERRY: Over 100 enthusiastic people, mostly Aurovilians, sitting beneath the open skies, cheered loudly as the Auroville Film Festival 2009 was declared open.

The first edition of the film festival will feature 115 films under three categories – films made by Aurovilians and residents of the bioregion and films shot in Auroville by guests of Auroville, films made about Auroville, and films made by students of schools in Auroville.

The 94 films in the competition will be judged by three eminent personalities: actor-director Revathy, reporter and documentary filmmaker Gerard Perrier, and theatre person and journalist Gowri Ramnarayan.

“My association with Auroville has lasted over 20 years, and I’m happy to be a part of this festival,” said a smiling Revathy.

According to Marco Feira, the organiser of the festival who also runs Cinema Paradiso, the aim of the festival is to project a certain image of Auroville, and at the same time explore the perception that outsiders have about Auroville. The winning films will find a bigger platform when they are screened in big cities in India and abroad, he added.

“We live in an era of images, and our idea was to adopt an educational approach towards making films,” he explained.

In an attempt to realise this, Cinema Paradiso decided to conduct filmmaking workshops for participants aged eight and above, in the run-up to the festival. “This is when the award-winning French experimental filmmaker Saguenail arrived at Auroville, and became the cheese on the pasta,” quipped Mr. Feira. He went on to conduct workshops for 65 students over 10 days on all aspects of filmmaking, such as camera work, sound and editing. He also trained Aurovilians to conduct these workshops so that this tradition could continue for future editions of the biennial festival.

In all, three adult workshops and six school workshops were conducted, and most of the films made during the course of these workshops will be screened. The audience may also vote for three of the best films in their opinion.

The festival will be on until September 27, with films being screened daily at Bharat Nivas and MMC, Auroville.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bhasha Research and Tribal Arts and Culture

National Consortium of Tribal Arts and Culture : : NCTAC
The National Consortium of Tribal Arts and Culture is funded by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India. It is a project that involves the ...

The National Consortium of Tribal Arts and Culture project was initiated by Bhasha Research and Publications Center and a selected team of experts. They have been constantly engaged in coordinating with the participating museums and in the work of digitization of research materials and the creation of the interactive display and project website.
Funding for the NCTAC has been provided by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India, a body responsible for planning, policy, formulation, and coordination of programmes relating to the development and welfare of Scheduled Tribes.
The Museum of Voice at the Adivasi Academy, Tejgadh, Gujarat has helped to develop the model for documentation of the objects and acquistion numbering.
All research content and data has been supplied by the staff of the Tribal Research Institutes and their Museums.
Each of these organizations has contributed their time and resources towards the development of the National Consortium of Tribal Arts and Culture.

The NCTAC hope to continue expanding in the coming years through the increased participaiton of private and government owned museums that house collections tribal art and culture.
We therefore invite all such institutions and private individuals to come forward and contribute towards this consortium.
We also look forward to hearing from individuals interested in contributing their time, experience and creativity to this project.
Please address all correspondence to:
The Project Co-ordinator, National Consortium of Tribal Arts and Culture C/o Bhasha Research and Publication Center 62 Shreenathdham Duplex Bh. Dinesh Mills, Akota Vadodara 390 007
Ph: 0265 2331968 Fax: 0265 2359059 Email:

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Film to chronicle not only the physical but also spiritual experiences of Sri Aurobindo

Other States - Puducherry The Hindu : Other States - Puducherry News : Filming of documentary on Sri Aurobindo begins
Monday, Aug 31, 2009 - Staff Reporter — Photo : T. Singaravelou

Minister of State for Planning, Parliamentary Affairs and Culture V. Narayanasamy at the launch of the documentary film in Puducherry on Sunday. Welfare Minister M. Kandasamy and writer Manoj Das are in the picture.

PUDUCHERRY: Union Minister of State for Planning, Parliamentary Affairs and Culture V. Narayanasamy on Sunday sounded the clapperboard for a documentary film on Sri Aurobindo. The film, directed by ‘Gunavathy Mainthan’ Ravi, will be released on April 4, 2010, marking the centenary of Sri Aurobindo’s arrival in Puducherry.
Mr. Narayanasamy said that little was known about Sri Aurobindo, the freedom fighter, and his life as a revolutionary. He expressed the hope that the film would throw more light on Sri Aurobindo’s political life such as his partnership with Bal Gangadhar Tilak and his stints as editor of nationalist magazines.
Welfare Minister M. Kandasamy was also present. Member of Legislative Assembly S.P. Sivakumar said that in commemoration of Sri Aurobindo’s arrival in Puducherry, a postal stamp would also be released .

Writer and professor of the Sri Aurobindo International Centre for Education Manoj Das said that the filmmaker had taken on a difficult task by attempting to chronicle not only the physical but also spiritual experiences of Sri Aurobindo.
Mr. Das wanted the first house Sri Aurobindo stayed in Puducherry to be declared a national monument. This was because it has great significance to the beginning of his spiritual journey.
Mr. Ravi, who has made 15 documentary films so far, said that the 60-minute docu-drama would depict Sri Aurobindo in all his avatars - freedom fighter, writer, intellectual and yogi. Produced by K.I. Manirathinem of Anugraha Cultural Akademi, it would be made in Tamil and English under the guidance of Mr. Das. Shooting would be held in Kolkata, Vadodara, Darjeeling and Puducherry over the next few months.


A tri-lingual documentary on Sri Aurobindo Asian Tribune
Tue, 2009-09-01 11:30 — By Gopal Ethiraj, Chennai
Puducherry, 01 September, (

Noted documentary film-maker Gunavathy Maindan’s next documentary venture “Sri Aurobindo” was inaugurated by the Union Minister of State for Culture V.Narayanaswamy in Puducherry on Sunday.
The film is being made in commemoration with the centenary year of the coming of the Mahan Aurobindo to Puducherry (April 1910 to 2010). It is planned to shoot as a tri-lingual—Tamil, English and Hindi.
The one-hour documentary would be shot at Puducherry, Baroda, in Gujarat, Kolkatta and Darjeeling in West Bengal where the Indian Nationalist and freedom-fighter, writer, poet, philosopher and yogi had lived and worked.
Sri Aurobindo had his schooling and higher education (Cambridge) in England and returning to India, his mind flowed to what he had missed of his motherland—its culture, philosophy, literature and languages. What struck him more was the nationalism.
He joined the movement for India’s freedom from the British rule in 1905. The famous Alipore Bomb case in which he was implicated proved to be a turning point in his life.

He migrated to Puducherry in 1910, then under French regime, continued his freedom struggle, possibly under the garb of spiritualism. For him spiritualism and nationalism were same as Sanatana Dharma. While practicing both, spiritualism seemed to have overtaken him, with which he is known to the world. He was a contemporary of the nationalist poet Subramaniya Bharathi.
Puducherry stood to gain largely from his presence here for forty years, and also with his prime disciple the Divine Mother.

As the Union Minister sounded the clap-board and started the shooting of the film, the invited dignitaries hailed the writer-director Gunavathy Maindan, who has 14 documentaries to his credit. The speakers included Welfare Minister Kandaswamy, Prof. Dr. Manoj Das, Prof. Dr. Murali Sivaramakkrishnan, Dr. P. Raja, Dr. Ritanath Kesari, MLA S.P. Sivakumar, Dr. K.I. Manirathinem, Chairman, Navasaksti Township Developers and Journalist Gopal Ethiraj. - Asian Tribune


We all know that Sri Aurobindo's life was rich with events and involvements, voluntary or otherwise, that would fill up volumes of interesting biographies. But it is also known to all of us what he told one of his earliest would-be biographers – that there was nothing on the surface of his life which could justify writing a biography. Obviously what he thought to be the real purpose, works and achievements of his life were matters that remained beneath the surface.
But I realise that we cannot help writing about his life. I have not been able to restrain myself from doing it in a small way. Auroville Today > Current issue > Current issue > August 2009 “We cannot help writing about His life” – Manoj Das

Friday, September 11, 2009

Digital version of the French Salons or the Greek Agora

A cosmopolitan anthropology via The Memory Bank by keith on 9/10/09 Emergent world society is the new human universal – not an idea, but the fact of our shared occupation of the planet crying out for new principles of association... The task of building a global civil society for the twenty-first century, even a world state, is an urgent one and anthropological visions should play their part in that...

Anthropology does not sit well with the modern university. We retain the will to range freely across disciplinary boundaries; the humanism and democracy entailed in our methods contradict the bureaucratic imperatives of corporate privatization at every turn. Anthropology has always been an anti-discipline, a holding company for idiosyncratic individuals to do what they like and call it ‘anthropology’... The rapid development of global communications today contains within its movement a far-reaching transformation of world society.

The internet is a wonderful chance to open up the flow of knowledge and information. Rather than obsessing over how we can control access to what we write, which means cutting off the mass of humanity almost completely from our efforts, we need to figure out new interactive forms of engagement that span the globe and to make the results of our work available to everyone. Ever since the internet went public and the World Wide Web was invented, I have made online self-publishing and interaction the core of my anthropological practice. And recently I have stumbled into what may turn out to be the most powerful vehicle for this project yet: the Open Anthropology Cooperative.

It matters less that an academic guild should retain its monopoly of access to knowledge than that ‘anthropology’ should be taken up by a broad intellectual coalition for whom the realization of a new human universal – a world society fit for humanity as a whole — is a matter of urgent personal concern. Paper presented at the inaugural conference of the Centre for Cosmopolitan Studies, University of St. Andrews, ‘A cosmopolitan anthropology?’, 15-16th September 2009 11:14 AM

Speculative Realism Wiki via Larval Subjects . by larvalsubjects on 9/7/09
Michael Austin of Complete Lies has cleaned up the Speculative Realism entry, substantially improving it... Given the important role that blogging has played in the SR movement, however, I do think more needs to be written for that section...

If SR has truly been the first philosophical movement that’s unfolded on the internet, it is important to reflect the vitality and breadth of this net presence and also avoid hierarchializing works published in journals and presses over research and theoretical elaborations that have been written in other mediums. The day is quickly approaching where the book and article are going to be significantly called into question or undergo a profound transformation in how they are produced and circulated. SR has been at the forefront of these shifts. The entry should also include links to these blogs.

SR has been, perhaps, the first philosophical movement to take new media seriously, given the claims that certain variants of SR make on behalf of objects, it is important not to treat one set of objects as being more real than others. One of the most attractive features of the SR movement is the manner in which it has been a “grass roots” movement that has circumvented traditional power structures presided over by the academy. That could, of course, mean that it is a movement dominated by a bunch of cranks– certainly few of us are at marquis institutions –but I prefer to think of it more as a contemporary, digital version of the French Salons or the Greek Agora.