John–Ghatak–Tarkovsky | Book Launch & Discussion| Wednesday, 29 March 2023

Book Launch & Discussion: John–Ghatak–Tarkovsky: Citizens, Filmmakers, Hackers by Ashish Rajadhyaksha, published by        SSAF–Tulika Books.

On Wednesday, 29 March 2023, 6 pm onwards, at Seminar Halls 1, 2 & 3, Kamaladevi Complex, India International Centre, New Delhi (preceded by tea at 5.30 pm)

In June 2015, students of the Film and Television Institute of India went on a strike. It was initially meant to be no more than symbolic resistance to what they saw as discredited political appointees to its Governing Council. Over the months, as the strike expanded to eventually take on a life of its own, a student body of less than three hundred took on the might of India’s ruling establishment.

John–Ghatak–Tarkovsky: Citizens, Filmmakers, Hackers tells a longer story of the events of 2015. This is a story of the university campus, and of the academic and creative freedoms associated with it that continue, even now, to be under threat. It speaks of the technologies of digitization that altered governance, redefined the public domain, transformed citizenship through new modes of surveillance alongside a ‘targeted’ delivery of services to ‘beneficiaries’. The book speaks of the transfiguration of the filmmaker into an increasingly invisible hacker, of cinema turning into low-resolution moving images, and of how all of this redefined student protest.

Ashish Rajadhyaksha is a film historian. He has written extensively on the cinema, including the Encyclopaedia of Indian Cinema (with Paul Willemen) (1994/1999), Indian Cinema in the Time of Celluloid: From Bollywood to the Emergency (2009) and The Last Cultural Mile: An Inquiry into Technology and Governance in India (2011). 

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