RACE, SEXUALITY AND CENSORSHIP:
film, art and activism in india and beyond
South Asia Center, University of Washington Seattle
11:00 – 1:00: Film Screening: “Cry Out Loud” Thompson 317
At a time when race relations in the US are at an all time low, how do we make sense of this atmosphere of suspicion, hostility, and fear? What are the parallels between racism in the US and communalism in India that discriminate against Black and Brown people? Might we be complicit in perpetuating these biases? Is the situation irredeemable?
Through the screening of the film “Cry Out Loud”, a powerful examination of the deeply ambivalent relationship between Indians and African migrants living in India, we attempt to seek ways to answer the above questions by imagining a positive change through multi-racial organizing and building bridges across communities of color, breaking down racial hierarchies, challenging the model minority myth, and collaborating with protest movements such as Black Lives Matter, Dream Defenders, A Million Hoodies.
Scholars, filmmakers, and members of the Seattle South Asians for Black Lives will lead the discussions.
Panel: Radhika Govindarajan (moderator), Aretha Basu, S. Charusheela
2:00 – 4:00: Panel: Censorship in Film and Art in South Asia Thompson 317
Despite constitutional guarantees, freedom of speech and press has long been under attack in South Asia. Examples range from banning or indicting films for their political, sexual, or cultural content (The Final Solution, Fire, Udta Punjab in India), charging artists with sedition or immorality (Assem Trivedi, M. F. Hussain in India), socially sanctioning writers for realism (Perumal Murigan in India), and murdering singers for blasphemy or honor (Amjad Sabri, Quandil Baloch in Pakistan), bloggers and public intellectuals for promoting secularism (Oyasiqur Rehman, Sabina Mahmud, M M Kalburgi in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India), or journalists for telling the truth (Syed Saleem Shahzad in Pakistan). Through the use of historical, archival and filmic material, a panel of scholars and filmmakers will interrogate the rise of cultural and intellectual intolerance in South Asia by looking at the role played both by state and non-state actors in controlling and erasing ideas, creativity, and human lives.
Panel: Keith Snodgrass (Moderator), Alka Kurian, Shailaja Padindala, Mostofa Farooki, Shaunak, Sen, Andy Schocken, Varun Tandon
PART TWO: LGBT PROGRAMScreening of film “My Child is Gay and I Am Happy” Screening of film “Dancing Queens: It’s All About Family” Paper Presentation by Lyle Pearson: “India's Queer Cinema: Not Many Sinners” Abstract: Despite a rich tradition of queer mythology in India, Henry the VIII's anti-buggery law took effect as part of British imperialism in 1860. Presently, most depictions of homosexuality in Indian film endeavor to overturn this law, known as Section 377, rather that to perpetuate it.
4:30 – 6:30 Thompson 101
Panel: Chandan (Moderator), Lyle Pearson, Trikone Northwest
PART THREE: Thompson 101
7:00 Film Screening: “Oggatonama” (The Unnamed)
Many Bangladeshi laborers are exported to the Middle East, the Far East, Europe and North America. Many are subject to identity theft and worse abuses, sometimes resulting in death. Their remittances to Bangladesh are low. This film looks at the challenges faced by this population.
Post-film Q&A moderator: Tamina Watson