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The permanency of film festivals: Archiving the changing India

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Time and space are two dimensions that define a film festival in relation to duration, cultural, social, urban and political relations to the event. While the notion of space is well documented by the literature on film festivals, the idea of time is merely connected to the length of the event, mostly defined as volatile in nature. The overall aim of this article is to present an understanding of film festivals as multifaceted sociocultural and historical events beyond the idea of volatility that is naturally conferred to them. The idea of diverse intersecting temporalities is explored in this article by observing curated units of a festival ‐ commemorative events ‐ as loci to uncover the distinctive connotations of a changing nation. Time in film festival is discussed here not only as a dimension defining the length of the event, but also as an active element able to present history, moments of remembrance and renegotiate and contextualize current political and social instances. Hence, it is argued that festivals can be considered within the broad debate of archive a counter-archive, in which history and documents (the films) become channels to reassess the everyday social life of India, and shape a renovated image of the nation.
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Keywords: commemorative events; counter-archival festivals; curatorship; film festivals in India; state of exception; temporalities

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2019

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  • Studies in South Asian Film and Media (SAFM) is the most promising new journal in the field. This peer-reviewed publication is committed to looking at the media and cinemas of the Indian subcontinent in their social, political, economic, historical, and increasingly globalized and diasporic contexts. The journal will evaluate these topics in relation to class, caste, gender, race, sexuality, and ideology.
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