School of Media and Cultural Studies

Culture Café

Category: News


School of Media and Cultural Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences
cordially invites you to Documentary Film in India: An Anthropological History
A talk by Giulia Battaglia based on her recent book 4.30 pm, Wednesday, January 31| Classroom 4, Main Campus, TISS (opposite Deonar Bus Depot)


Giulia Battaglia is a researcher in anthropology of visual/art/media practices specialised in documentary film in India. Her work is interdisciplinary and draws from a range of academic fields, including visual/media anthropology, documentary studies, visual and material cultures, art and anthropology, Indian cinema, cultural studies and film history. After receiving a PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, she has worked as a lecturer and researcher in various departments of anthropology, media, arts and social science as well as in cultural institutions in England and in France. At present, she lives and works in Paris in the field of anthropology, arts and media, being part of the laboratoire de recherche IRMECCEN, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris 3) and the laboratoire de recherche LAIOS/IIAC, at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS).

About the book: Documentary Film in India: An Anthropological History (Routledge, 2018) maps a hundred years of documentary film practices in India. It demonstrates that in order to study the development of a film practice, it is necessary to go beyond the classic analysis of films and filmmakers and focus on the discourses created around and about the practice in question. The book navigates different historical moments of the growth of documentary filmmaking in India from the colonial period to the present day. In the process, it touches upon questions concerning practices and discourses about colonial films, postcolonial institutions, independent films, filmmakers and filmmaking, the influence of feminism and the articulation of concepts of performance and performativity in various films practices. It also reflects on the centrality of technological change in different historical moments and that of film festivals and film screenings across time and space.