Capturing stories of resistance at a local level

The actors of 119 people per seat interact with the audience after a screening of the film at TISS on Saturday.

The actors of 119 people per seat interact with the audience after a screening of the film at TISS on Saturday.  


TISS students make five films on women changemakers of M East ward

“Where is Vikas? Wherever we look, we can only see Vinash,” says Anita Dhole in Zindabad, part of a series of five short documentary films made by students of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). The films were showcased as part of a film festival, Cut.In on Saturday.

Titled ‘Transforming Our Lives’, the series of films focus on women and their efforts in the M East Ward of Mumbai who have played a key role in transforming communities in the region through campaigns, movements and initiatives.

“We often don’t know about stories of resistance at a local level. The films are a way to capture these struggles against the precarious nature of the daily lives of people in this ward and the battles for basic human needs such as housing, water and sanitation,” dean of the School of Media and Cultural Studies, Professor Anjali Monteiro, said.

Zindabad, for instance, focuses on Ms. Dhole who has been at the forefront of seeking rehabilitation for the project-affected persons who have been shifted to houses in Mahul.

119 people per seat explores the issue of community toilets in the ward, which has only 6,700 toilet seats for a population of over eight lakh. “Until we fight with the government we don’t get anything,” says Ajuma Bi Shaikh, one of the protagonists of Chal Ga Heera, which looks at the communities residing at Patra Chawl, Transit Camp and Bheem Nagar, whose homes are routinely demolished.

Tabdeeli deals with the issue of domestic violence through the journey of two women, Kausar Parveen and Sadiqa Shaikh, who have been engaged in Baiganwadi.

A peek into women’s lives

Set in Rafiq Nagar in Govandi, Udaan gives the viewers a peek into the lives of the women of Kamal Mahila Bachat Gat, a self-help group which has been running an enterprise called Udaan.

Several of the protagonists of the film were part of Committee for Resource Organisation, which has been working with people at the grassroots level in M East Ward. The films will also contribute to GenUrb Mumbai, which is part of a seven-city global south project that looks at questions of transformation in the lives of low-income women in the context of globalisation.

The project is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and includes other cities such as Cairo, Ramallah, Shanghai.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 7:30:46 PM |

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