Heriot Watt University

South Asian Film Event

The IRC's Ashvin I Devasundaram, in collaboration with University of Edinburgh film scholar Piyush Roy, organised a series of events related to South Asian cinema as part of the University of Edinburgh's Innovative Learning Week, 17-21 February 2014. This was a week-long programme of over 180 exciting and creative events, giving students the chance to explore new subjects of interest, gain employability skills and make valuable connections.

As part of the focus on South Asian cinema, the two organisers screened non-mainstream films under the theme 'Portraying the Periphery': Minority Representations in Majority Cinemas, using critically acclaimed South Asian films as a tool for social analysis and anthropological commentary. A series of film-led discussion workshops, spread over weekday afternoons, was open to and well attended by Edinburgh's general public. The emphasis was on onscreen representations of sexual, religious, ethnic and political minorities in the cinemas of South Asia.

The big event was a 3-hour multimedia workshop, covering 80 years of Indian film music and dance. Piyush Roy elaborated on the nuances of
Bollywood music and dance. Ashvin I Devasundaram's section of the workshops investigated the emergence of new independent Indian cinema and its amalgamation of various global music genres – from rap and electronica to heavy metal. He demonstrated these transforming soundscapes in new Indian cinema with a live guitar performance. The grand finale was a live sitar and tabla lecture-demonstration by Birmingham-based Puneet Jaiwansh.

Feedback about the event can be found on the Innovative Learning Week website.

The organisers have also made some photos available.

 

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Research Interests: communication, language, performance, popular culture, sign language
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