Madhusree Dutta

Madhusree is a filmmaker, art producer and curator based in Mumbai. Her films; broadly engaging with identity, urbanity and moving people are...

Cinema City: A Lens on Mumbai

If a city that produces steel is called a Steel City, then if the key industry of your city has become cinema, does it make your city a Cinema City? Can art be industrial? And does that make us all Cinema Citizens?

While Bombay's industrial history is one of shipbuilding and textile mills, today the city boasts of no such particular industry. Today's Mumbai can claim only the film industry - and the ubiquitous presence of Bollywood is certainly felt by us all. While we may think the impact of this is only felt inside the movie theatre, the reality is that it impacts physical environments of the city and the tangible and intangible experiences available to us in the city. As the film 'industry' changes, and the old single cinemas disappear, and mega-films take over all visibility, and the content of the films itself shifts, our access changes, our imaginations get gripped differently, our worlds shift. This impact is probably felt in Cinema City like in no other city.

We are delighted to invite Madhushree Dutta - accidental filmmaker and cultural activist - to Mumbai Local. Accidental filmmaker, as she may never have made a film if the 1992 riots had not happened. Her first film was I Live in Behrampada (on the Bombay riots, 1992-93) and the last one was 7 Islands and a Metro (on Bombay in 2007). She curated Project Cinema City after these films, enquiring along with her colleagues into the relationship between the city and its cinema. At this Mumbai Local, we will get to pose fascinating and critical questions of our lives here: How does the overwhelming presence of the cinema industry impact gender, impact ghettoisation, impact language cultures? How does it impact the way we imagine our first cigarette, our first love, our first kiss? How do we sharpen our perception of popular history and ongoing change?

Look forward to an evening where your familiar city becomes new, where the layers you recognise every day get pulled aside to reveal other layers and textures that deepen your Mumbai experience.

We hope to see you on the 19th of January. And as always, a request - please send this email on to at least 5 of your friends who would be interested. Help us share these experiences!

@ MCubed Library, Bandra (W) - 1st Sat, 5 pm
@ Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Byculla (E) - 2nd Sun, 5 pm
@ Kitab Khana, Fort - 3rd Fri, 5:30 pm

Madhusree is a filmmaker, art producer and curator based in Mumbai. Her films; broadly engaging with identity, urbanity and moving people are extensively screened all over the world and are taught as texts in university departments and research centres. Madhusree has received three National Awards, Filmfare Award and several international awards for her films. She has relinquished her national awards in 2015 in protest against state sponsored cultural intolerance.

Madhusree's curatorial works include Expression, the first women's arts festival in the country in 1990. Majlis, a Centre for Multi-disciplinary Arts Initiative in Mumbai, had emerged out of this festival. Some of her other curatorial works are Culture@World Social Forum in 2004 in Mumbai, 2005 in Porte Alegre, Brazil, and 2007 in Nairobi; Import Export: Cultural Transfer between India and German Speaking Europe - a European Union project in 2005 and Project Cinema City: Research Art and Documentary Practices - a disciplinary interface between cinema, visual arts, architecture and urban planning, 2008-2014. The project engages around 100 artists of different registers.

Madhusree's publications include The Nation, the State and Indian Identity, (co-editor) 1996; Sites and Practices: an Exercise in Cultural Pedagogy, (co-editor) 2006; dates.sites: Bombay/Mumbai, 2012, a narrativised timeline of the cinema city Bombay / Mumbai; and Project Cinema City, 2013, an anthology on the city and its cinema (co-edited).

She will be the artistic director of Academy of the Arts of the World in Cologne, Germany from March 2018.

Venues Dates Time
12-100 yrs
1 hr , 30 min
Entry free, on a first-come-first basis. Pre-register now to save your seat.