SAI Anniversary Program
Exhibition: at a tent near you
As final event to celebrate its 50th anniversary, the South Asia Institute (SAI) will exhibit the
World Press Photos of Amit Madeshiya in January 2013.The SAI and the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context”, in collaboration with the Deutsch-Indische Gesellschaft (German Indian Society)
invite you to share and celebrate a story of the traveling cinemas in India.
at a tent near you
A multisite exhibition by Amit Madeshiya and Shirley Abraham
The exhibition will be officially opened on 16 January 2013 at 6pm, in the Foyer of the South Asia Institute. There will be a reception at the cafeteria.
For the opening we will screen a short film narrative from the traveling tent cinemas, which is followed by a discussion with Amit Madheshiya and Shirley Abraham.
A brochure on the cinema project can be picked up from the foyers of the SAI (Im Neuenheimer Feld 330) and the Karl Jaspers Centre (Voßstrasse 2, Bergheim).
About the exhibition
In 1944, Varkutkar Vakeel Dahiwadikar bought a second hand Bauer B5 projector, of German make, from a Parsi businessman selling it on the back roads of Roxy theatre in Bombay.
This momentous transfer of technology set off the creation of touring talkies companies in rural Maharashtra. Organised around a western import, the traveling cinemas soon shaped into a crucible of transcultural imagination, evolving around the axes of a new localised viewing context, a spatial imagination, a social engagement, collective exchange, a cultural possibility for their patrons in Maharashtra.
Today, about seven decades after inception, these cinema companies continue to accompany the religious fairs, visiting patrons in villages in Maharashtra. Amit Madheshiya and Shirley Abraham locate, narrate and reimagine this story through their research and artistic interventions. As we commemorate the illustrious 100 year journey of India’s feature films, and the end of the 50 year jubilee of the South Asia Institute Heidelberg, another historic encounter finds place in this story- of bringing back vignettes from this transcultural encounter through a series of public presentations in Germany, one of the sites where the cultural flows were set into motion.