Thompson Hall 317, University of Washington, Seattle – Tuesday, October 18th – 2:00 – 4:00 PM

Panel: Censorship of Film and Art in South Asia

Despite constitutional guarantees, freedom of speech and press has long been under attack in South Asia. Examples range from banning or indicting films for their political, sexual, or cultural content (The Final Solution, Fire, Udta Punjab in India), charging artists with sedition or immorality (Assem Trivedi, M. F. Hussain in India), socially sanctioning writers for realism (Perumal Murigan in India), and murdering singers for blasphemy or honor (Amjad Sabri, Quandil Baloch in Pakistan), bloggers and public intellectuals for promoting secularism (Oyasiqur Rehman, Sabina Mahmud, M M Kalburgi in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India), or journalists for telling the truth (Syed Saleem Shahzad in Pakistan). Through the use of historical, archival and filmic material, a panel of scholars and filmmakers will interrogate the rise of cultural and intellectual intolerance in South Asia by looking at the role played both by state and non-state actors in controlling and erasing ideas, creativity, and human lives.

Moderated by Dr. Alka Kurian

Alka Kurian is a Lecturer at the University of Washington Bothell. She teaches film studies, literature, human rights, and women’s studies. Her single author book Narratives of Gendered Dissent in South Asian Cinemas was published by Routledge in 2014. She is currently working on a co-edited book with Sonora Jha entitled New Feminisms in South Asia: Disrupting the Discourse Through Social Media, Film and Literature.  She has volunteered for Tasveer since 2006 as co-director of Seattle South Asian Film Festival.

Panelist info: Visiting Filmmakers from South Asia and local filmmakers who filmed in South Asia. Guests to be determined.