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Skin is foremost in gathering, processing and assimilating knowledge for the body. All forms and acts of prejudice and discrimination arising from biases of skin – are events of violence that deconstruct the body and the processes of knowledge making that discontinues learning, evolution and growth.
In India we as a society conflate prejudices and discrimination concerning skin, colour, race and caste – despite denial from the state on various platforms. Through this film we engage in dialogue with the “African” diaspora here in India, as well as diverse individuals from various backgrounds, to understand what constructs – the images, thoughts and ideas. We seek to bring under the lens – ‘blackness’ in ‘brown’ spaces.
In doing so, we scrutinise the construct of beauty and its practices in Indian society and dissemination through various media. While we highlight the socio-cultural aspects of ‘race theory’ we examine its construct and further in relation to the constructed ‘biological body’. We discuss with dermatologists how the body, skin and its colour emerge through epidemiology, ecology, environment and climate. We meet genetic scientists who share their knowledge through anthropological surveys of the ‘Siddhi’ community. They discuss their findings about the origins of man, dispelling race myths and proposing a probable history that dates back to 60,000 years. We further trace the sharing and intermingling of culture, arts and music between the African continent and the Indian subcontinent since 4C BCE (recorded history). Our intent is to ‘screen’ learnings from interactions between the different and divergent cultures that emerge.
Anoushka Mathews is a video producer and her training is in script writing from the Film and Television Institute, Pune.
Wenceslaus Mendes is also a film-maker: cinematographer, editor by profession; practicing and working with multimedia and mediums.
Social Impact Film and Art Festival (SIFA), Montreal, Canada – June 2022
The film screened on National Television (DD – 1) in India as part of Public Services Broadcast Trust’s mandate in 2019.
It was screened and peer reviewed and the ‘One School New York’ in 2019
Apart from that the film has been invited to various universities, colleges and art institutions for screenings and discussions across the world.
Silver Prize for the Best Documentary of the Echo BRICS Film Festival, Moscow – February 2020
Arica Nativa Rural Film Festival, Arica, Chile – November 2020
BEST FILM-HUMAN RIGHTS, Africa Film For Impact Festival, Abuja, Nigeria – November 2020
Kolkata People’s Film Festival (KPFF) – January 2020
Aks International Minorities Festival, Film – Art – Dialogue, Karachi and Denmark – 2019
Open Frame Film Festival, New Delhi – September 2019
Doordarshan National (DD I), INDIA – July 2019
Realtime International Film Festival, Lagos, Nigeria – June 2019
Wenceslaus Mendesis a film-maker with over 20 years of industry experience and currently residing in Bengaluru. He works in Advertising, Broadcast Television and Digital-Web, independently producing award winning content. He is a cinematographer, editor by profession; practicing and working with multimedia and mediums. He also collaborates and works with video and technology in theatre and performance as well as, constructing conceptual and installation art projects that have travelled globally.
Vikhar Ahmed Sayeed
Vikhar Ahmed Sayeed is a journalist with Frontline, a fortnightly news magazine published in India. He has an eclectic reporting portfolio and writes long-form stories on a variety of themes.
Vikhar has degrees in history from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, and the University of Oxford. He is currently based in Bangalore. He writes regularly about class, caste, gender and religion and travels to rural areas to unearth powerful stories about ignored communities. Vikhar has also reported extensively on communal issues in Karnataka.