About the Event
Filmmaker Jyoti Nisha, through an Ambedkarite Bahujan feminist lens, explores the history of caste inequality in India, reframes questions of representation, social justice and upper caste ways of looking at the marginalized of India, earlier called as the Untouchables, both in real and reel life.
Language: English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Gujarati with English Subtitles
Duration: 111 minutes, followed by Q&A with the filmmaker
Dr. B. R Ambedkar: Now & Then is a feature length documentary film that explores deep questions of human condition. Questions of liberty, equality, fraternity, social justice, exclusion and marginalized representation through, Jyoti Nisha, a Bahujan feminist filmmaker’s gaze in an upper caste Indian film industry. The film aspires to translate the praxis of Ambedkarite politics to image making and representation of marginalized subjects’ culture, history, politics in popular cinema and media.
Driven by Dr. Ambedkar’s philosophy epistemologically, the film symbolically and politically documents the representation and assertion of Bahujan people in the contemporary era. Questioning the institution of caste in India, this film is a commentary on religion, revolution, politics, and the freedom of speech.
About the Artist
Jyoti Nisha is a multi disciplinary professional – an academic, writer, screenwriter, filmmaker and a producer with a focus on cinema, gaze, caste, gender and mass media. She theorized a political theory, Bahujan Spectatorship that opposes the popular culture’s casteist male gaze and stereotypical representation of the marginalised, earlier called as untouchables, on the silver screen and explores the consumption and spectatorship of popular cinema’s representation of caste, gender, and sexuality by the marginalized of India.
Her second theory, The Oppositional Bahujan Agency replaces the Brahmanical aesthetics of Natyashastra with Ambedkar’s historical methods as an epistemology to locate a non-Brahmin experience in order to explore the representation of caste, gender, and marginalized communities in Indian cinema.
It is an inverted methodology of creating a unique oppositional socio-political Bahujan aesthetics in Indian cinema embedded in Bahujan lived experience, culture, history, movements, and ideology via Bahujan film makers. Produced by Dharmatic Entertainment and streaming on Netflix, she also worked as a Director’s Assistant to Neeraj Ghaywan on his short, Geeli Pucchi (part of Ajeeb Daastaans anthology), which received rave reviews. She studied journalism from IIMC, Delhi, screenwriting from FTII, Pune & and Media and Cultural Studies from TISS, Mumbai. She wrote for many national and international publications and worked as a full time Producing faculty with a film school for a year and half. ‘Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: Now & Then,’ is her debut feature length documentary film, which she has directed, produced, crowdfunded and are co producing with Pa Ranjith’s Neelam Productions.