खोई खदान (Khoi Khadan)
Through the example of Navi Mumbai, the film shows how some recently planned centres play out various forms of segregation, through the lens of labour and their geography.
Within the city’s social arrangement, the service sector reside in planned nodes; while the survival sector, powered by housemaids, auto drivers, shop owners and material labourers emerge from Goathans (local villages) or areas akin to informal settlements at the edges of a city.This act of planning has led to sections of people who are now unable to access certain geographies within their city by varied acts of evictions.
The film attempts to understand newly planned cities and how the older forms of socio-economic structures of segregation have found new manifestations here.
A Reluctant Exile
Set around the lives and struggles of the Baura (Singhraha) people of Jabalpur, Madhya Paradesh, the film navigates the relationship between communities (Singhara and Muslim), development, governance and natural evolution.
Marred by wrongful planning to serve the vested interests of landowners, the city’s once 52 lakes have been filled to create more land. This price was paid by the communities that depended upon the lakes for their livelihood namely, the fishermen and water chestnut farmers. Concretisation meant that chestnut farming could no longer take place, followed by aggravated pisciculture that no longer offered a sustainable means for livelihood.
Jal Thal Mal is about a city and the people it left behind on its course of development.
The Golden Fish
In 1999, Goa saw the emergence of its first legally sanctioned casino. Over the last two decades, casinos have grown in number and powered Goan tourism, making up for the state’s acute monetary deficit from the ban on mining. However, a law from February 2020 bans local residents from entering these casinos.
The Golden Fish explores the intersection between local communities and the introduction of new industries within a city. Who are, or should, be considered as stakeholders of growth and opportunity in a city? The film also introspects upon the close relationship between livelihood and migration in a city and its consequent impact on the local community not only in terms of shared/lost livelihood, but in the cultural shifts that it brings.
Once banded as a ‘Criminal Tribe’ during the British Raj, the Chhara community still face the stigma associated with the name. The community used to make liquor for the British, but the community’s dependency on liquor production for subsistence persisted well past the Indian independence.
Located in the dry state of Gujarat, Darudi offers a glimpse at a community that has become dependent on the production of liquor to subsist. This has come with a social stigma they have not been able to separate themselves from. Here, houses are still marked with white play cards that say “I am a Chhara and I am not a criminal”. The film follows the life and livelihood of a community and their evolving relationship with the production and trade of alcohol.
Ye Waqt Hamara Hai
Ye Waqt Hamara Hai is about intersections of spatial and cultural identities and its impact on the livelihood opportunities of Muslim youth living in Govandi, an eastern suburb of Mumbai. Told through the eyes of Moeen Khan, a young rapper and resident of the area, the film explores the challenges, struggles and triumphs that he and his friends face while trying to rise above their circumstances.
The film looks at how the Muslim youth of Natwar Parekh Colony,a resettlement colony in Govandi, negotiate within their homes, where cultural norms and financial limitations dictate their aspirations. It explores how their spatial and cultural identity affects their access to opportunity for education and work, and what their future looks like.
Every meal matters
In recent times, the urban landscape and economy have seen tremendous growth in the food delivery sector in India. This sector has witnessed the emergence of multiple players, Swiggy, Uber Eats, and Zomato being the key players.
While these platforms have opened new opportunities in the labor market and expanded, the delivery ‘partners’ associated with them are witnessing challenges in terms of their employment status and their relationship with the platforms. While Zomato recently got an IPO listing worth $12 billion, the backbone of their business model – these “gig workers” continue to struggle with their daily wages and survival. The film looks at the lives of these delivery ‘partners’ and the challenges faced by this rising on-demand urban workforce.
Tailor-Made City is about stories of survival in the city. The film attempts to understand how these stories emerge and submerge in the city. It is a view of the city from the perspective of tailors who conduct their trade in public spaces. The tailors adapt to the spaces of the city and plug-in to the changing opportunities offered.
Tailors have been omnipresent, whether it’s on streets, street corners pushed up against footpaths meant for people to move, inside cramped space in an older part of the city or on a mobile shop fitted on a vehicle.
The culture of jugaad or creative improvisation that is embedded in everyday livelihoods, underpins the individual stories. The film looks at an economy based on informality, trust, and a meager resource setup in a bustling metropolis.
An Ordinary Day
In India’s “Cast-off Capital” of Panipat, a textile town 90 kms north of New Delhi, nearly a million kilograms of discarded clothes from around the world are recycled every day. The city, with its five hundred industrial units, is home to about half a million migrant workers. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, most of these industries were brought to a standstill.
An Ordinary Day flows in and out through the vast industrial estate on Panipat, through the textile factories and the makeshift tin-shed houses nearby, recording daily routines of the workers. The film documents the trials and tribulations between an industry under the pressure of a pandemic and the instability to has brought to its workers who have been most adversely affected.
Post-disaster mismanagement by a state often means that when there is displacement caused by land erosion it often leads to the issue of migration, unemployment, labour crisis, loss of culture and skills and mental health and more. Current government rehabilitation programs often distance residents from their traditional lands and modes of occupation, disjointing them from their past traditions and cultural ancestry.
The film tells the story of Podampeta, a village situated in the coastal district of Ganjam, Odisha. It once consisted of a migrant marine fishermen community which has since been abandoned due to sea rise and land erosion. The film follows the residents of this now-abandoned village as their ambitions and ideas of livelihood have since changed.