Examining Vietnam’s Modernity Through the Lens of South Asian Independent Documentaries

The idea for Moving Reels: A Social Dialog formed in 2016 as the result of a dialogue between Dr. Shweta Kishore, a scholar, documentary filmmaker, film and media lecturer at RMIT University, and Zoe Butt, a director and curator at The Factory Contemporary Arts Center. The program is a series of workshops that includes screenings of films made in a different geographical context, followed by a discussion. The first phase of the program looks at the social, cultural and political linkage between South Asia and Vietnam.

“The program is really about creating, showing some stimulus materials and then being able to draw trends and see how they operate in the Vietnamese context and then creating discussion. We look at the world not just from a nationalistic way but in a bigger way connected through forces of history, connected through global flows, culture, and capital,” Shweta tells Saigoneer.

The first Moving Reels workshop occurred in July 2018, which screened the 2017 independent documentary film Nostalgia for the Future directed by Avijit Mukul Kishore and Rohan Shivkumar. The film is a collaboration between two people from two different disciplines — Avijit is a filmmaker and cinematographer and Shivkumar is an architect. Nostalgia for the Future looks at modernity and nationhood in India through the lens of architecture. The discussion that followed was facilitated by Shweta and Mel Schenck, a historian and architect in Vietnam.

The second workshop was conducted three months later and screened the 2015 documentary Cities of Sleep, which explores homelessness and poverty through the economics and politics of sleep in Delhi, followed by a discussion with Vietnamese architect and researcher Hoanh Tran. The film was directed by filmmaker and scholar Shaunak Sen.


Read the complete article on Saigoneer.

ArtsEquator Radar features articles and posts drawn from local and regional websites and publications – aggregated content from outside sources, so we are exposed to a multitude of voices in the region.

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