Indian elections – holding space for reflections

Tuesday, June 4, 2024, Indian elections – holding space for reflections, from 17:00 to 19:00

Results of national parliamentary elections are being announced in India today. This is a crucial election for Indian “democracy” as democratic institutions stand heavily eroded, and the right-wing fascist party threatens to wipe out all space for opposition – political, social and ideological. On one hand, mainstream international and Indian media have been shamelessly announcing the win of the hate-mongerer and Hindu nationalist leader, and celebrating the boost this will give to financial markets. On the other hand, India’s civil society has worked tirelessly to expose the violence being inflicted on marginalised communities, the neo-colonial state policies looting India’s people, and tilt political discourse away from religious divide toward celebrating the many syncretic cultures of the region.

As the counting of votes ensues, other indias will hold space for the community to convene, pay respect to the work done by grassroots and diasporic groups, and reflect on the work still to be done to build progressive politics in India.

other indias
otherindias [at] riseup [dot] net
https://radar.squat.net/en/amsterdam/other-indias

other indias watch party: All Was Good + A Night of Knowing Nothing (screening & discussion)

Friday 26 January 2024, other indias watch party: All Was Good + A Night of Knowing Nothing (screening & discussion). Doors open at 18:00.

other indias curates an evening of films and dialogue on India’s Republic Day to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the 2019 student-led protest movement in India against the discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act. Two protest films will remember what was built, reflect on what was lost, and discuss new solidarities.

On December 12, 2019, India enacted the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), igniting nationwide and international student-led protests against the discriminatory legislation and its proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC). Critics condemn the CAA for religious bias, particularly in its exclusion of Muslims. Four years later, the act still remains in force, while many protestors face punitive criminal and legal charges. To commemorate the fourth anniversary of the movement, and offer an alternative to India’s official Republic Day “celebrations”, other indias curates a double-feature film screening capturing the essence of the CAA-NRC protests. Filmmaker Teresa A Braggs, director of “All Was Good,” will lead a discussion following the film. We will also contribute to the resistance by writing postcards to India’s political prisoners connected to the protests.

Join us for an evening of remembrance and reflection. Together, we watch to revisit the past and keep the spirit of solidarity alive—a collective effort to reflect, resist, and stand united.

Schedule: Doors open at 6 pm
6:30 – 7:50 pm: All Was Good (76 min)
7:50 – 8:30 pm: Q&A with Teresa A Braggs (other guests TBC)
8:30 – 8:50 pm: Snacks (samosas, chaat) + postcards
8:50 – 10:30 pm: A Night of Knowing Nothing (97 min)

About the films:

Sab Changa Si (All Was Good), India, 2022 / Teresa A. Braggs

In this debut, Teresa A Braggs draws us to the very centre of the student-led anti-CAA protests in Bangalore, India, to reveal a delightfully defiant and sensitive portrait of young people in search of a common language. With a raw and persistent gaze, the filmmaker intimately documents and critically reflects on the challenges of solidarity across identities. Made with a budget of less than 60 EUR, Sab Changa Si became the first Indian film to win the Peace Film Prize at the 72nd Berlinale. Teresa A Braggs, 24, was also the youngest filmmaker to win this award.

A Night of Knowing Nothing, France, India, 2021 / Payal Kapadia

L, a university student in India, writes letters to her estranged lover, while he is away. Through these letters, we get a glimpse into the drastic changes taking place around her. Merging reality with fiction, dreams, memories, fantasies and anxieties, an amorphous narrative unfolds. “A fever dream of impossible love tied to a broader reflection on contemporary India”. A Night of Knowing Nothing was selected for Director’s Fortnight at Cannes 2021, where it won the Golden Eye Prize for Best Documentary.
Trailer: https://vimeo.com/687092162

other indias
otherindias [at] riseup [dot] net
https://radar.squat.net/en/amsterdam/other-indias

Benefit Voku: other indias

Monday 14 august 2023, Benefit Voku: other indias. Food served from 7pm, no reservation.

Join us on 14th August to mark 76 years of independence in India and Pakistan, and the one-year anniversary of other indias.

We will cook our favourite street food: Pav Bhaji. We will also host a reading session led by artist Rajyashri Goody, followed by songs of resistance.

Funds raised will go toward helping other indias continue to organise more interesting events.

other indias is a socio-political and cultural collective in the making for movements, experiences and voices that are generous to the cause of collective liberation in/of the Indian sub-continent* and its people. We are a small group of volunteers based in the Netherlands working to find ways to care for each other better; despite our differences, because of our differences.

Volkseten Vegazulu is a people’s kitchens existing since the very beginning of Joe’s Garage, June 2005. Your donations are welcome. Food is vegan, no reservation. All benefits go to social & political struggles. Joe’s Garage is a space run by volunteers. Without a collective effort, without your active participation, we’re remaining closed. Get in touch in you feel like giving a hand. We’re always looking for cooks. Any help is welcome in the kitchen. Experience not required. If you want to know which days are still available, mail us.

Freedom of Press & Nationalism in India: Discussion & Movie night: Gauri (documentary by Kavitha Lankesh)

Sunday 25 june 2023, Freedom of Press & Nationalism in India: Discussion & Movie night: Gauri (documentary by Kavitha Lankesh, 70 min). Doors open at 18:45. Online discussion with film director from 7pm. Film starts at 8pm.

There were more than 200 reported attacks on journalists in India in the last 5 years, and 30 journalists murdered in the last decade. India’s rank on the Global Press Freedom Index 2023 is an abysmal 161 out of 180 countries. Attacks on dissenters and journalists are unfortunately neither new, nor limited to India. But the intensity of attacks in the last decade is something to be concerned about.

On 5th September 2017, a prominent journalist and activist from India, Gauri Lankesh, was murdered, sending shock waves across the country and the rest of the world. “Gauri” is a documentary that juxtaposes the arc of her life with the rise of Hindu nationalism in India, and their confrontations. Directed by Kavitha Lankesh, her sister and International award winning director, “Gauri” won the “Best Long Documentary Award” at the South Asian Film Festival of Montreal, 2023.

The citation of the award reads “A brave and uncompromising pulse-taking of the current crisis in Indian politics, focusing on the 2017 political assassination of trailblazing Bengaluru journalist Gauri Lankesh. A “J’accuse” docu-thriller directed and narrated with verve by Gauri’s sister, Kavitha Lankesh”.

Kavitha will join us online for an interactive session prior to the screening at 7pm. Film starts at 8pm.

Screening hosted by other indias – a space for discussion, reflection and (cultural, political) action relating to contemporary India. other indias is working towards building and sustaining a community in the Netherlands which reflects the plurality and complexity of India, which respects differences and upholds a coalitional approach to overcoming inequalities.

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Free entrance. You want to screen a movie, let us know: joe [at] lists [dot] squat [dot] net

Benefit VoKu for fire victims in Mumbai’s “squatted” settlements

Monday 24 April 2023, Benefit VoKu for fire victims in Mumbai’s “squatted” settlements. Food served from 7pm, no reservation.

On 13th March, a fire broke out in one of Mumbai’s informal settlements called Appapada. Ground reports from activists state that 2000 families, or 10,000 people have lost their homes. Appapada, located amidst a forest, is home to the most socially marginalised communities of the city, including indigenous forest dwellers and other minorities. They have been struggling for their housing rights for decades, and faced several rounds of violent evictions from the state. This month, the poor living conditions in the settlements have once again been highlighted. Houses made of plastic sheets and scrap wood easily catch fire. Join us to raise money for replacing basic supplies of fire victims such as kitchenware, roof sheets, mats, clothes, sanitary napkins, and school books for children. All proceeds will go to Muse Foundation, a local youth group working directly with fire victims.

Food: Indian, vegan

Volkseten Vegazulu is a people’s kitchens existing since the very beginning of Joe’s Garage, June 2005. Your donations are welcome. Food is vegan, no reservation. All benefits go to social & political struggles. Joe’s Garage is a space run by volunteers. Without a collective effort, without your active participation, we’re remaining closed. Get in touch in you feel like giving a hand. We’re always looking for cooks. Any help is welcome in the kitchen. Experience not required. If you want to know which days are still available, mail us.

Movie night: Fight with Care (Bhargay & Ourratul Ain, 2023)

Sunday 19 March 2023, Other indias Watch Party #3. Movie night: Fight with Care (Bhargay & Ourratul Ain, 2023). Documentary film (30 mins) + discussion. This film is in Tamil with English subtitles. Doors open at 8:00 pm, film and presentation start at 8:30 pm. Films followed by discussion with one of the film maker.

Fight with Care brings unheard voices of fisherwomen from the coast of South India, who maintain their delicate ecosystems through everyday acts of care. As expanding ports and industries threaten wetland environments along the coasts of India, artisanal fishing communities are organising protests to bring attention to these ecologies, critical for climate change adaptation and local livelihoods. This film presents the anti-port actions of indigenous fisherwomen, raising their voices against one of the richest men in the world – Adani.

This watch party will be hosted by other indias – a space for discussion, reflection and (cultural, political) action relating to contemporary India. The watch parties constitute our monthly activities that are geared towards building and sustaining a community in the Netherlands which reflects the plurality and complexity of India, which respects differences and upholds a coalitional approach to overcoming inequalities.

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Free entrance. You want to screen a movie, let us know: joe [at] lists [dot] squat [dot] net

Movie night: Politics in India – Environment, Gender, Human rights

Sunday 2nd October 2022, Movie night: Politics in India – Environment, Gender, Human rights. Movies with English subtitles. Doors open at 8:00 pm, film starts at 8:30 pm. Films followed by discussion with film-makers.

Two short documentary films about people’s movements for environment and social justice in India.
‘Izzat ka Pani’ is a story about Abrar Salmani, a resident of an informal settlement in Mumbai. Salmani struggled for 10 years to access the city’s water network and secure his basic human right to water. His story illuminates a politics of discrimination that pushes people into a mindset of slavery to maintain power hierarchies. Salmani joined a citizen collective to dismantle the unjust laws denying him water.
The second film sits at the intersection of gender and environmental justice. How can we view nature through a lens of bounty and interconnection, instead of only seeing opportunity to extract resources? Women from India’s indigenous fishing communities ask such questions to protect the ecosystems on which their lives depend, while fighting against patriarchy at home and corporate power outside it.

Picture credit: Zenith Photographers, Chennai

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Free entrance. You want to screen a movie, let us know: joe [at] lists [dot] squat [dot] net

Lipstick Under My Burkha (Alankrita Shrivastava, 2016)

Sunday April 7th 2019, Lipstick Under My Burkha by Alankrita Shrivastava, 2016, 117 minutes. Hindi with English subtitles. Doors open at 20.00, intro and film at 20.30.

An indian black comedy by Alankrita Shrivastava about four small-town Indian women their secret world – their acts of rebellion and their sex lives – and their trying to break free from the conservative society they live in. As a result, the Indian film certification initially banned the film as being too “lady-oriented”

“In a culture where female actors do ‘item songs’ – in which they dance among crowds of ogling men and the camera mindlessly moves up and down their bodies – a small, independent, spirited films like Lipstick Under My Burkha threatens to challenge the status quo.” – Alankrita Shrivastava

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Free entrance. You want to play a movie, let us know: joe [at] squat [dot] net