[Reader-list] [vikalp] Our response to police action against Jashn-e - Azadi

Yousuf ysaeed7 at yahoo.com
Wed Aug 8 22:51:40 IST 2007

Dear Shuddha
While internet does provide an alternative platform
for showing/watching what the moral police does not
allow us to show/watch, is it yet an alternative to a
real screening? The screening of documentary films
itself is a limited and elite practice, the
downloading of hi-def video (of large films) would be
an even more elusive thing for most people (in our
midst). Will it serve the purpose of the film. Will it
silence the Kashmiri pundits who are against the film?

The censor/govt. is not against an individual watching
a film, they are against the social practice of
watching a film. And if they want to, very soon
they'll control the Youtubes and the Vuzes too. I
don't know why, but I get a feeling that we are all
skirting the real issue here. We are continuously
defending our right to show/watch a film, and even
seeking technological solutions to beat the censors.
But no one is interested in a dialogue with the
section of people who have a problem with the film.
Why do we insist on watching the film only "amongst
ourselves", safe and secure from those who don't like
us. Isn't it like being high-tech ostriches.


--- Shuddhabrata Sengupta <shuddha at sarai.net> wrote:

> Dear all,
> This is in response to Saba, Shaina and Anjali and
> Jayshankar and 
> Jabeen's mail. I agree with Jabeen that the ALF
> comments should be 
> endorsed by Films for Freedom.
> I also agree with the need expressed by everyone
> else for creative ways 
> of circumventing interrupted and prevented
> screenings, and to queer the 
> whole debate about what a public can be understood
> as being.
> Shaina wrote:
> > I wonder what would have happened if there were no
> DVD's in question.
> > No hard drive either. just an internet connection
> (and a cached film) --
> > what would the cops do...?
> > we would need to know IT act and cyber laws better
> ...(maybe not) but im
> > willing to argue that its not a crime to make a
> presentation to an audience
> > pulling out some material from the internet.
> (where the film can legally
> > reside, away from national boundaries and
> identities)
> > 
> This is a very interesting thought and I think it is
> well worth a try.
> One excellent place to upload 'Jashn-e-Azaadi' or
> any such film in the 
> future which might face such difficulties is -
> Azureus and its web 
> platform - Vuze
> http://azureus.sourceforge.net/
> http://www.vuze.com
> http://www.vuze.com/content/FeaturedContent.html
> Think of this as the 'Youtube' of full length, high
> quality, feature 
> films, experimental films and documentaries and
> other video entitities.
> Vuze has an excellent 'Documentaries' selection
> freely available for 
> download (see under 'Categories')
> All a filmmaker needs to do is to register (as you
> would in Flickr or 
> any such service) and upload their content over a
> high bandwidth 
> connection, with 'standard definition' or 'high
> definition' content
> (the site has excellent 'how tos') and you are on.
> Anyone can download 
> any film. I regularly download more than two hour
> long films from this 
> site and this is done easily and without problems
> (you have to download 
> the latest version of 'Vuze/Azureus' as your p2p
> client).
> Imagine, 'Jashn-e-Azaadi' or any such film -
> available on a good, 
> trustworthy space, safe and secure from censor
> boards and the Mumbai 
> Police or any self righteous busybodies, and
> hundreds, maybe thousands 
> of people hitting 'download' in Mumbai, or anywhere,
> and showing the 
> film to small groups of people off their computers
> and or laptops. There 
> could be small, mobile, 'guerrila' screenings if you
> like. Involve 
> students, volunteers, anyone. Announce screening
> days, spread the 
> message through mobiles and mailing lists, and your
> 'public' expands by 
> a factor of who knows what.
> And the public-private partnership of the censorious
> can sit and twiddle 
> their thumbs.
> It is possible. 14th and 15th August are coming,
> they are celebrated or 
> mourned (as you like) across the subcontinent as the
> day that the south 
> asian landmass embraced in different ways the
> albatross of the nation 
> state. Perhas this would be as good an occasion as
> any to celebrate a 
> different kind of sovereignty - a mobile republic(s)
> of moving images.
> What about a dispersed - upload-download-screening
> party of lots of 
> indedependent documentaries, with perhaps a special
> dispersed screening 
> of 'Jashn-e-Azaadi'
> That could be a real Jashn, and it's the kind of
> Azaadi I enjoy and endorse
> best
> Shuddha

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