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Works in Progress | Artists Talks as a part of Coriolis Effect: Migration & Memory Residency

Organising this event within the frames of its project Coriolis Effect: Migration and Memory, KHOJ invited three visual practitioners Nikhil Roshan, Wency Mendes and Anoushka Matthews, to present methodologies and frameworks, as employed in their ongoing documentary practices. These projects represented a diverse spectrum of interests and viewpoints with respect to the themes of identity, migration and cultural cross-over. Works in Progress invited the speakers to unpack processes and reflect upon key learnings, as developed through an extended engagement with questions of ‘belonging’ with regard to disenfranchised communities in India. The evening was moderated by Persis Taraporevala, writer–in–residence for the Coriolis Effect project.

Nikhil Roshan is a photojournalist who has had a long engagement with photographing migratory and marginalized communities across India. His current project, Arc of Return, is a pictorial study on the journey of the Dhow departing from the port of Mandvi. Roshan’s desire to depict these historically symbolic vessels stems from his interest in the Dhow as a representation of a vision of the sea, global trade, and a cultural crossover that challenges accepted notions about the world we live in today and the decisive moments in its interconnected history.

Nikhil Roshan has been visually documenting communities in conflict, migration and environmental degradation for half a decade. Trained in broadcast at the Asian College of Journalism, he began his career with a TV news channel in Mumbai but was soon drawn to print media for its reflective capacity and value for precision. He went on to work as a feature writer and editor covering the arts, culture and politics for publications like The Indian Express, Timeout and The Bengal Post. His passion for visual arts eventually took him to photography, a medium in which he feels most at home, using it as a tool for communication and for making art. Roshan’s pictures have appeared in Indian and foreign publications like The Caravan, Frontline, FountainInk, Narrative, Vogue and the British Journal of Photography, as well as a book-length study on forced migration by the Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group. His clients include non-profits like UNICEF, International Justice Mission, Lawyers Collective and Kalpavriksh.

Paranjoy Guha Thakurta is a senior journalist whose work experience spans almost 40 years and cuts across different media: print, radio, television and documentary cinema.

Anoushka Matthews is a scriptwriter from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), with experience in research and constructing public archives at the Center for Community Knowledge (CCK) at Ambedkar University.

Wenceslaus Mendes is a practicing filmmaker (cinematographer and editor) with 12 years professional working experience, and a visual artist working across multiple media.

Un-Fair: Skin, Colour and Race in India {working title}  is a collaborative film and multi-media project led by Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, Anoushka Matthews and Wency Mendes.  At its’ core, this film is a meditation on constructs of beauty and aesthetics in India, and the ensuing prejudices, humiliation, shame and torture that accompany discrimination based on skin colour. While the starting point of the film is an engagement with the African diasporas present in India, it equally attempts to screen ‘learnings’ and represent the multiplicity of voices and stories that are present, in an attempt to unpack and further understand the presence of ongoing racial discrimination and violence.

Persis Taraporevala is an urban researcher based out of New Delhi. She is associated with the Centre for Policy Research and has a keen interest in rights, community-based empowerment and the arts. Persis has read for an MPhil in Development Studies from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature. She has worked largely around governance, from the perspective of decentralised indigenous forest conservation processes and the theoretical underpinnings of citizenship in the urban context. She is a trained classical dancer and has recently engaged in social justice and community-building through the arts, thus allowing for her previously water-tight compartments of development practice and art to blend into a chaotic and creative mix that she is beginning to understand.

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