In the center of the center

I learnt an important thing as a documentary maker and a storyteller. People, most people want to tell their stories to others. I’ve roamed around with a video camera in hand in the middle of nowhere and in the center of the center. And many, people have said, yes, I’ll talk to you. They’ve sung for me without my asking it. They’ve answered my questions when I asked them. They’ve shared information with me , sometimes in a language I barely understood, though they knew I barely understood them.

In the exhibition ‘Round and about India’ in the Tropical Museum in Amsterdam, are short films I made. They are portraits of people in contemporary Mumbai in India. People I did not know, and who did not know me. People who are now telling the thousands of visitors to the museum about their aspirations. I chose that theme because I want to understand the aspirations of the people I come into contact with.

‘As long as I live, I will sell cloth.’ Atul Shah

‘If you are born into a lower caste family,

you will remain in a lower caste’. Dr Ramaiah

‘I don’t always want to remain a maid’. Sujata Masurkar‘I’m restless but I am not afraid’. Aahana Kumra

This image shows the film on Aahana as it appears in the exhibition.

Click on the image to view films on the You Tube Channel of the Tropical Museum

Atul Shah – Trade in India

Dr. Ramaiah – Caste System

Sujata  Masurkar – Women in India

Aahana Kumra – Film in India

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