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Recasting Selves (2019; Color; Video; 80 min)

- in English and Malayalam with English subtitles


Set at CREST (the Centre for Research and Education for Social Transformation) in Kozhikode, Kerala - the film documents the 'soft skills' training of Dalit and Adivasi post-graduate students in a sensitive and nurturing campus environment as preparation for their employment in the new Indian economy.
As a progressive institution combating caste inequalities, CREST has trained over 1200 students and professionals from marginalized communities in Kerala in sectors where there is no affirmative action or reservation.

Recasting Selves

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--But how politicized or politically aware is the 'recast self'?

Filmed in February and April 2016 - a few months after Rohith Vemula's suicide in Hyderabad, the students are initially forced to confront their own identity and a history of discrimination in the context of Vemula's tragic death.

But matters come to a climax when the CREST students research and select the theme of the semester ending play.
Will they choose to do a play that exposes caste discrimination around Rohit Vemula's suicide?
Or will they select one that expresses their fears about 'Bengali' migration to Kerala?

In this choice of play subject and its ensuing debate, lie signs and markers about power, livelihood and identity politics. And the silence around issues of caste in Kerala...



Direction, Script and Editing: Lalit Vachani
Research and Concept: Sanjay Srivastava
Production and 2nd shoot Direction: Priya Sen
Camera: Syed Husain Akbar
Location Sound: Godly Timo Koshy
Additional Camera: Lalit Vachani, Priya Sen, Godly Timo Koshy
Translations: Sanju Thomas, Sindhu Nair, Nidhish K. Sundar
Audio Post-production at Depot Records: Girjashanker Vohra, Lohit Bhalla, Abhishek Singh
Video Post-production: Avik Chatterjee
Executive Producer: Srirupa Roy

A Wide Eye Film for ICAS:MP

Made with the support of the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF)
and the Centre for Modern Indian Studies (CeMIS), University of Göttingen.



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