Bollywood and Its Other(s)

Bollywood and Its Other(s)

The School of Design, Communication & IT, University of Newcastle is organising a two day conference on Indian Cinema from 20-21st February 2014. The theme of the conference is Bollywood and its Other(s).

On 20th February the “BOLLYWOOD 101 FILM FESTIVAL” will take place. Two short documentaries – Indian Aussies by Anupam Sharma, and Dancing to the Bollywood Tunes by Vikrant Kishore, a short feature produced by Raj Suri and directed by Onir, and the Bollywood blockbuster feature film “Rajneeti” (Politics) by Prakash Jha will be screened from 6pm onwards.

21st February will be dedicated to paper presentations and panel discussions on Bollywood cinema.

Bollywood, with aesthetics of its own, is a veritable storehouse of material that can be read in as many ways as possible. As a genre that has grown and developed over a period of 100 years, it is coloured by India’s history, politics, socio-economic conditions, culture, sensibilities, dreams, fantasies, hopes and expectations. It is a globalized cultural industry, cinema of attractions and the most fascinating film industry of the world packaged with romance, melodrama, action, costumes, songs and dance extravaganzas.

In this conference we would like to trace the various “other(s)” of Bollywood, the globalized culture industry that has successfully transcended the confines of India, urging scholars to discuss its global histories. While the history of the industry before the widely debated economic liberalization was that of an ongoing confrontation with the state, it has become a part of Indian state’s cultural diplomacy after the liberalization. Our conference will challenge this normative mode, bringing out the ruptures prevalent in the mainstream history, of cinema as well as of the state.

This conference will concern itself with the possibility of writing alternative histories of the industry. Critical examination of the alternative histories of the national popular industry would help us to look critically at the alternative histories of the nation as well. The aim and objective of the conference is to re-evaluate the standard received versions of cinematic history, the developmentalist narrative situated in a linear historical time and to re-think various formations in the industry which have achieved normative status.