Tag Archives: Calcutta

Trysts at Midnight: Calcutta, Now: Prasanta Chakravarty

This is a guest post by PRASANTA CHAKRAVARTY

[The Bangla film Sthaniya Sambaad (Spring in the Colony, 2009) was recently released. The film, by way of mapping the diurnal workings of a refugee colony in contemporary Calcutta, asks important questions about the changing cityscape, of the new, emerging world of land grabbers and fly-by-night investors and of the bemused young and old who are outside of this world and yet are sucked within its machinations. This is a conversation about education, humanities and the nature of artistry in the age of modularization—between MOINAK BISWAS, one of the directors of the film (with Arjun Gourisaria) & Reader, Film Studies, Jadavpur University, Calcutta and PRASANTA CHAKRAVARTY, Associate Professor of English, University of Delhi.]

Prasanta: Your film got a commercial release finally, which is wonderful. Among the initial reactions, in reviews, internet discussions and so forth, one notices a lot of interest in the polyvalent nature of your craft. I would like to take one particular strand of the film and probe a little: that is, its quite sharp critique of the phenomenon of vocationalization of education. This is a constant and niggling thread, right? Now, one fundamental argument for modular training, especially in humanities and social sciences, at this point, is a democratic one: that it will provide competence to a large number of the unemployed, ensure jobs and help in national growth. Continue reading Trysts at Midnight: Calcutta, Now: Prasanta Chakravarty