Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Can you help us locate...

Those on the Docuwallahs2 mailing list [1] would be rather used to seeing messages from the Delhi-based Kriti group asking "can you help us to locate... " with one film-maker's name or the other listed in the mail. Well, Kriti [2], which calls itself "a development research, praxis and communication team" takes its documentary film seriously indeed. And this is more than clear from their 2006 version of 'Our Diary', a well-crafted companion for the year ahead.

Kriti sent me a copy, with a pleasant note that read: "dear fn, in the spirit of sharing resources this is with our compliments for you. regards & best wishes for 2006. davinder kaur & aanchal kapur, kriti team." So I guess my views of the diary would be somewhat influenced by this thoughtful gift. Anyway....

Besides space for a daily entry (there's limited space on Sundays, and I work more on the Sabbath!) there's a nice listing called "my space" at the start of the directory. It offers you space for all your personal details, so much so that I had to search around and still haven't been able to fill in all the details about contacts that ought to matter in my life ;-)

'Our Diary 2006' is in its seventh year, we're told and it has been "journeying across villages, towns and cities of India and other countries of the world".

"This is a documentary journey on issues of rights, on the access to and control over power, resources and lives... a journey that we hope will inspire many more films that reflect the politics, the ideology and the contradictions that make 'struggles for rights' an inevitable part of our ground reality," says Kriti.

This is a bi-lingual, English-and-Hindi dairy, with a lot of 'dates to remember', and some very interesting description of documentary film in India.

Each month-end or two brings you a focus on one or more film, and issue. For instance, the anti-arrack (liquor) struggle in Andhra Pradesh, resistance poetry, people's struggles against destructive 'development' (bauxite mining in Orissa, the commercial harbour at Umbergaon in Gujarat, the steel plant in Chhattisgarh, the World Bank Forestry Project in MP, the Koel-Karo hydel power project in Jharkhand and more...)

This diary also focuses on the student movement ("Ek Minute Ka Maun"), the World Social Forum ("Work In Progress"), the nuclear craze and more. There's also a listing of the issues featured in earlier diaries.

At the end of the spiral-bound book, there's a listing of documentary films referred to (with full and elaborate credits), and links to print material, "listserves" (,,, as also websites such as, humanrightsinitiative,org,,, and

One of the more useful compilations here is a detailed listing (with addresses, websites and email contacts) of movements, groups and resource centres across India. This spans two pages, we really could do with more of this.

All in all, an interesting effort. Having seen the copy, I wouldn't hesitate to buy one of my own ;-) --FN, Jan 4, 2006.

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