April 2024

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM IST

Room 113, School of Arts and Sciences
Central Campus
Ahmedabad University


Beyond the National Frame: Scenes from the Indo-Pak Border

Social Sciences Division Seminar Series
Natasha Raheja | Speaker at Ahmedabad University

Natasha Raheja

Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Performing and Media Arts
Cornell University

In this presentation, I share my use of formal filmic techniques across two works to advance a visual argument about mobility and borders in South Asia. Borders are readily made legible through visual representations and material practices such as maps, fences, walls, passports, flags, news coverage, and the like. But what happens when one shuffles the narrative? I dice, splice, and recombine images of borders to generate a picture of the border that is not amenable to figurative absorption. Mainstream representations of the India-Pakistan border emphasise polarity, but I show that the border is a continuous space even as it is a marker of discontinuity. I will screen A Gregarious Species (2023, 9 min) and a visual sample of Kitne Passports? (in-production, 15 min) to convey how, like the filmic cut, the border produces a shared and segmented space. Culling together found footage and composing my own images, I argue that working within the visual medium itself can unravel mental pictures about the fixity of borders.


Natasha Raheja

Natasha Raheja is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Performing and Media Arts at Cornell University. She is a political and visual anthropologist working in the areas of migration, borders, state power, aesthetics, and ethnographic film. She is currently a visiting scholar at Ahmedabad University.