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Kahankar : Ahankar

Story Maker: Story Taker
Directed by Anjali Monteiro and KP Jayasankar
English, 43 mins, 1996

This film brings together a selection of the stories and paintings of the Warlis, and some of the narratives about `them’. To the Warlis, a community of Adivasis (indigenous peoples), who live close to Mumbai, these stories represent their `history’, their world-view. All the outsiders- the Portuguese, the Marathas, the British, the `native’ settlers-  tried obliterating this history and wisdom.
This juxtaposition of  disparate discourses is an attempt to read between the lines, as the stories themselves do.

Produced in collaboration with Kashtakari Sanghatana, Dahanu, Maharashtra. Paintings by the late Bhimsen Koti and the stories compiled by Shiraz Balsara and Pradeep Prabhu

Special Mention of the Jury, Mumbai International Film Festival 1996

About the Directors


Anjali Monteiro and K.P. Jayasankar are Professors at the  Centre for Media and Cultural Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. Monteiro has a Masters degree in Economics and a Ph.D. in Sociology. Jayasankar has an M.A. in German language and a Ph.D. in Humanities and Social Sciences. Both of them are involved in media production, teaching and research. A presiding thematic of much of their work has been a problematising of notions of self and the other, of normality and deviance, of the local and the global, through the exploration of diverse narratives and rituals. These range from the stories and paintings of indigenous peoples to the poetry of prison inmates. Jointly they have won twenty one national and international awards for their films. These include the Prix Futura Berlin 1995 Asia Prize for Identity- The Construction of Selfhood, a Special Mention of the Jury at MIFF `96 for Kahankar: Ahankar, the Certificate of Merit at MIFF `98 and Best Innovation, Astra Film Festival 1998, Sibiu, Romania for YCP 1997, the Second Prize for Saacha at the New Delhi Video Forum 2001 and the Best documentary award at the IV Three Continents International Festival of Documentaries 2005, Venezuela, for SheWrite. Their most recent awards are the Special Jury Award at the Signs 2007 Festival, held in Thiruvananthapuram, Certificate of Merit, Mumbai International Film Festival 2008, Indian Documentary Producers Associuation (IDPA) Gold for Best Sound Design, Gold for Best Script and Silver for Editing for the film Our Family.

They have several papers in the area of media and cultural studies and have contributed to scholarly journals such as Cultural Studies. They are both recipients of the Howard Thomas Memorial Fellowship in Media Studies, and have been attached to Goldsmith’s College, London and the University of Western Sydney. Monteiro has been awarded a Fulbright visiting lecturer fellowship for 2006-07 at the University of California, Berkeley. They also serve as visiting faculty to several leading media and design institutions across India, such as Asian College of Journalism, Chennai, National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and University of Hyderabad and Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai. They are both actively involved in ‘Vikalp‘ and ‘Films for Freedom’, which are collectives of documentary filmmakers campaigning for freedom of expression. They are also associated with various media and voluntary organisations.

Produced by

Centre for Media and Cultural Studies

Tata Institute of Social Sciences

Mumbai 400 088, India

Telephone: +91 22 25525667