Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Contemporary South Asia

Film Screening of "There's Something in the Air" and Discussion with Director Iram Ghufran and Bhrigupati Singh

Friday, March 17, 2017

3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Joukowsky Forum, Watson Institute

Free and Open to the Public

Iram is a Delhi based filmmaker and artist working on moving image, sound and text. Her work has been shown in several international art and cinematic contexts including the Berlin Film Festival, Experimenta India and World Social Forum. Her first documentary essay film There is Something in the Air is the winner of several awards, including the National Award.

THERE IS SOMETHING IN THE AIR is a call from the periphery of sanity. This documentary is a series of dream narratives, and accounts of spiritual possession as experienced by women ‘petitioners’ at the shrine of a Sufi saint in north India. Drama unfolds via dreams, and appearances of djinns and disappearances of women. The shrine becomes a space of expressions of longing and transgression. The film invites the viewer to a world of dream and fantasy. Fear and desire is experienced through dreams and ‘afflictions of air’. The shrine is a space where performance becomes the only rule of engagement, and one can begin to think of the possibilities that ‘insanity’ produces.

Bhrigupati Singh, professor of Anthropology, will chair. Signh will also remark on his recent ethnographic research on mental health and healing at the Sufi shrine of Badaun where the film is set.

Contemporary South Asia Seminar