Past events

Delhi at Eleven
Monday 11 March 2013
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Pre-Conference Seminar Series: Exploring modern South Asian history with visual research methods: theories and practices'

Delhi at Eleven: David MacDougall, children filmmakers and urban India

Dr Stephen Hughes, SOAS

Monday, 11 March 2013

17:00 - 19:00

Location: CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DT - S2


Dr Annamaria Motrescu-Mayes (University of Cambridge)

Susanne Hammacher (Royal Anthropological Institute)

This film project was designed to produce new knowledge about the ideas and perspectives of Indian children today through research conducted by the children themselves. The project, carried out in cooperation with the Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, set up video workshops for children of varying backgrounds at schools and other institutions. After a period of training, the students conducted a research project on their own chosen topic using video cameras as their primary research tool. The resulting video report produced at the end of the workshop was edited in collaboration with filmmaker David MacDougall to assemble the shots to be included and to decide on the overall structure.  The final step was to add subtitles and a few contextualizing shots about the children during the initial training period, most of which was shot by one or another of the children themselves.  On their own terms these films offer a uniquely revealing view of children's lives in urban India today.  However, this project building on the extensive Doon School and Rishi Valley School series, also marks a new participatory and collaborative direction in David MacDougall’s on-going explorations of childhood through film.

As a preamble to the first international conference on Exploring modern South Asian history with visual research methods, Cambridge, UK, 15-16 March 2013, the Centre of South Asian Studies is organising a seminar series that will introduce the theme of the conference. Several historians and anthropologists will discuss a selection of ethnographic / anthropological films of South Asia in relation to current historiographical methodologies. The series is organised in collaboration with the Royal Anthropological Institute and CRASSH.

For the complete programme please see