MANY INDIAS: Peoples’ Narratives, Media Narratives

MANY INDIAS: Peoples’ Narratives, Media Narratives

2019, November 09-10
An interface between Legacy Media, New Media, Peoples’ Media and New Social Movements

Vyloppilly Hall, Sahithya Akademi, 2019, November 09, 10 am

Re-reading and re-constructing history is a task that every citizen has to bear on one’s shoulders. If we passively accept the singular versions of the hegemonic histories, those myopic visions of the mainstream will continue to control the script and plot of who we are as a nation. It’s not news that mainstream histories choose to churn out convenient tracks of history, leaving out or sidelining the diverse stories that people construct and live with, day by day. But the bearers of the sidelined, alternative histories do not remain silent; they come together to share their versions of history with others from the margins. This coming together gives them the energy to outlive the hurdles and obstacles that their communities and collectives face every day.

Such a get-together is taking place at the 13th edition of ViBGYOR International Film Festival, on November 9th, at Kerala Sahithya Akademy Campus, Thrissur, Kerala. Representative ‘People’s Narratives’ from diverse sections of Adivasi, Dalit, Women and marginalized sections of populations across India will be retold/re-enacted in the forum.

When we find the submissive and spineless mainstream media in India constantly aligning with the political powers and boast of `making India’ set to their tune, it is extremely important to make space and time for alternative stories to be told, heard and added on to. On the following day, November 10th, the gathering will get bigger, bringing Peoples’ Narratives and Media Narratives together, thus paving way to a Mainstream media-Alternative media Interface.

Participating Groups on November 9th:

Chal Chitra Abhiyan (Nakul Singh Sahwney)
Ektaara Women Collective (Bhopal)
PEP collective ( Amritraj Stephen): Fish-workers Forum, based out of Tamil Nadu
Samadrushti Film Collective (Sudhir Patnaik, Orissa)
School of Democracy (Nikhil Dey, Mazdoor kishan shakti sangatan, Rajasthan)
Keraleeyam (Sharath, Alternative media Forum and Publication, Thrissur, Kerala)


Vyloppilly Hall, Sahithya Akademi, November 10, 10am

What forces media, whether print or electronic media cater exclusively to mainstream and populist interests? What are the deciding factors behind a media house’s decision to play second the fiddle to the tunes of the ruling regimes and big corporate moguls? Why do they foreground certain trifle issues as the lead or the breaking news, while sidelining and even suppressing many gravely important stories from the grassroots that affect a large section of the urban and rural poor?

To answer these queries, we do not require any scholarly research. It is a simple one word answer: Money. An eye on profit and political vested interests are the major deciding factors behind what makes `news’ and what does not!

But, surely those individuals, our journalist friends working in mainstream media, may have their own stories of the dreams they had when they initially the entered media industry and the disappointment they may be undergoing now for various reasons. There is no point in blaming individuals for the sins of the system.

It is plain truth that the revenue to survive and sustain does not come from authentic reporting, but from hits (online), views (visual and social media) and circulation (print). Many conventional, legacy media practitioners continue to blame the over flooding of advertisements and yellow journalism for the decline in media values and ethics. But we do find alternative stories of innovative experiments in Kerala and elsewhere in India, towards shaping an independent and fearless media movement by some New and Online Media pioneers.

We are eager to hear all different stories from both sides at the Main Media-New Media Interface at ViBGYOR Festival venue, on November 10th.  Sharing of adventurous experiments, best practices and even frustrations of failed honest attempts by individuals and groups, we hope, could trigger new ideas, suggestions and proposals for inspiring initiatives.

More than anything, these two Media Get-Together sessions, `Peoples’ Narratives’ and `Media Narratives’, we assume, would benefit the young media practitioners and media students, whom we expect as the main active and interactive audiences for the sessions.

Panelists, Forenoon Session:
Varun Ramesh (Editor, Asia Ville)
Rajeev Devraj (Editor, News 18 Malayalam)
Devdas Rajaram (Faculty, ACJ)
Hasna Gypsy

Panelists, Afternoon Session:
Santhosh John Thooval
Rajaji Mathew Thomas