The Journey Begins

We start this journey with screening the little film clip to the community in Hakki Pikki colony in Bannerghatta from where it all began. The film clip that tells the story of  two communities, the Hakki Pikkis and Iruligas, who in the late fifties and sixties were  resettled on land that was to become their new source of livelihood and way of life.

On the screen we listen to Dephone, Division and Madamma recount familiar scenes from a story that we have heard over and over. But one which still remains as fresh as when it  happened. For each time the telling is tempered with the fragment of a new memory. The battles that were fought….between  and within the two disparate communities. Battles within the home, redrawing gender lines. And battles outside with the Forest department over the right to call the land they were given, their own. Division and Dephone listen en-rapt in what they themselves have spoken  ever so many times.

The discussion after the film is far from reflective. It descends quickly and predictably into the discontented debate over the interminable delay in getting the land in their names and the machinations on the part of the Government and their own people that has led to this delay. Tragically the lives of almost two generations it seems has been suspended in this wait.

But then, even as we wait and gear ourselves up for the battle ahead, we also begin to plan for this new journey with the camera that we hope will help us take a more objective look at “ourselves” and recover our capacity to see the larger picture which seems to have got lost in living the daily grind and its endless battles. We are out to redefine the idea of a collective ‘selfie’ and make it a journey more of self discovery than self projection that we hope will redefine our destination.

Cinematographer and film maker Vinod Raja, who has travelled some part of this journey with us over the past decade and has made the adivasi world his own through the several documentaries he has made, is going to help us see this larger picture through his own camera as also that which community will learn to use to tell their own stories.

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