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April 2021 Issue 26

Can one argue that COVID-19 was a galvanising force for major political uprisings? If the global contemporary and neo-liberal capitalism was already on the brink of collapse prior to this paradigm shift, the virus has only further emphasised the precarity and implicit inequality of such systems. Like a kettle on the boil, the pressurised conditions produced by these systems will eventually boil over levelling the liquids out of their vessels.

Wherever you are, the first few months of 2021 has seen a continuation of the widespread devastation marked in 2020 by the global escalation of COVID-19 and the subsequent shift of international discourse, geopolitics, and the liveability index. This issue, Quarantine, responds to our new-found conditions and outlines a multiplicity of viewpoints on the topic highlighting the inherent tension, anxiety, and withdrawal marked by this period.

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Indigo: The Colour of Liberation

The Indigo Revolt or the nil vidroh was a peasant movement and a subsequent uprising of the indigo farmers against the British indigo planters, originated in a village of Nadia in Bengal in 1859 and was led by the Biswas Brothers. The scar left of the revolt was so deep that not a seed was ever sown in the soil of Bengal after that.

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Chapal Rani

I’m no longer in Jatra because the Jatra no longer has any use for me. Now I perform two or three shows a year at Sitaramdas Onkarnath Thakur’s ashram, where it is against the custom for women to perform. He has written some good plays. There, I do the direction, supervise the stage, mike, lighting arrangements the setting of the mikes, everyone’s makeup, do my own makeup and then play the main part. I really have to slog. But still, being in the midst of my work makes me happy.

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Many Tints of Red: Colour, Aesthetics, Bengali Cinema

In Kanchenjunga, moreover, the landscape that is produced is not merely a generic visualscape; rather, it attains autonomy and becomes an integral aspect of the narrative. The film became a yardstick of uses of colour in cinema, as cinematographer Subrata Mitra’s wellknown greyscale was transformed into natural tones, and to a colour palette which explored hues such as Ochre, Siena, Umber, Scarlet, etc.

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Ritwik Ghatak and an Indian Project of Modernism

Emotionally intense experience that Ghatak’s films are they are also a reflection on consciousness, nature, and human destiny. They invite us to make connections with cultural pasts and political landscapes, and open up a space for thinking the history of the present. Cinema rarely affords us this adventure of ideation.

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