CHAPTER FOUR: Atlas of Indo-German Fantasies
Book Release:
August 11th, 2005

The import and export of knowledge in conversations – or: where is my subject?

Being in the world as a filmmaker, an artist, a cultural produ-cer, an academic, an activist. In a college, a gallery, a cultural institution, at home, in the editing studio, in the library – in India, in Germany? Researching, collecting, documenting, filming, writing, making decisions, arguing and communi-cating. Where does knowledge get produced? What is the subject of inquiry of a research that is interested in non-fiction filmmaking and how it is practiced and theorized in a South Asian context? How does a study of cinematic production not only leave behind teleological notions of a not-yet-thereness of Indian cinema that has for long been precedent but reach out towards a democratisation of knowledge production in research and writing? To account for the continuously shifting spheres of belonging and non-belonging, I choose to look at how filmmakers think about their work and their circumstances of producing it. Entangled with these are transnational economic and political environments and frame-works of financing, screening and exhibition, but also local production processes, individual and collective decisions taken within these. How can one take account of the historical and the various legacies impinging on all sides of a research project while using singular positions and what is expressed momentarily through a film as spaces of criticality? My contribution will thus attempt to explore how imports and exports in conversations can multiply questions about shareable problems.

Nicole Wolf researches, teaches and writes on the moving image and its many facets in cinema, gallery and activist spaces. She is specifically interested in the South Asian region and questions of postcolonialism. Since 1997 she has been involved in various curatorial projects and is currently teaching in the Visual Cultures Department at Gold-smiths’ College London.





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