Roopa Barua Unveils Project Desh – A Dialogue for the Assamese Diaspora.
In a world that is increasingly made smaller by globalization, time and space have moved to a new level of intimacy and homogeneity. In the midst of this, are the people that were actually from the same land, with a deeply shared sense of space and time, that have now been thrust into strange lands and stranger customs. This is the beginning of a diaspora. The diaspora is probably an important, if not the most important element of 21st century demographics. Within it are feelings and yearnings for homeland, alienation, suffering, nostalgia and of course the happy situation of an immigrant’s dream.
Project Desh is a platform for dialogue of the Assamese diaspora, a cross-geographical exchange of ideas. We start this journey with five ‘slice of life’ films in contemporary Assam, with five budding directors.
The five short films that kickoff Project Desh are Bheku Bhaona by Sagar Saurav,Rong by Ajit Giri, Chaatak By Srishti Shreyam, Modaar by Amrita Goswami, Red +Yellow = by Snehankar. A slice of life presentation, these films question the Assamese conscience.
Team USPA Women India Tour ,Manipur – Jaipur, January 2016.
Kahini Media has started documenting women’s polo in India since 2016. This project has started with the tournaments and exhibition matches played by the USPA Women’s Team that toured Manipur and Jaipur in January 2016. The documentation will be continued in the upcoming season in January 2017 when the USPA will play in India in Delhi, Hyderabad and Imphal.
Riders of the Mist Song (2016) Directed by Roopa Barua, Produced by Kahini Media
For close to 130 years, the horses from across the Brahmaputra river have come to race at The Gymkhana Club, Jorhat, Assam. This is a moving story of the solitary horses, the Mishing riders & the tea plantation owners who have kept a fantastic tradition of horse racing, alive.
This song ‘Riders Of The Mist’ is the Official Soundtrack for the Documentary, which has captured this whole phenomenon/tradition.
Riders of the Mist ( 2015) ( directed by Roopa Barua, Produced by Kahini Media)
‘Riders of the Mist’ is an independently funded documentary about the personal journey of director Roopa Barua as she revisits a century-old bareback pony racing tradition in the state of Assam, India. The ponies are free-grazing and live in the riverine islands of the Brahmaputra Valley. They come and participate in the annual racing event of a colonial era planters club in Jorhat, Assam. This documentary is a portrayal of the races as they unfold, the jockeys and their lives and these ponies that become part of the tradition every year. The heavy mist that hovers over Jorhat during this time of the year is a fitting backdrop to this quirky phenomenon that has a fleeting presence for a few days every year and is gone almost as soon as it arrives.
Awards won by Riders of the Mist
1. Riders of the Mist won the Best Documentary Award at the Indian Film Festival in Houston.
2. Riders of the Mist shared the Special Jury award with the documentary My friend Husain at the Nashik International Film festival.
3. Riders of the Mist has been shortlisted as one of the Top Ten Documentaries to watch in India for 2015 by the popular movie blogging site Longlivecinema.com
4. Riders of the Mist was part of the Winny Awards tour by the Equus Film Festival which takes the film through several North American premier equestrian events.
Disposable Womaen (2014) Directed by Samudra Kajal Saikia, produced by Kahini Media
“Disposable Womaen” is a Disposable Theatre venture by Kankhowa based on three woman characters from Assamese cultural inhabitation: Mythology, History and Folklore. Chitralekha, a mythological character of a woman painter who plays a role in the Usha-Aniruddha love story anticipating the Vaishnava incursion over a Shaivite region here comes up as an individual with subjective position. Joymoti is a historical character, a martyr woman who devoted her life to save her husband and the glory of the state during the reign of the Ahom Dynasty. Tejimola is a popular name in Assamese folktales who dies out of the hatred of her step mother but gets afterlife or incarnations in several non-anthromorphic forms again and again. Bringing the three characters together the multilingual performance attempts to generate dialogues around representation of woman’s body in cultural production system along with the mapping of history and desire.
The Disposable Theatre of Kankhowa Privileges the ephemeral nature of performance. What will happen here was never happened before and it do not promise to repeat in the same shape and size again as the time and space are always in a flux and constantly shifting. The performance is conceived, conceptualised and designed for a certain Time and Space and thus it stands between Theatre and the contemporary Performance Art practices.
During: Kala Ghoda Art Festival ’15, Theatre – Rang Boli!
Concept, Text and Design: Samudra Kajal Saikia
Pitol Soku, 2013 ( Directed by Roopa Barua, Produced by Kahini Media)
Official Title Track of the Documenatry ‘Riders of the Mist’. The song is a dedication to the bareback jockeys of Jorhat & Sibsagar, Assam. Formally launched on the 20th of June, 2013
Joi’s music is a blend of rock, soul, folk and worldbeat. The bands 1st album, ‘Joi- Looking out of the Window’, was officially launched in December 2010.
The songs are in assamese and the storytelling draws upon the folklore & traditions of the region, particularly assam.
The band explores the possibilities of worldbeat & worldmusic, Joi Barua is the lead vocalist of the band Joi. He has a mixed musical style incorporating elements of rock, soul, jazz, folk and world music.
Joi Barua – Vocals
Pawan Rasaily – Guitars
Ibson Lal Baruah – Acoustic Guitar, Lyrics
Manash Chowdhary – Bass Guitar
Partho Goswami – Drums
Falkland Road (2011) ( Directed By Roopa Barua & Dev Bhise, produced by Kahini Media
A short film submitted to the Afghan Human Rights Festival on human trafficking. It tells the story of a father desperately searching for his daughter at Kamatipura/Falkland Road, the red light district of Mumbai. He comes across a slew of characters as he embarks on this most desperate journey including Rani Pink and Virgin Italy Paris.