Kuldip Powar is the Director ‘Unravelling’-a journey into war, memory & loss, in collaboration with Nitin Sawhney and Goldmiths University and funded by the ARHC. He will be presenting the film at the workshop, followed by a Q&A.
'Unravelling’ recently won the Best Short Film Competition Award at the 13th London Asian Film Festival,2011. This film was also selected for : The Re-Orient festival in Stockholm; The Spinning Wheel Sikh Film Festival 2008 in Hollywood and Bombay Mix Film Festival 2010(Cine Lumiere). ’Unravelling’ also won the Best Short Film at the 2009 Sikh International Film Festival-New York as well as being screened at the Imperial War Museum, National Army Museum, RIBA, V&A & Tate Britain, The Southbank, Museum of London and most recently at The Black International Film Festival, Berlin.
Kuldip has also worked on various film projects that explore the lives of Asian people in Britain. Completed a short film piece Remembrance (2005) funded by the BFI ‘Screen Rootz’ Initiative, poetically exploring post-colonial memory of WWII vis-à-vis personal testimony and narrative. Co-Directed the film, Kabhi Ritz Kabhie Palladium (2003) about the social cinema scenes amongst the South Asian diaspora communities of Coventry, for an Herbert Art Gallery & Museum exhibition. Has experience in conducting oral and visual ethnographies across Britain. Created an oral history archive and directed a documentary (funded by the MLA) titled For the Record: the social life of Indian vinyl in Southall (2008), which was screened at The British Library (2009). Kuldip has also been a member of the ‘Music In Museums’ meeting group (programmed by the MLA) and has given presentations at The Horniman Museum and The Royal College of Music. He has worked with The Royal Geographical Society as a Volunteer Community Consultant for the ‘Hidden Histories’ and ‘Moving Journeys’ projects. He has worked for the Sorrell Foundation on the ‘Building Schools for the Future’ programme as a Project Facilitator.
He is currently working as an ‘Associate Artist’ for Tamasha Theatre Company, co-leading ‘Small Lives Global Ties' Writers Group.
I approach the theorizing of ‘temporality’ and ‘community participation’ both from practice and for practice. Specifically my background is in coordinating community participation/ ‘co-production’ projects in the museum and heritage sector and, more recently, merging these techniques with those associated with participatory action research and inclusive research.
A dominant political impulse in theorizing museums and heritage community engagement has been critical and has tended to draw on hegemony as a key theoretical political framework (e.g. Smith 2004; 2006; Smith and Waterton 2010; Lynch and Alberti 2010). In the light of existing work in museums and heritage studies and on participative and inclusive research, I’m currently interested in developing a temporalisation of community participation which might neither under- nor over-burden collaborative practice. In approaching this I am interested in how there might be productive ‘partial connections’ (Strathern 1999) drawn between the multiple temporalities of history as ‘conditions of possibility’ and the phenomenology or non-representational (Thrift 2007) nature of ‘the encounter’. To put it another way, in the context of ‘community participation’ how does time relate to ‘scale’?
I am an independent researcher whose academic training has primarily been in the area of Literary Studies and Critical Theory. In 2007 I began volunteering at a people’s history museum in Cardiff called the Butetown History & Arts Centre, where I learnt about life stories, oral history and the possibility of using museums as a vehicle for social change. Since then I have pursued an interest in public history and have recently curated an exhibition about feminism in Bristol called Sistershow Revisited. At present I am very interested in creating on and offline spaces where people and historical information can collide. My approach to this workshop will draw on these concerns, specifically exploring the issue of time within researching, documenting and disseminating vulnerable forms of material culture. As a case study I will draw on the Women’s Liberation Music Archive, a recently launched web archive of music from the UK feminist movements of the 1970s and 1980s. I shall be exploring how the creative actions produced by women in these communities, when digitised, has the capacity to transform the temporality of contemporary cultural memory.
Deborah's Lightning Talk