CGIS South, S010
1730 Cambridge Street
Featuring new and largely unpublished work, this one-day conference sets up a dialogue between designers and social scientists. By connecting fine-grained micro studies with broader imaginations for the metropolitan region, we intend to open up new scalar possibilities for Mumbai.
Cosponsored with Harvard Mellon Urban Initiative.
Sugata Bose, Gardiner Professor of Oceanic History and Affairs, Harvard University
Abhijit Banerjee, Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Screening of Mandir, masjid, mandal and Marx: Democracy in India (45 minutes)
The film, by Sugata Bose, Gardiner Professor of Oceanic History and Affairs, Harvard University, tells the story of the interaction of the people and their elected representatives in the plains carved out by India’s great river – the Ganga – flowing through three strategic states – Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. Filmed in the course of a 1000-mile journey from Delhi to Calcutta during the turbulent general elections of 1991, it provides a rare glimpse into the role of religion, caste and communism in India’s democratic politics.
Screening of The strange case of the water that went up the great-grandfather’s arse and other stories of democracy by Abhijit Banerjee
Democracy is humanity’s bravest experiment. The idea that everyone–women and men, poor and rich, illiterate and educated–should be in charge of shaping the state and society they live in, is at once totally obvious and deeply radical. And yet, the lived experience of democracy is almost always disappointing. Corruption is often the rule and change is slow and difficult.
This film is about living this tension, through the eyes and voices of every day participants in the world’s largest democracy, India. Using unique footage that we shot in dozens of locations all over the country over eight years, with interviews with everyone from theorists to thugs (who are sometimes the same people), we document how profoundly the so-called bit-players in the democratic narrative—the often semi-literate voters, the local activists and the small-time leaders–have absorbed the democratic ethos. For all their cynicism and fear, it is for the poor, the marginalized and the powerless that the idea of democracy matters the most, what gives them the greatest hope for the future.
Combining animation, folk music and street plays with casual conversations at street corners, expert analyses and stump speeches, this is a documentary about a nation, a people and one extraordinary idea.
The symposium on DeCoding Asian Urbanism explores the current discourse and creation of innovative architecture and urban interventions that are effectively transforming the spatial and operational landscape of the complex Asian city. The focus is to highlight efforts that strategically embrace the rapid growth and the cultural and physical complexity of the built environment in Asia. The symposium builds on an exhibition at the A+D Architecture +Design Museum>Los Angeles, curated by Kenneth Frampton, Ken Yeang and Farooq Ameen. The comprehensive effort including the exhibition, this symposium and accompanying publication stimulates a dialogue between designers, policy makers and public officials who are shaping the Asian city today.
Cosponsored with the Bengal Foundation and the A+D Museum, Los Angeles
Subsari Krishnan, Filmmaker
Shankar Ramaswami, Lecturer on South Asian Studies; Director of Undergraduate Studies, Harvard University
On 18th February 1983, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, more than 2000 Muslims were killed in the town of Nellie and its surrounding villages in Assam, India. People’s homes were burnt down and their fields destroyed. Most of those who died were old people, women and children. Till date the Nellie massacre, remains on the margins of India’s public history, and is virtually wiped out from the nation’s collective memory.
The documentary film What the Fields Remember revisits the massacre three decades later. From the survivors, Sirajuddin Ahmed and Abdul Khayer’s, retelling of the event, and their struggles of coping with loss and memories that refuse to fade away, the film attempts to explore ideas of violence, memory and justice. It also tries to understand how physical spaces that have witnessed the violence continue to mark people’s relationship to history and memory. What the Fields Remember also attempts to raise larger questions around collective memory – of what we choose to remember and why we choose to forget.
Poems of all languages are invited for recitation. All are welcome.
Cosponsored with the Department of South Asian Studies and the South Asian Poets of New England
For questions, please contact:
Bijoy Misra, email@example.com
Chandu Shah, Bostonwale@gmail.com
This conference is a response to rapidly expanding interests in the musical traditions of South Asia within the Society for Ethnomusicology and a recognition that South Asia has always been part of a larger historical network involving Iran, Afghanistan, and Central Asia. As the richness of scholarship on the music of these regions deepens, it becomes increasingly useful to keep abreast of new scholarship in the larger geographical area. This conference invites scholars working on the performing arts of all of these regions to come together for a weekend of dialogue and groundwork for future collaborations. We envision this conference to be a catalyst for future meetings and perhaps the foundation for a new independent scholarly organization. Rather than reinforcing our ties to particular geographic areas, we hope to broaden our knowledge and interests, attract scholars who may otherwise feel excluded, and encourage a dialogue that builds on shared histories across South, Central and West Asia.
Cosponsored with the Department of Music, the Department of South Asian Studies, the Committee on Inner Asian and Altaic Studies, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the Islam in Asia Series, the Asia Center, and the Provostial Fund for Arts and Humanities.
Pankaj Butalia, Documentary Filmmaker
Chair: Jacqueline Bhabha, FXB Director of Research; Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights, Harvard School of Public Health; Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Lecturer in Law, Harvard Law School; Adjunct Lecturer, Harvard Kennedy School
Join filmmaker Pankaj Butalia for a screening of his film “The Textures of Loss,” followed by a discussion on conflicts on the periphery of India, topics in his film trilogy that also includes “Manipur Song” and “Assam: On the edge of neglect.”
Two decades of violence in Kashmir has left the valley devastated. Every family silently nurses its deep wounds. Women have lost husbands, fathers, sons and brothers. Children grow up in an environment of deep depression and young men do not see any future for themselves. “The Textures of Loss” is an elegy to the wounded Kashmir valley. The loss of loved ones manifests itself not only in pain, but also in anger, somatic symptoms, paralysis and deadness. The film dwells on some of these responses.
“Re-thinking Local” will examine how architects are developing new models of locally-based design practice given the changing realities of urbanization around the world, with a particular focus on South and Southeast Asia.
These two public events feature Vo Trong Nghia, the most prolific contemporary architect in Vietnam, and Marina Tabassum, the leading female architect in Bangladesh – both speaking at Harvard for the first time.
In addition, Nghia and Tabassum will be joined in a round-table discussion by Michael Murphy, Executive Director of MASS Design Group, and Rahul Mehrotra, Professor of Urban Design and Planning at Harvard University Graduate School of Design.
This public discussion program will thematically explore how architects are responding to new patterns of urbanization, creating models for construction and fabrication that support sustainable development, and catalyzing local institutions to promote dialogue about the role of design in improving cities. Together, the work of these architects gives new meaning to the model of practicing locally.
Roundtable discussion with Vo Trong Nghia, Marina Tabassum, and Michael Murphy, moderated by Rahul Mehrotra
Monday, February 22, 2016, 6:30 pm
Tsai Auditorium, CGIS South S010, 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA
Lunchtime Lecture with Vo Trong Nghia
Tuesday, February 23, 2016, 1:00 pm
Portico 124, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 48 Quincy Street
Please contact Michael Haggerty, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, firstname.lastname@example.org, with questions.
Cosponsored with the Boston Society of Architects Foundation, Harvard Asia Center, and Harvard Mellon Urban Initiative.
As part of its project mission, the Harvard FXB Center for Health & Human Rights in collaboration with other Harvard schools will convene a high profile international conference of experts drawn from academia, government, business and civil society to examine the scientific, technical, social and political aspects of national ID systems. This two and half-day conference will provide a forum for intellectual exploration and discussion, complementary to but separate from convenings on the topic by government or industry representatives.
The conference is envisaged as a forum for opinion leaders and policy innovators to address some of the most pressing conceptual, technical and ethical issues that arise. We anticipate several high level intellectual products coming out of the conference, products that may lead to other institutionally driven fora and eventually to the possible establishment of an international expert commission to review development of national identification systems globally.
Keynote speaker: Nandan Nilekani, Former Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)
Thursday, November 19, 2015 | The Charles Hotel
Friday, November 20, 2015 | Tsai Auditorium
Saturday, November 21, 2015 | Harvard Kennedy School