Friday 27 March, 20:30-22:30, ICA 

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Essay film exploring the educational philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore

Film: O Horizon, Otolith Group, UK, 2018, DCP, English and Bengali, Hindi, Sanskrit, Mandarin with English subtitles, 90 minutes

The screening will be introduced by writer and historian Partha Mitter.

With the support of CHASE Doctoral Training Programme and LUX Artists’ Moving Image.

Having previously shown their work at both the 2015 and 2018 editions of the Essay Film Festival, the Otolith Group return to this year’s programme with a special screening of their film, O Horizon. The film converges around Visva-Bharati which was established in 1921 as a new model of a school elaborating a radical imagina­tion for new practices, new forms of learning, new lifestyles and the desire to reshape society. Tagore’s idea was to redefine the relationship between the arts, craft and design, while rethinking how academic institutions functioned. His project worked towards the decolonisation of Indian culture, redressing the hierarchical exchange of ideas from West to East and surpassing the alienation of colonial education imposed by British imperial rule. In this spirit, the film surveys the elaboration of Tagore’s radical ecological pedagogy through a study that draws together visual arts, dance, song, music, and recital to assemble a structure of feeling of the Tagorean imagination. The film studies the experimental practices of mural, sculpture, painting, and drawing developed by India’s great modernist artists such as K.G. Subramanyan, Benode Behari Mukherjee, Nandalal Bose and Ramkinkar Baij, whose work was formative in establishing a new generation of Indian modernists operating with a socio-political and philosophical dimension to counter European modernism and the continuing impacts of colonial violence.

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