Session Three: Contextualising The Films Of Mani Kaul

‘Contextualising the Films of Mani Kaul’ – A Symposium with Screenings

Friday 23 March 2018, 13:00-17:00 

Birkbeck Cinema: FREE event [book here]

This symposium explores the work of Mani Kaul (1944-2011), by combining papers, discussion and a screening of Siddheshwari (Mani Kaul, 1989). Marking the beginning of our programme of Mani Kaul films at the ICA, this event seeks to contextualise the filmmaker’s work, and to mark the connections between the experimental aesthetics used by Kaul and similar practices taking place within Indian cinema at the time. As an essay filmmaker, Mani Kaul engages with a broad range of subjects including the art, classical music, literature and theatre of India, and we will use this symposium as a space to reflect on the diversity and interdisciplinary nature of his films.

In collaboration with the Courtisane Film Festival and the Otolith Group, and with the support of Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities.


Siddheshwari, Mani Kaul, India, 1989, 35mm/ProRes, 92 minutes, Hindi with English subtitles

A film about the renowned Hindustani singer Siddheshwari Devi (1903-77). Blurring fiction and documentary, Kaul’s film showcases his passion for Indian classical music.


Valentina Vitali, professor of Film Studies at the University of East London and director of the Moving Image Research Centre.

Giulia Battaglia, University of Paris 3 – Sorbonne Nouvelle, researcher in anthropology of visual/art/media practices specialised in documentary film in India.