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“Dirty Laundry” – Film screening and lecture by Amitava Kumar and Sanjeev Chaterjee

“Dirty Laundry” is second in an ongoing collaboration, between writer Amitava Kumar and filmmaker Sanjeev Chatterjee, exploring the politics of memory in the Indian diaspora. While their previous endeavor, “Pure Chutney”, was set in Trinidad, “Dirty Laundry” explores questions of race, nationality, home and belonging through the lens of an Indian visiting South Africa and meeting those people of Indian origin who have accepted their South Africanness in a full embrace. Thus emerges few snippets of an important but heretofore ignored history. A history, as the writer points out in the film, that has important lessons embedded in it for those seeking communal rift in contemporary India.

AMITAVA KUMAR was raised in the land of gun politics and mangoes in Bihar, India. Amitava Kumar is the author of several literary commentaries.  Dirty Laundry is the second collaboration between Kumar and Chatterjee on the disaporic experience after the documentary Pure Chutney,  and an addendum to the author’s existing works on the subject which include Bombay-London-New York, Passport Photos(fiction) and No Tears for the N.R.I. (poetry). His more recent Husband of a Fanatic (2005) addresses the Hindu-Muslim understandings and experiences from the context of India and Pakistan. Kumar has also won numerous awards including “Outstanding Book of the Year” award from the ‘Myers Program for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights in North America’ for his book Passport Photos. The author is a Professor of English at Vassar College.

SANJEEV CHATTERJEE is a traveler who has worked on documentaries in four continents. His work has been seen on National Geographic, PBS, the History Channel and in film festivals. Chatterjee has produced and directed a series of films about the Indian diaspora including Bittersweet, Pure Chutney and now Dirty Laundry. Currently Chatterjee is working on a global project One Water, which is a visual meditation on the state of fresh water on our planet. Chatterjee has received numerous awards for his documentary work including Broadcast Education Association (2006 and 2004), Film South Asia(2001 and 2005) and Vermont International Film Festival (1998) and Silver State Documentary Festival (1998).Sanjeev Chatterjee is associate professor of Broadcast and Broadcast Journalism at the School of Communication, University of Miami.

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