Catalogue > At random

Ujjwal Kanishka Utkarsh

Chalo Una

Doc. expérimental | mov | couleur | 95:30 | Inde, Autriche | 2021

In August 2016, one of the largest dalit anti-caste protest-rally happened in recent history of India. The 10-day rally marched from Ahmedabad to Una in solidarity with four people who had been flogged in Una in an act of caste-related violence. Chalo Una is an intimate look at the remains of this rally. Shot three years to the date of the original rally, the film retraces its path, going to various sites of village meetings, protests, and so on. The film is an invitation to the audience to revisit and to be with the rally. The high-speed shots of these sites of protest are not only acts of memory but also are a trigger for another temporality, one that is disconnected from when it was shot. Retellings and memories of various people involved with the rally are layered with the images to further evoke the ghosts of this protest.

ujjwal kanishka utkarsh is a Phd-in-Practice candidate at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna. He has been trying to develop a form that emerges out of the observational cinema tradition and he continues to do that through his PhD project. For ujjwal, this has resonances with John Cage's ideas of beauty and he has explored that through various forms and themes. He has looked at ideas of nothingness, of being in transit and also at labour practices, specifically at peculiar farming practices. In his current ongoing work, he is trying to see if and how through this form he can look at and reflect upon political activity. In the current political situation, where the space for voice of dissent is rapidly diminishing, truth is either viewed very simplistically and reality as objective or the post modern perspective renders all truth relative and all reality socially constructed. In this context, this is also an exploration to see if such ideas of observational form could create a space that avoids pitfalls of both these seemingly untenable theoretical extremes.