The problem with the Just Transition strategy, I have argued elsewhere,
is that it is locking-up labour even more firmly with the continuation
of capitalism and wage-labour in the ‘green’ mode – built
upon the perpetuation of a gendered and racialized division of labour
on the world scale – while ruling out a serious discussion of different
perspectives and more radical alternatives, and thus the possibility to
effectively eradicate the structural causes of both ecological and social

– Stefania Barca, Labour and the ecological crisis: The eco-modernist dilemma in western Marxism(s) (1970s-2000s), 2017

Futurity by Documentary Means: Reimagining labour in the climate crisis

Platform consciousness, model of an offshore oil platform with cinema, Oil Museum, Stavanger


The distinction between ‘futurity’ and the ‘future’ draws upon Hugh Charles O’Connell’s useful distinction between the ‘future’ as the ‘qualitative aspect’ of the quotidian passing of time, ‘futurity’ as the “qualitative notion of the future as difference” and the ‘future’ that is reduced by the conditions of capitalist realism to the “merely quantitative notion” of the “extension or intensification of the conditions of the present”

- Eshun, K. (2019). To Win the War, You Fought it Sideways: Kojo Laing’s Major Gentl and the Achimota Wars. In We Travel the Space Ways. transcript Verlag.

Futurity relates to a qualitative notion of the futureas- difference, as opposed to a merely quantitative notion of the future, especially wherein the conditions of capitalist realism reduce any notions of the future to a mere extension or intensification of the conditions of the present.


- Hugh Charles O’Connell




This project brought together two local youth groups, Agaaz and Aakansha, artist collective CAMP and anthropologist, Nikhil Anand over several Sundays in the Mumbai suburb of east Jogeshwari in 2008. In this unique collaboration for its time, they shot, exchanged footage with each other and collectively read and wrote over the video material. This process resulted in a collection of 12 shorts that carried with them a multi-modal commentary on the dimensionalities of water – intimate, astute, and poetic analysis on the infrastructures of water – questioning both water pressure and the related pressures of life. The project stands as an example of combined filmic and pedagogic practices where everyday life is brought into focus in relation to larger environmental and political concerns. It is exemplary of how collective processes of editing produce dialogues that can make visible crucial life-giving and invisibilised urban infrastructures, bringing rights-based discussions front and centre, with the possibility to inspire collective action.

Khirkeeyan, 2006

Right to development: Contradictions in plainsight, Special Cover collector's item from 2006, belonged to my Nanaji

Yugantar Film Collective

People keep talking about broadcasting in India, but we are “narrowcasting” champions.

– Deepa Dhanraj interview


To recenter the value of documentary practice: its potential to create and sustain networks of knowledge sharing, solidarity or mutual aid in the most adverse situations

Ek Dozen Paani (revisited)

Ek Dozen Paani (films)

Khirkeeyaan is an exploration of an close circuit TV system as a local area network communication, micro-media generation and feedback device.

It employs security apparatus, otherwise used for surveillance and 'secret' use. Television sets and cheap surveillance equipment, coupled with an RF modulator, mics, audio mixer and metres of coax cable were laid out to form collaborative conversation systems for the 'use' of the community-at-large. TV's and electricity, consent and participation were sourced on-site(s) often drawing from a multitude of sources.

Adriana Monti

Questions for Deepa Dhanraj

Labour Unions
* What was the relation between labour unions/organising and filmmaking at that time? (Ex. Funding?)
* What would you say the agency of labour unions was then compared to today?
* Did you continue to work with domestic workers unions?
* How were you entering spaces that were not being addressed by the mainstream Left? (Thinking specifically of the film Sudesha)

* What is the practice of narrowcasting? How did it come about? Is it something you have continued to do with your other films?
* Considering the dispersed or algorithmic film viewing patterns today, would narrowcasting have a political potential?
* Relation between filmmaking and research?
* In Nicole Wolf’s text she mentions:
“…developing a film language based on the collective” – could you expand on this in relation to the formal language of the film and ethics of your practice
* Potential of political fiction today?
* Were you in touch with other feminist film collectives of that time?
* What were your influences?

De-centre the author


making, reading, framing


political potential of filmmaking

Aesthetic strategies?


networks, narratives


It haunts me when people tell me how incredibly farsighted I was to be talking about climate change and climate destabilization and the degradation of the natural world back in the 60s. I wasnt! I was just listening to the scientists.

– Ursula K. Le Guin


As a board member of Unge Kunstneres Samfund / Young Artist Society I am part of the Climate Action Group.

Walking on water, (from left) Chandrayan the first satelite on the south pole of the moon; Santhosh Reddy land owner by Bellandur lake and water tanker driver and supplier; Screenshot from the film 'To the Borewell Taal' showing operational image of borewell pipe


as the conditions of labour



Questions for Zuleikha Chaudhury

  1. I am interested in the process, the research, the construction of the narrative. The decisions behind Landscape as Evidence, specifically Rights of Nature. 

  2. Since it came out of the Game residency at Khoj, the relation to games, game-like devices, gamification, Live Action Role Playing?

  3. Collaboration with lawyers: How that relation affected both the lawyers and you, the artist. 
    - Did it reveal certain limitation of law? 

  4. Collaboration with the other artists:
    - What discussion did it raise about the responsibility of artists to society and the channels through which they can have impact?
    - What kind of art can work as evidence in a court of law in India?

  5. What were your artistic, theatrical references and inspiration?


Photo of filmmaker Randeep Maddoke presenting his witness statement at the staged hearing, Five Hands monument, Chandigarh, March 2023

Electricity subsidy

Electricity is almost free for the farmers in Punjab

Unions like Bharatiya Kisan Union were established on the demand for electricity subsidies.

Depleting groundwater in a semi-arid region growing water-intensive rice

(left) library at Punjab University, designed by Le Corbusier; (right) Nek Chand's rock garden made of the remnants of the city as it was being built in the 1950's.

Artist unions can systemically engage with and act against the climate crisis. The question is, how? Spurred on by such concerns brought forward by our members, UKS is encouraged to host a series of 3 online workshops that will be the first, humble, but urgent collective steps under the NBK-umbrella, supported by the NBK fagpolitisk fund.

 With input from two guests, we will discuss and map out possible actions while being mindful of our various capacities. On the last day, we will formulate at least 3 concrete ways in which artist unions can address these challenges. After the workshops, UKS will lead the drafting of a summary report with actionable points that all participants are encouraged to contribute to. NBK could then consider bringing up the report in further discussions with more extensive networks like Kunstnernettverket.

 The three workshops will build on each other, so collective, active participation in all is ideal. However, even if you are unable to attend all, we would value your attendance in the individual workshops and your contributions to the common summary document. 

NOV 2, 16, 23

Aggressive Green revolution – rice-wheat monoculture

Learning the structure of organising, the language and limitation of unions as civil society organs, learning the common ground between artist organisations and other trade unions



Where can this be explored? Finding case studies

Other forms of organising labour

complexity of labour-climate justice

Stubble burning to maintain the rhythm of 2-crop monoculture

documentary as a way of organising, connecting, creating networks

Other trade unions

Air pollution in Chandigarh and contributing to Delhi's horrific air quality

The power to be affected, Michael Hardt at the Cyanotypes workshop on urgent skills needs for a Green Transition

…Imagination is not fantasy (which is a modality of
memory, as we shall see below). The imagination is a linguistic gesture, hence a common gesture; the gesture which throws a web over the to-come so as to know it, construct it, organize it with power.


– Antonio Negri, Kairos, Time for Revolution (2003)

Reading this in Naomi Klein's reclaiming of Milton Friedman's words:


Only a crisis, actual or perceived, produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes the politically inevitable.


Time for transitioning to other crops. Transitioning to organic requires years of fallow time. Quality of organic process controlled by the EU

Those who are trying to grow less water intensive crops face the problem of not having a market or govt. procurement

Those who can grow out of monoculture are the landless (Zameen Prapti Sangathan Committee)


Black Panther in Solidarity with Boycott Lettuce, a movement in the US from 1970-78 lead by the United Farm Workers union against the poor working conditions in the lettuce farms, Photographed from a book on Black Panther posters and pamphlets