The project will produce ten research papers and five films in Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India that bring to the fore the most pressing concerns on justice in the respective countries. The papers and the films will be produced by some of the best known documentary film makers of the region and researchers. The project draws its inspiration from a similar project undertaken by Aakar in 1998 and again in 2011 where five films on masculinities were produced in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and India on masculinities. The second series is now under production. Both these projects have inspired the design of this project which seeks to draw a set of film makers and researchers together in a project that could be the first ever to put together a collaborative effort of this kind with a view to research as well as circulate that research and make it accessible to a large public.
This project is designed to be a filmic and textual interrogation on justice that will bring together through a regional collaborative and consultative process film makers, researchers and activists who have been working on this theme in different ways spread across south Asia. The project will draw upon a leading researcher/thinker on justice from each country to contribute a research paper that will complement the films. Each film and research paper will be around one of the themes identified by the project as the principle investigation vector.
The project further looks at the films to be produced within this project as a mode of research that complement the papers to be produced by the researchers. The papers and the films are not mutually exclusive but rather different mediums deployed to study the themes outlined by this project. The use of film as one of the vehicles of research for this project is born not out of the rather tired idea of ‘documenting’ but of using filmic methods and medium to extract a supplementary set of meanings to what can be done with words. The image because of its corporeality is able to draw us into a chain of thoughts, responses and knowledge building that may not always be the same as when words are used and it is these qualities of the image that the project aims to draw upon to investigate the theme of justice. The films and the research papers will complement each other and help in not only teasing out the multiple dimensions to the investigation of justice but will also add significantly to the circulation of the ideas and knowledge generated through the project.