It has become commonplace to film elders. But it is not so usual for elders to make a film by themselves, especially South Asian elders in the diaspora. A little known film, Aaj Kaal (1990) was made over twenty years ago by South Asian elders, within a community education project based in Southall (London), directed by Avtar Brah and coordinated by Jasbir Panesar with the film trainer Vipin Kumar. Informed by radical forms of pedagogy and a commitment to adult education, the film provides a performative dialogic ethnography. It is notable for at least two reasons. Firstly, in terms of the methodological processes, it was forged in a reflexive project, attentive to the dynamics and practices of telling and listening with film. This was many years ahead of what has now become the burgeoning field of visual sociology. Secondly, the film offers a different enunciation of British post-war social scenes and transnational public spheres. Stories are told and performed by tellers who are usually off the radar in the crafting of histories of racism and anti-racist struggle from Southall.
In a world of information overload and reconfigurations of racial hegemony, darkmatter journal is an independent post-colonial writing-machine. An on-line project committed to producing incisive post-colonial cultural critique. We are interested in interrogating contested issues of multiculture, while eschewing current orthodoxies. darkmatter seeks to promote critical knowledge production from a range of contributors exploring the politics of everyday life. http://www.darkmatter101.org/