The Unexpected Time of the Contemporary: Indian cinema in the contemporary digital archive

Thursday 28 April 2016


Breault, Simon

Ravi Vasudevan lors de sa communication au colloque Narrations contemporaines

Présentation de la communication

There is an element of surprise, of not knowing what we are likely to see when we trawl the Internet. This paper takes the surfacing of the cinema in digital formats as a particular register of the contemporary. What happens to the time held in the celluloid image in such transfers?

Taking the case of the Indian contemporary, we will observe that such images may be left historically unmarked, their provenance uncertain. In other instances, the sounds and images of lost cinematic objects may arrive in bits and pieces, as video and audio files, analog and digital, uploaded by the commitment and obsession of lovers of film. This is apparently in contrast to the state itself, eager to convey and reinscribe cinema as a vehicle of heritage. And yet here too we have different curations and fragmentary uses of the newsreel and the official documentary.

This paper seeks to map this archive, ranging from the official and the inadvertent, to the passionate and the whimsical, the ways it subjects the cinematic to recombination, and how it reframes the question of historiography and historical time in the contemporary.

Pour plus d'informations, consultez le site du colloque LINCS\ALN 2016.

To cite this document:
Vasudevan, Ravi. 2016. “The Unexpected Time of the Contemporary: Indian cinema in the contemporary digital archive”. Within Narrations contemporaines: écrans, médias et documents/ Contemporary Narratives: Screens, Media and Documents. Symposium hosted by Leverhulme International Network for Contemporary Studies/ Chaire de recherche du Canada sur les arts et la littérature numériques. Montréal, Université du Québec à Montréal, 28 avril 2016. Document vidéo. Available online: l’Observatoire de l’imaginaire contemporain. <>. Accessed on November 28, 2022.
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