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Wednesday, March 6, 2019 at 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Uris Hall, G08
Cast in India (26 min, USA/India, 2014)
Bengali and Hindi with English subtitles
Iconic and ubiquitous, thousands of manhole covers dot the streets of New York City. Enlivening the everyday objects around us, this short observational film is a glimpse of the working lives of the men behind the manhole covers in New York City. The film traces thecurious circuit of manhole cover manufacturing and observes the work-life of highly-skilled Indian metal workers whose labor is obscured from our purview. While following the technical process, the film inhabits the space of a foundry in Howrah, India and features the intimacies and sensory dimensions of daily working life. The film raises questions about the politics of globalization and the transnational division of labor that undergirds urban infrastructures. What are the disparate conditions that shape the geographies of production of everyday urban objects? How does the built infrastructure of New York City conceal the labor infrastructure on which it stands? Cast in India has screened at colleges as well as national and international festivals, won jury awards, and featured in Cultural Anthropology and National Geographic.
Natasha Raheja is an ethnographic filmmaker and visual anthropologist. She takes an observational approach in her films that foregrounds presence and feeling over explanation. She is interested in formal experimentation that brings together image aesthetics with collaborative ethics. Her current research focuses on migration, nationalism, and bureaucracy across the India-Pakistan border. Natasha is currently a Postdoctoral Associate of Anthropology at Cornell University.