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Thu, Aug 17



South Asia Documentary Night in Night of the Arts

South Asia Documentary Night  in Night of the Arts
South Asia Documentary Night  in Night of the Arts

Time & Location

Aug 17, 2023, 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Tiivistämö, Kaasutehtaankatu 1, 00580 Helsinki, Finland

About the event

CULTUREELS – Ethnographic Film Collective will present five South Asian documentaries in a free screening on the 17th of August as part of the Night of the Arts programme.

The event begins a series of film screenings which will feature twenty powerful documentary films from Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The entire programme has been curated by Film Southasia, a festival of South Asian documentaries, and the screening is made possible by ParVISMETH, a group of researchers and practitioners in the University of Helsinki who promote use of visual methods for social action and social change.

The CULTUREELS South Asia Documentary Night includes a panel discussion on the politics of curation as well as the power dynamics embedded in curatorial processes. The panelists are Vishnu Vardhani, Inka Achté, Max Ryynänen and Rijal Suvash, and the panel is moderated by Kazu Ahmed.

Vishnu Vardhani Rajan is a Body philosopher who has spent the last decade in creating community centred practices. Their practice spans performance arts, movement, stand-up comedy and filmmaking. A hyphenated identity, multidisciplinary practices, building connections between art, science, witchcraft, history and cultures define them. Oscillating between cultures, methodologies and sexual identities, each different from the other are instrumental in their visual Language. Twerking, napping in public spaces, connecting people quilting and headstands in airports are Vishnu’s whatchamacallits for ‘everyday-activism’. Vishnu explores shame, through dance, acting and stand-up comedy. They are interested in the unconscious mind and the way people express power, manipulation techniques and unacknowledged biases in groups. Sleep, conflict, nutrition for queer, food politics and surveillance are their research interests. Night politics, conflict-positivity  and food are recurring themes in their work. Vishnu’s persona, Vamp Master Brown, is the first Indian drag king in Helsinki. They are currently researching on how to combine various disciplines to achieve a new visual vocabulary and language in performance, storytelling and cinema. They are currently reading Sara Ahmed’s Complaint with a reading-circle. Vishnu’s guerilla curatorial praxis aims to address Multi-Scalar social challenges. Convivial Complaint Cell and Infinite Playlist Afterisms (IPA) are two of Vishnu’s ongoing and community-centred foundries. Non Performance Performance and Feminist / Trauma Informed Economy are concepts they are describing since 2019.

Inka Achté is the Head of Programming at DocPoint Helsinki Documentary Film Festival and Head of Acquisitions at Raina Film Festival Distribution, an agency which offers filmmakers advice and festival distribution services. Inka is also a documentary filmmaker.

Max Ryynänen is a food/art writer and scholar in extended aesthetics who has applied e.g. Indian rasa theory to contemporary TV series and mall architecture. His book Bodily Engagements with Film, Images, and Technology: Somavision (Routledge, 2022) builds an understanding of the bodily nature of visual culture. His forthcoming book A Pedagogy of the Wretched (est. 2024) deals with film director Pier Paolo Pasolini's legacy.

Rijal Suvash is the Co-founder of Mama Events Oy that brings Nepalese movies, concerts and all sorts of cultural events to Nepalese diaspora in Finland. Rijal has always been active in the Nepalese community in Finland through Mama Events Oy as well as leading the Non Residential Nepali Association (NRNA) Ry, an umbrella organization of Nepalese diaspora globally, as a President between 2021-2023.

Kazu Ahmed studies and practices participatory visual methods (PVM) at the University of Helsinki.


  • 25 minutes


  • 15 minutes

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