Accepted Paper:

Sari Story: motion And emotion  


Kala Shreen (Centre for Creativity Heritage and Development)

Paper short abstract:

This anthropological film captures the movement of Kanjivaram silk sari (an indigenous textile of India) during various socio-cultural occasions in the life of a Tamil woman and the co-related emotional subjectivities of the wearer.

Paper long abstract:

Director: Dr.Kala Shreen

Year of Production: 2015

Language: Tamil (with English subtitles)

Duration: 6 min 25 sec

This anthropological film is a musical visual ethnography of the Kanjivaram silk sari, an indigenous textile of Tamilnadu in India. This film captures the intersection of the textile and the Tamil woman during various socio-cultural occasions in her life such as the rites of passage, religious rituals, festivals, traditional art performances et cetera.

As the Kanjivaram sari traverses these different occasions, it does not have a fixed status in its movement across time and space. Its values and meanings are not static. It is dynamic with fluid boundaries between various categories such as an efficacious textile bringing good fortune to the wearer during rites of passage, a symbol of distinction for classical performing artists, luxury fashion attire during traditional festivals and so on.

This evocative song depicts the interplay of the textile, the occasions and the correlated emotional subjectivities of the wearer. Therefore, as the lyricist, I have imaginatively punned upon the Tamil word pattu (meaning silk) by incorporating it in every sentence as an emotional adverb.

Traditional bamboo flutes and a hundred year old sarangi (string) instrument were used during the production of this musical piece.

Four classical Carnatic ragas (musical scales), that invoke the varied emotions associated with the respective socio-cultural occasions, were utilized thereby transforming this song into a raga-maalika (medley of ragas).

Panel AV01
Audiovisual media programme