The Nomad Liberty Movement, a collective of professionals and activists from the Nomadic and De-notified Tribes, has been organising a series of lectures this month to celebrate the third Vimukta Month. On Tuesday, August 16, they had invited Omey Anand, a filmmaker and founder of the ‘Nijat Collective,’ to deliver a lecture on the topic ‘Representation of Nomadic Communities in the Indian Cinema.’
While addressing the online session, Omey pointed out that the “cameras remained untouched” by the marginalised communities for decades. Internationally, ”there are examples of filmmakers like Ousmane Sembène or Rolf de Heer from Australia who made the film ‘The Tracker,’ showing the life of Aboriginals. Not only that, a Keralite director named John Abraham has done the same work living in India,” Omey informed. These are all the filmmakers who, according to him, have the lived experience of the communities they were representing.
On the other hand, Omey cited the example of the Marathi film called ‘Dhangarwada,’ where neither the actors nor the director had the lived experience of the Dhangar community.
“Nomadic people are only represented as minor characters. Now when we have the access to camera, we can be creators of our own stories. Even if the camera is the same, the lens of a Brahmin and an Adivasi/Nomadic person differs. People are sharing stories through their own lenses now,” he said.
Omey’s documentary film ‘Kadubai’ as well as his short film ‘Enlighten’ have been screened internationally. He also gives training to women and students from oppressed communities to use the camera in order to make movies to tell their own stories.
The next lecture in the Nomad Liberty Movement’s series is scheduled for August 21 and will be delivered by writer Narayan Bhosale.