Public Film Screening of Ishaare - Gestures and Signs in Mumbai (directed by Annelies Kusters, 2015, 75 min., winner of the 2016 Jean Rouch Award of the Society for Visual Anthropology
Time: 18:30 – 20:30
Date: 25th of June 2019
Location: Wolfson College, Leonard Wolfson Auditorium
Access: The film features English subtitles and the venue is wheelchair accessible. If you have any other access requirements, please contact the conveners.
Conveners: Dr Theresia Hofer and Prof Elisabeth Hsu
Registration: The event is free and registration is not required.
"Ishaare" has a double meaning: it means "gestures" in Hindi and Marathi, but it also means "signs", as such indicating that there cannot be made a strict distinction between them. However, whilst there seems to be overlap between gestures and sign language, they differ too, as the protagonists of the movie show and tell us. The film Ishaare documents how six deaf signers communicate with familiar and unfamiliar hearing shopkeepers, street vendors, customers, waiters, ticket conductors and fellow travelers in Mumbai. Reena and Pradip, who is deaf blind, go grocery shopping along local streets, in markets and in shops. Sujit, our guide throughout the movie, communicates in public transport. Mahesh is a retail businessman who sells stocks of pens to stationery shops. Komal runs an accessory shop with her husband Sanjay, where most customers are schoolgirls. Durga is the manager of a branch of Café Coffee Day, an upmarket coffee chain. When enquiring, selling, bargaining and chitchatting, these deaf and hearing people use gestures and signs, and they also lipread, mouthe, read and write in different spoken languages. In the film, they share how they experience these ways of communication.