Featuring 70 films, South Asia Foreground brings together a large community of outstanding artistic voices, who, through fiction, documentary and experimental works, explore compelling themes and questions that have been key for the societies of a rapidly evolving region. Mapping the history of South Asian independent cinema, this issue offers a unique opportunity to delve into the psyche of filmmakers from different generations as well as the communities they grew up in. The films address some of the most pressing issues that impact scientific development and social change in a vastly diverse topography from the Himalayas to ports of the Indian Ocean. Among the films, issues related to technology, climate change, urban development, sustainability and cultural memory emerge as some of the common threads, pointing to a shifting neoliberal political landscape over the past decades. South Asia Foreground also presents a survey of distinct cinematic vocabularies that South Asian independent filmmakers have developed since the 1980s. Considering the lack of archives for independent cinema, we regard this issue as an online archive, and a focal point through which to discover pivotal works of contemporary South Asian cinema.
Issue curated by Özge Calafato and Surabhi Sharma.