Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Session on Multiculturalism and the Screening of the Documentary "Impressions from Luton" in the presence of its maker Mekhela Deva
A session on multiculturalism was organised at the Heritage Institute of Languages , Lucknow, under the joint auspices of Open Space - Lucknow and the institute under the Open Space - Lucknow series of cross-cultural dialogues, titled Diversity Dialogue, on Friday, 10th July, 2009, at which a documentary Impressions from Luton was screened in the presence of its maker Mekhela Deva. The film was about the changing face of a British town called Luton, seen through the eyes of two local Englishmen, poet Robert Gurney and journalist Andy Gayler. It is their impression that the student director Mekhela Deva brought back with her after a year's sabbatical at the University of Bedfordshire, where she did a Masters in Media Production (Documentary). Curious about the British multicultural experiment, she explores it through both their narratives that reflect the town's diversity in a very subtle way. The film is split in five different sections. It begins with one of Bob Gurney's poems and is followed by the journalist's narrative, to come back to another poem and so on. However, there is a thread that links all the sections to also tell the story of the town. Robert Gurney's poems are like an elegy to the past, whilst the journalist celebrates the survivor spirit of Luton with its "let's live with it" pragmatism. By the end of the film one gets a sense of the town's history as well as its evolution from a very English town to one with a multicultural face. The screening was preceded and followed by discussions on multiculturalism, in which students from thirteen countries enrolled at the Heritage Institute took part along with the institute's directors Rauni and Rebecca Da Mota and teachers. On the occassion a treatise written by Mekhela Deva on her film was also distributed.