The theme of the 13th edition of SiGNS is Confluences &Hybridities.
We chose this theme because we feel it is very important to go beyond empty polemics and binary thinking that is currently propagated by media discourses and powers that be; because we are living in times when concerted efforts are systematically orchestrated to propagate ideas about our culture, history, society and politics as monolithic, ‘pure’ and continuous. Posing and imposing modular forms of religion, culture and tradition that has no basis in facts, truth or experience, we are constantly asked to take the majoritarian side, to hate the others, and to annihilate everything that is different and diverse.
But if one looks at any aspect of our everyday life and living, habitations and celebrations, understandings and expressions, we will realise that it is all about give and takes, absorptions and adaptations, borrowings and influences. Religious beliefs, spiritual practices, art forms, performance modes, sartorial styles, food habits, ideological streams, political ideas – all these have freely flown into this land to energise and fertilise it. Whether it be our cuisine, dress, art, music, performance, dance, rituals, festivals, beliefs or cinema, you will find traces and influences of various traditions, oriental and occidental, folk, classical and modern. All aspects of our life carry the marks of the entanglements between the indigenous and the regional on the one, and the national and global on the other. What we are now is the result of all these confluences and hybridisations.
It is through exchanges and negotiations, long processes of adoption, rejection and hybridization that cultures have thrived all over the world. To insulate any culture from the outside world and to imagine it as a self-born, self-propagating structure is tantamount to cutting off the very sources of cultural nutrition and civilizational memory. Echo chambers and inbreeding only create monsters..
Let us look at ourselves, the life around us, the people we live with, the things that thrill us, the ways in which we celebrate our joys, express our love, and share our sorrows.. They all reveal the diversity that we are, and how deeply our lives and destinies, joys and dreams are woven with the same warp and woof…
Let us celebrate togetherness.. Let us remember, rejoice and revel in the solidarities that weave our lives..
SiGNS Festival Team is grateful to Films Division, Public Service Broadcasting Corporation, LalitVachani and PatrikKrivanek for offering their films. We also thank the eminent speakers, delegates, filmmakers, film society activists and film lovers who make this festival a great event every year..