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"Shewrite" Screening 

DESCRIPTION: The History Department is organizing the screening of a documentary film "Shewrite" by Professor Anajali Monteiro and Professor Jayasankara, visiting Fulbright scholars at UC, Berkely, on Monday, March 26, 2007, from 12:15 to 1:30 pm in the Woody Tanger auditorium at the library. Professors Monteiro and Jayasankara will be available for discussion after the viewing.  
DATE: Monday, March26, 2007
TIME: 12:15pm to 1:30pm 
LOCATION: Woody Tanger auditorium 
NOTE: SheWrite weaves together the narratives and work of four Tamil women poets. Salma negotiates subversive expression within the tightly circumscribed space allotted to a woman in the small town of Thuvarankurichi. She is able to defy and transcend family proscriptions on writing to become a significant voice questioning patriarchal mores in a powerful yet gentle way. For Kuttirevathi, a Siddha doctor and researcher based in Chennai, solitude is a crucial creative space from where her work resonates, speaking not just for herself but also for other women who are struggling to find a voice. Her anthology entitled Breasts (2003) became a controversial work that elicited hate mail, obscene calls and threats. The fact that a number of women poets are resisting patriarchy and exploring themes such as desire and sexuality in their creative work been virulently opposed by some Tamil film lyricists, who have gone on record with threats of death and violence. In various ways, the dominant literary establishment has tried to threaten and rubbish the poets and their work. This has been resisted by a group of poets and other artists who have formed a collective called Anangu (Woman), which is attempting to expand the subversive creative spaces available to women writers and poets, across Tamil Nadu. Malathy Maitri, who lives in Pondicherry, has been a Marxist activist. She is a founder member of Anangu. Her poems attempt to explore and express feminine power and spaces. Sukirtharani, a school teacher in Lalapet, writes of desire and longing, celebrating the body in a way that affirms feminine empowerment and a rejection of male-centred discourse. The film traverses these diverse modes of resistance, through images and sounds that evoke the universal experiences of pain, anger, desire and transcendence.  
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