Red Ant Dream Screening with Sanjay Kak, London

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We’re lucky to be joined by Sanjay Kak screening his documentary Red Ant Dream based around grassroots movements and the struggle of communities in India who struggle against the Indian state and corporations. Red Ant Dream had been shut down by police during a screening in India. The Cass Business School is hosting this screening to go ahead in London at the Barbican Centre.

Wednesday 25th September 2013, 6.30pm-9.30pm

The Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS. Frobisher Auditorium 1 (Level 4)

ednesday 25 September 2013, 18:30-21:30
The Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS – Frobisher Auditorium 1 (Level 4) – See more at:
ednesday 25 September 2013, 18:30-21:30
The Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS – Frobisher Auditorium 1 (Level 4) – See more at:
A screening shall also be going ahead in Oxford on September 30th and one in Cambridge (tbc).

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Red Ant Dream | माटी के लाल | 120 mins


‘Let us declare that the state of war does exist and shall exist’, the revolutionary patriot had said almost a hundred years ago, and that forewarning travels into India’s present, as armed insurrection simmers in Bastar, in the troubled heart of central India. But to the east too, beleaguered adivasis from the mineral-rich hills of Odisha come forth bearing their axes, and their songs. And in the north the swelling protests by Punjabi peasants sees hope coagulate– once more–around that iconic figure of Bhagat Singh, revolutionary martyr of the anti-colonial struggle. But are revolutions even possible anymore? Or have those dreams been ground down into our nightmares? This is a chronicle of those who live the revolutionary ideal in India, a rare encounter with the invisible domain of those whose everyday is a fight for another ideal of the world.

‘Maoism teaches us that self-preservation is possible only through war’ the disembodied voice of an ideologue fills the forest, now peopled by armed guerillas. This subterranean war broke out more than half a century ago, and the continuing battle is shaped not just with bullets and explosives, but also ideas. ‘Population is the center of gravity’, says the officer charged with training policemen in jungle warfare in Bastar, with turning them into soldiers who can take-on the Maoist rebellion – ‘whichever side the population tilts, that side wins’. This is the struggle that the Indian Prime Minister has referred to as the ‘single greatest internal security threat to the nation’. As if in answer, the words of the radical Punjabi poet Pash return to haunt us – ‘If the security of the land calls for a life without conscience… then the security of the land is a threat to us’. His words draw us back into a zone of conscience, of those who resolutely resist the inequalities and injustices of the present, in defence of another utopian ideal of the world.

The third in a cycle of films that interrogate the workings of Indian democracy, Red Ant Dream (2013) follows Jashn-e-Azadi (2007) about the idea of freedom for Kashmir, and Words on Water (2002) about the people’s movement against large dams in the Narmada valley.


Director: Sanjay Kak | Camera: Ranjan Palit, Setu & Sanjay Kak | Editor: Tarun Bhartiya | Written by Sanjay Kak & Tarun Bhartiya | Sound design Madhu Apsara | featuring the music of Delhi Sultanate & Word Sound Power | and the poetry of Avtar Singh ‘Pash’



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