Allow your creativity to flow without inhibition


Professor, School of Media and Cultural Studies (SMCS), Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).

I’m a documentary film-maker, media teacher and researcher.

What type of projects do you do?

I enjoy working on documentaries that explore the space of indigenous knowledge systems in India. For the past few years, I’ve been working in Kutch, Gujarat, in Western India, documenting Sufi and other local traditions of music and storytelling.

I also teach in the MA in Media and Cultural Studies at TISS, and supervise Ph.D. scholars. I mentor a lot of student documentary work. I research and write in the broad areas of media and cultural studies, documentary film and censorship and have been active in campaigns for freedom of expression. In all these areas I work closely with my colleague and partner Prof. K.P. Jayasankar. We’ve been working together since 1985.

Why did this sort work interest you, and how did you get started?

I began working with the media for social change about 40 years ago, landing up in TISS in 1983, where I was involved in creating the media centre that is now SMCS.

What part of this job do you personally find most satisfying? Most challenging?

I enjoy interacting with people from local communities, listening to them and telling their stories collaboratively. I love working in a team. I also enjoy working with young people, from whom one learns a lot. I find management and administration challenging and would prefer to focus on creative and teaching work!

What do you like and not like about working in this industry?
I love being in the teaching and documentary filmmaking profession. There is a lot of freedom that we enjoy to create, inspire and to share. There’s nothing I dislike about it.

My strongest assets/skills, areas of knowledge, personality traits and values are….

My ability to work in a team, my love and respect for people and my passion for storytelling, and my ability to write and to structure material, both written and visual.

Has IAWRT’s network of media women around the world helped or inspired you?

I am a relatively new entrant to IAWRT and I enjoy working on the team as a member of the Board of Trustees in India. I AWRT has helped me meet interesting colleagues doing wonderful work and watch some amazing films!

What are your long-term goals?

To produce films that share indigenous knowledge, that represent marginalized voices and hopefully inspire others. To write books that make a contribution to knowledge. To share my insights and to learn from young people for as long as I can.

What special advice do you have for young women seeking to qualify for this type of work?

Be open, compassionate and always ready to dialogue with others. Allow your creativity to flow without inhibition. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Always stand up for justice and freedom of expression.

Do you have any special words of warning, or encouragement, because of your experience?

We live in an increasingly unequal world and the media is a part of this injustice and inequality. Each of us has to find our own ways to resist this and to try and make a difference.

links to some of Anjali’s work.

Personal website/profiles on line.