Social, Community & Cultural


Indian Images in the Pacific : Mandrika Rupa

A Film presentation at the Nehru Centre, Indian High Commission Cultural Wing, Mayfair, London on July 21, 2006.

Chief Guest: HE Rt Hon Jonathan Hunt, The New Zealand High Commissioner to the UK.


‘Recontextualising National Identities : diasporic translations of cultural transformations’

Written for the "Cultural Transformations Symposium",
Otago University, Dunedin, NZ. Nov 2003.

I locate my work in the Indian diaspora. Diaspora “disrupts the fundamental power of territory to determine identity by breaking the simple sequence of explanatory links between place, location, and consciousness”. The idea of diaspora, Paul Gilroy suggests, provides one way out of entrenched “camps” such as race, gender, religion, etc. For some, national identity is seen to be a political identity. One way I transcend identity politics is affirming the diaspora. View PDF.


“Hidden from History”: Imaging the ‘Subaltern’

Written for Otago University, Dunedin, NZ. Nov 2003.

Independent film is alternative to mainstream cinema. It is counter-cinematic to the dominant ideologies of Hollywood, Bollywood or any hegemonies. The commercial realm of film making for ‘entertainment’ has the machinery of industry backing and distribution, thereby the power to present a certain reality that deliberately ignores the social complexities of life. Working as an independent in the New Zealand sense* I seek to re-present the flip side of this from every angle. View PDF.


Nari Shakti is a women's rights watch group, founded 22 yrs ago, which monitors the rights of immigrant women through mental health and current political issues. For a personal interview of Mandrika and Leila Keshav, the other founder of Nari Shakti, regarding the history of Nari Shakti, there will soon be available a DVD.

Nari Shakti Oral History Project
A collection of 14 interviews which cover a broad range of issues, such as: cultural expectations for women, marriage, religion, role models, class issues, the caste system, careers, links back to India or other homelands, racism, traditions, motherhood, achievements in the Indian community and wider society, business and work experiences, access to legal services, health and education. <more>

The Nari Shakti oral history project is held in the oral history
collection of the Alexander Turnbull Library under the title "A history of Indian women in Aotearoa", reference number: OHColl-0063. To find out more information about the project please email, or write to

The Oral History Centre,
Alexander Turnbull Library,
PO Box 12349,

or phone 64-4-474-3162 (New Zealand).