Talks / Conversations / Webinars

Presentation: Sounds of Madras – Aug. 21, 2020

An auditory tour of Madras.

This event celebrates Madras through the auditory senses. Participants experience prominent Madras locations through audio snippets meticulously recorded and compiled by students of the School of Indian Film Music with a view to appreciate our city’s unique soundscape. The very talented playback singer B. V. Ramanan will also be singing in the event.

Facebook Live at 8 p.m.

Organised by School of Indian Film Music.

Conversation: Tamil Cinema and our family – The Madras Connect – Aug. 22, 2020

Join Dr. Swarnamalya Ganesh and Nandhini Sathyamoorty (her aunt and senior member of the family) as they discuss the music and dance, sets and directors, stories and screenplays, actors and actresses, costumes and choreographers from their family’s connections to Tamil Cinema. TNR Productions, Nandhini Pictures, Ravi Films were the enterprises through whose portals Nandhini, as a young child and teenager saw some great films being made with great actors, actresses and technicians.

At 7 p.m. FB Live on

As a family that has even today talents within the Tamil film industry, they will share pictures, some footage and anecdotes about yester year cinema.

Panel Discussion: Poster, banner and cutout culture in Tamil Cinema – Aug. 29, 2020


Dr. Preminda Jacob, Author, Art Historian and Associate Professor of art History, UMBC
Rajiv Menon, Award-winning Cinematographer/Director
S. Theodore Baskaran, Film historian & Author
More panelists to be confirmed.


Dr. Uma Vangal, Fulbright Scholar, Film Professor/Historian & Film Curator

Online. 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. IST
To join the talk – Register here:

You will receive the link to join the session via email.

Please note: If you are unable to join the panel on Zoom due to full capacity, please join our Facebook Live:

Organised by Chennai Photo Biennale.

Conversation: Chennai Vasi – A ‘crazy’ story – Aug. 28, 2020

The art and the artist are not to be separated in Namma Madras. On this 380th Madras day, we celebrate an iconic artist, Mr “Crazy” Mohan.

Mr.Maadhu Balaji in conversation with Madhumeetha about Mohan’s life, his work as a theater artist, playwright, screenwriter and his Madras.
Imagined by SPI Edge in association with Madras Literary Society

Time: 7-8 PM
Medium: Zoom (Link for the call will be sent upon registration)
Register by sending an email to to claim your seat.

Talk: மதராஸ் மனதே – தலை கொடுத்தேனும் தலைநகர் காப்போம்” எல்லை மீட்பு போராட்டம் – Aug. 21, 2020

By முனைவர் T. பரமேசுவரி

Online. Facebook Live: 
At 7.00 p.m.

Organised by Quaide Milleth International Academy of Media Studies & Foundation for South Indian Studies

இந்திய சுதந்திரத்துக்கு முன்பே மொழிவாரி மாநிலங்களுக்கான கோரிக்கை எழத் தொடங்கி விட்டன. பிரிட்டிஷ் ஆட்சிக்காலத்திலேயே மன்னரும் மக்களும் இணைந்து கோரிக்கை வைத்ததால், 1936 ஏப்ரல் 1 அன்று இந்திய நிர்வாகச் சட்டத்தின் கீழ், அதிகாரப்பூர்வமாக ஒரியா மொழி பேசும் மக்களுக்காக, இந்திய வரலாற்றில் மொழிவழி மாநிலமாக முதலில் உதயமானது ஒரிசா (தற்போதை ஒடிசா). விடுதலைக்குப் பின் இக்கோரிக்கை பரவலாகவும் வலுவாகவும் எழுந்ததன் அடிப்படையில் அது குறித்து ஆராய மத்திய அரசால் 1948 இல் எஸ்.கே. தார் என்பவர் தலைமையில் ஓர் ஆணையம் (Dhar commission) அமைக்கப்பட்டது.

இச்சூழலில் தனி ஆந்திர கோரிக்கையை வலியுறுத்தி பொட்டி ஸ்ரீராமுலு, 58 நாட்கள் உண்ணாவிரதமிருந்து 1952 டிசம்பர் 15 அன்று உயிர் நீத்தார். இதனால் கொந்தளிப்பான சூழல் உருவானது. இந்நிலையில், 1953 அக்டோபர் 1ஆம் தேதி சுதந்திர இந்தியாவின் முதல் மொழிவாரி மாநிலமாக ஆந்திரம் அறிவிக்கப்பட்டது. உடனே ஆந்திரத்தின் தலைநகராக சென்னையை அறிவிக்க வேண்டும் என்ற கோரிக்கையை வலியுறுத்தி “மதராஸ் மனதே” என்ற போராட்டத்தை ஆந்திரத் தலைவர்கள் மேற்கொண்டனர். அப்போது சிலம்புச் செல்வர் ம.பொ.சி “தலையை கொடுத்தேனும் தலைநகரை காப்போம்” என்ற முழக்கத்தை முன்வைத்து, சென்னையை தமிழகத்தில் தக்கவைக்க போராடினார். தமிழகம் சென்னையை தக்கவைத்துக் கொண்டாலும், போராட்டம் முடிந்துவிடவில்லை. தமிழகத்தின் பல்வேறு பகுதிகளை அண்டை மாநிலங்களுக்கு தாரை வார்க்க வேண்டிய இக்கட்டான சூழல். இது குறித்து உரையாடுகிறார் முனைவர் T. பரமேசுவரி.

முனைவர் தி. பரமேசுவரி: சிலம்புச் செல்வர் ம.பொ.சியின் பெயர்த்தி; தமிழாசிரியர், இலக்கியவாதி, பெண்ணியவாதி என்ற பல அடையாளங்களுக்கு சொந்தக்காரர். கலை இலக்கியப் பேரவை விருது, பாலா விருது, அன்னம் விருது பெற்றிருக்கின்றார். கலை இலக்கியப் பெருமன்றத்தின் மாநிலச் செயலாளர்.

Talk: Arcot Nawabs and Madras – Aug. 20, 2020

By Kombai S Anwar.

Online. Facebook Live: 
At 7.00 p.m.

Organised by Quaide Milleth International Academy of Media Studies & Foundation for South Indian Studies

Towards the end of the 17th century, when Madras came under the Mughal domain, it soon had to contend with the Arcot Nawabs, the Mughal deputies in charge of the Carnatic region. Their connections to the city grew over the years, and by 1760’s when they made Madras their home, it became even stronger. Despite the Nawabs of Carnatic being the masters of the region, quickly they lost their dominance to the wily Company. However during their century-long rule and even thereafter, they made a lasting impression on the city and the region as a whole. This lecture tries take a holistic view of their political travails and rich contributions to the region.

Kombai S Anwar is a writer, photographer, documentary filmmaker and an avid History buff. He has directed a series of short films on the ‘Big Temple at Thanjavur’ built by Raja Raja Chola, a project commissioned by the ‘Archaeological Survey of India’ to commemorate the 1000th year celebrations of the Big Temple. His documentary film ‘Yaadhum’ (All), which traces the history and identity of the Tamil Muslim community has won many awards in India as well as abroad. He does Heritage walks and tours to sensitise people of their rich cultural past. He is the Director of Quaide Milleth International Academy of Media Studies, Chennai.

Talk: Company Paintings of Madras – Portraying the Picturesque and the Prosaic – Aug. 19, 2020

By Dr. Swapna Sathish (Faculty, Department of Fine Arts, Stella Maris College)

Online. Facebook Live:
At 7.00 p.m.

Organised by Quaide Milleth International Academy of Media Studies & Foundation for South Indian Studies

From the 1780s, the allure of India lured travelling landscape and portrait painters from England who came in search of wealth and an exotic Orient. Until then there was practically no visual record of the Indian landscape and its people based on first-hand observation. European artists, mainly British, applied their talents to painting the varied landscape of India, its monuments, portraits of the ruling and local elite and historical events of imperial interest. Artistic patronage shifted and Indian artists in the local courts were pitted against Western competitors and their illusionistic style of art. In catering to the different visual preferences of the colonisers, ‘Company Painting’ was born.

Dr. Swapna Sathish is Assistant Professor of Fine Arts at Stella Maris College, Chennai, teaching art history and design for the past 18 years. A freelance art critic, she has authored catalogues, exhibition reviews and contributed chapters to books. She has also presented papers at international conferences and delivered invited lectures in India and abroad. Subsequent to a postgraduate research degree in Renaissance art history from the United Kingdom, Swapna received her doctorate from the University of Madras for her thesis titled ‘Piety and Popularity: Contemporary Temple Murals of Tamil Nadu.’ Her areas of interest are popular culture and 18th century colonial art. She received a Charles Wallace India Trust research grant to undertake post-doctoral research in the United Kingdom. She has served as Honorary Secretary and Treasurer of the Association of British Scholars, Chennai chapter.

Talk: Rejuvenating the CITY – Penang and Chennai – Aug. 18, 2020

By Mr. Hamdan Abdul Majeed (Managing Director, Think City), in conversation with Dr. A Srivathsan, (Professor, CEPT University, Ahmedabad).

Online. Facebook Live:
At 7.00 p.m.

Organised by Quaide Milleth International Academy of Media Studies & Foundation for South Indian Studies

Mr. Hamdan Abdul Majeed is the Managing Director of Think City, a social purpose organization with the mission of making cities more people-friendly, resilient and liveable. As a regional city making agency, Think City provides urban policy thinking and supports the management and implementation of urban solutions while advocating change in the way cities are planned, curated, developed, and celebrated. Think City’s work has reversed the decline of George Town, Penang, putting it on the international list of 10 Best Places to Visit. Hamdan has been actively involved in shaping urban policy and plans in Malaysia including more recently, Penang 2030, a state government initiative with the vision of a family-oriented, green and smart Penang.

Dr. A. Srivathsan is an architect and urban designer, and currently Director, Center for Research on Architecture and Urbanism, CEPT University Ahmedabad. He was previously the Academic Director of the University, and before that taught for a decade and worked as a senior journalist with The Hindu, the national newspaper. His research and writings include the themes of urban history, planning policies and contemporary architectural practices.

Talk: Bohra Muslims of Madras – Aug. 17, 2020

By Ms. Tasneem Akbari Kutubuddin (Journalist)

Online. Facebook Live: 
At 7.00 p.m.

Organised by Organised by Quaide Milleth International Academy of Media Studies & Foundation for South Indian Studies

The Gujarathi speaking Bohra Muslim community is said to have arrived in Madras as early as 1800s. They have since then contributed actively to the city’s legacy. Most have settled in Georgetown and have been engaged in business and trading hardware. The community has its own mosques, has established school and community spaces and and they largely retain their lifestyle, food and dressing.

Ms. Tasneem Akbari Kutubuddin has done her Masters in Journalism & Communication and has worked as a senior journalist, editor and columnist for leading publications like The Logical Indian, Deccan Chronicle, Worldwide Media Corporation, The Bridge and Provoke. She is currently contributing to a women’s portal. Belonging to the Bohra community, her ancestors were the first Bohra Muslim settlers in Chennai and she has been documenting the history of the Bohra settlement in Chennai.


Talk: Chennai Travelogue By An Architect – Aug. 16, 2020

Talk by Karthik Nachiappan, Architect, Urbanist, Globetrotter, Academician
Facilitated by KeyTerns, the thematic travel team.

Between 11 AM and 12:30 PM IST.

Facebook live –

For Whom: Must watch for any proud Chennaite, People in Educational, Tourism and Architecture Sectors

Topics covered

1. Linking practical Learning with ecology – will be useful for teachers, parents and students
2. Exploring the travel potentiality of the public spaces in Chennai – Are we rightly using the chennai urban open spaces for travellers to its optimum in comparison with some Cities in the world?
3. Creating the Chennai Identity – What more can we be proud of showing to our friends / relatives / guests coming to Chennai?


Contact +917550042234 for any queries.

~ Karthik Nachiappan ( and KeyTerns (, +917550042234

Talk: The School of Arts, Madras: Imagining a museum of labour – Sep. 9, 2020

C. P. Krishnapriya in conversation with Bhooma Padmanabhan

6.30 p.m. | Online Lecture (In English)
Zoom ID : 833 2017 1132

Facebook live –

Organised by Roja Muthiah Research Library & Foundation for South Indian Studies

Bhooma Padmanabhan is a Chennai-based curator, researcher and art program manager. She completed her BA in Fine Arts from Stella Maris College, Chennai, and her MFA in Art History from the M.S. University of Baroda. She started her career in the arts as a curator at Dakshinachitra, following which she moved to Delhi to work at the newly established Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art (FICA). In a decade with this young and rapidly growing grant-making foundation she worked with some of India’s most exciting young artists, supporting critical public art projects and growing FICA’s public programming and educational outreach. She has since curated numerous contemporary art exhibitions, both solos and group shows, experimenting with the curatorial space as platforms for learning, resource sharing, and collaboration. In 2018 she was a researcher with the Kochi Biennale’s Students Biennale programme which focused on studying the material and pedagogic environments of India’s vast network of art colleges. Bhooma is now the co-curator of the 3rd edition of the Chennai Photo Biennale.

CP Krishnapriya is a practising visual artist based in Chennai. She completed her Masters from the Govt. College of Fine Arts, Chennai. Her work is multidisciplinary in nature; she uses paintings, drawings, collage, found objects and sculptural installations to engage with her concerns. The works primarily deal with the self and its relationship with its environment. History and local political discourses are also woven into the imagery that she creates.

She is interested in understanding the process of art pedagogy. Her other interests are contemporary art practices, history, theatre and environmental studies. She has been part of numerous art exhibitions and art camps. She is also part of art collectives and groups based in Chennai. She was one of the curators of the two editions of the Students’ Biennale, Kochi (2016-17 and 2018-19). She was a resident artist at University of Pennsylvania in the fall of 2017 and summer 2019, supported by the South Asia Centre, Upenn.

Talk: Making a Dravidian Voice – Sep. 2, 2020

By Dr. Amanda Weidman
6.30 p.m. | Online Lecture (In English)

Zoom ID : 857 7692 7793

Facebook live –

Organised by Roja Muthiah Research Library & Foundation for South Indian Studies

Dr. Amanda Weidman is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Bryn Mawr College, USA. She is the author of the book, Singing the Classical, Voicing the Modern: The Postcolonial Politics of Music in South India (2006). Her new book on playback singing in the Tamil film industry, entitled Brought to Life by the Voice, will be published in 2021 by University of California Press.

Talk: சபாநாடகங்களும் தமிழ் சினிமாவும் – Aug. 26, 2020

By S. Theodore Bakskaran
6.30 p.m. | Online Lecture (In Tamil)

Zoom ID : 895 7535 4784

Facebook live –

Organised by Roja Muthiah Research Library & Foundation for South Indian Studies

S. Theodore Baskaran started his career as Researcher in Tamil Nadu State Archives before he joined the Indian Postal Service in 1964. He retired as the Chief Postmaster General, Tamilnadu Circle. Baskaran has been for writing for more than 45 years. His book, The Message Bearers is a pioneering work on Theatre and Cinema. His second book, The Eye of the Serpent (1996) won the Golden Lotus (Best Book on Cinema) Award in 1997. He has also written several books and articles on film history in Tamil. He has lectured on cinema in many universities including Princeton University, The Australian National University and the University of Chicago.[3] In 2000, he won the Ki Va Ja prize awarded by the Kamban Kazhagam. He was a Hughes Visiting Scholar at the University of Michigan in 2001 and taught a course on Film Studies. He was a jury member at the 2003 National Film Awards. During 1998–2001, he was the Director of the Roja Muthiah Research Library. He is a member of the library’s Board of Trustees. He has also acted in a supporting role in the 2010 Tamil film Aval Peyar Thamizharasi.

Baskaran is a keen bird watcher and a naturalist. He is a former honorary wildlife warden and the South India Representative of the International Primate Protection League. He is a trustee of WWF-India. His collection of essays on nature and wildlife conservation has been published as The Dance of the Sarus (Oxford University Press) in 1999. He edited a book of articles on nature titled “The Sprint of The Black Buck” ; Penguin (2009). He has authored a number of books in Tamil on Cinema and environment.

Talk: Print Culture in Tamilnadu – Aug. 19, 2020

By Prof. V. Arasu
6.30 p.m. | Online Lecture (In Tamil)

Zoom ID : 892 9827 3935

Facebook live –

Organised by Roja Muthiah Research Library & Foundation for South Indian Studies

Prof. V. Arasu was till recently the Professor and Head of the department of the Tamil Department at the University of Madras. His researches have been multidisciplinary encompassing literature, history and culture. He engages Tamil pedagogy with epigraphy, archaeology and sociology. He has guided several researchers who are well placed. He has unearthed several hidden rare material that is relevant to Tamil society and its understanding. He has edited and published more than 45 monographs and collection of articles which are important for understanding of Tamil Studies.