Centre for Culture, Media & Governance (CCMG), Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), New Delhi inaugurated an “Authors Workshop on Visuals in South Asia: Decoding Debates beyond Borders” on 28 February 2020. This one-day workshop is organised under the auspices of UGC sponsored “Centre with Potential for Excellence in a Particular Area” (CPEPA).

The inaugural session began with the introductory remarks by Dr Ratan Kumar Roy, Research Fellow at CCMG. In his introductory remarks, Dr Roy provides a brief trajectory of the proposed edited volume on Visuals in South Asia. The authors’ workshop aimed at bringing together authors and scholars from across South Asia to contribute to the edited volume. The volume is primarily planned into three themes: (a) Ways of seeing; (b) Representational politics of visuals; and (c) manufacturing and mediation of meaning in visuals.

In his editorial remarks, Prof Biswajit Das, remarked that the contribution of the scholars cater to diverse geographies and time, which is one way of generating knowledge across boundaries and is codified in print.  But a world-view constructed with print-based knowledge is quite often riddled with blind spots. In terms of visual representations, if we “view representation as translation work rather than mere reportage, as metaphor rather than index, as incomplete rather than comprehensive”, we would admit the infirmity of the codes in terms of what each code can and should do. Representations through the use of visuals are concerned with transformations. They are refined to fit the codes and conventions of the visual representation. It is against these infirmities that the workshop is set in place, which is part of the Centre’s ongoing activities.

Prof. Saima Saeed, the Director of the Centre delivered the Chair remarks on the occasion. In her remarks, Prof. Saeed said that the Centre is privileged to have CPEPA program which gives us the responsibility of becoming a think tank in not just India but in South Asia, which is something the Centre has been toeing since its inception in 2007. The proposed volume is believed to stamp the centre’s position.

Visual is perhaps a new way of seeing; this is certainly one area which the centre would be engaging with. The ways of seeing, where seeing is believing, and seeing is also not believing in this whole new domain of fake news creation needs exploration. The writing on the visuals of creating the text and circulating the text is something which addresses a new kind of challenge in the current state of affairs.

 

Concluding her remarks, Prof. Saeed thanked the participants for their contribution to the volume and offered her best wishes and support to make the workshop a success.