Dr. Nitin Bathla and Klearjos Papanicolaou (ETH Zürich) Film: Not Just Roads

Öffentlicher Vortrag im Rahmen des Forschungskolloquiums Ethnologie

Datum: 28. Februar 2023
Zeit: 16.15 Uhr bis 18.00 Uhr
Ort: Universität Luzern, Raum 3.B47

Dr. Nitin Bathla and Klearjos Papanicolaou (ETH Zurich)

NOT JUST ROADS, 2:39:1, 67’, DCP, Colour, India, Switzerland, Germany

Not Just Roads is a feature-length documentary film, which explores the recent history of planetary entanglements between the built environment, monetary speculation, and everyday life. It focuses on the sensorium of an urban expressway located on the peripheries of Delhi, the Dwarka Expressway. This expressway is being constructed as a part of the Indian government's Bharatmala (‘Garland of Limitless Roads’) program, which aims to add a total of 65,400 kilometres of new highways to the existing network of highways in India. Thus opening the Indian countryside to a massive urbanisation geared towards speculative investments for the emerging Indian middle classes and global investors. Currently, these territories are inhabited by agricultural and working-class communities and nomadic herders and criss-crossed by native trails and vital ecological commons. The film captures the friction between the social and material lives of these competing life worlds, shifting between the sensorium of the worlds outside and inside of the gated utopias along the expressway. It journeys working class neighbourhoods undergoing demolition, construction landscapes, protests sites, and the persuasive pitches by the real estate salesmen attempting to sell dreamscapes.

This film was premiered at the Architecture Film Festival London 2021, where it was shortlisted as part of the 2021 International Film Competition. It was featured as part of the ‘Beyond the screen competition’ at the DocAviv Film Festival 2021, and was screened at the Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam, the Copenhagen Architecture Festival 2021, Regard Bleu Ethnographic Film Festival 2022, and Dharamshala International Film Festival 2021, India among several others. In 2022, the film was awarded the Society of Architectural Historians Award for Film and Video.  

Further information regarding the film can be found at – www.notjustroadsfilm.com