In Search of a Lost Past? The Production of Affective Archives in Malayalam Cinema | Humanities & Social Sciences

In Search of a Lost Past? The Production of Affective Archives in Malayalam Cinema

Tuesday Seminar
Manju Edachira
Date and Time: 
Tue, 15/03/2022 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
08:53 PM to 09:53 PM
Online at


This paper studies Malayalam cinema’s engagement with its own history through the medium and the production of affective archives. It endeavors to understand the use of archival materials in cinema and explores the affective potential of films in the creation of generative archives. By analyzing select Malayalam films on cinema in the post 2000s, such as Thirakkatha (Screenplay; Dir. Ranjith, 2008), Nayika (Heroine; Dir. Jayaraj, 2011), Vellaripravinte Changathi (White Dove’s Friend; Dir. Akku Akbar, 2011), and Celluloid (Dir. Kamal, 2013); the paper argues that through the tropes of lost heroine, lost time and lost history, these films explore the past through affective archiving. Further, it discusses the archival recuperation of P. K. Rosy, the first heroine of Malayalam cinema and how the oppressed communities engage with archives in the present as a political and aesthetic act for an emancipatory future. In short, the paper examines the possibilities of affective archiving within and outside cinema in interrogating the dominant historical narratives.


Dr. Manju Edachira is a post-doctoral fellow (from Nov 2021) at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Delhi. Prior to this, she worked as a Guest Faculty at the Centre for English Language Studies, University of Hyderabad (2019-2020). She researched on contemporary Malayalam cinema, caste problematic and anti-caste aesthetics for her PhD from University of Hyderabad (2019). She was a Kerala Chalachitra (Film) Academy Fellow (2020-21) and an Erasmus visiting-PhD fellow in the Film Studies Division at Freie University, Berlin (2016). Her research interests include Film and Cultural Studies, Literary Studies, and Comparative Literature. She currently works on Caste and Contemporary Indian Cinema with a particular focus on affect and aesthetics.