Suneil Sanzgiri: Screening and Conversation

Suneil Sanzgiri: Screening and Conversation

Suneil Sanzgiri, Golden Jubilee (still), 2021.

Suneil Sanzgiri: Screening and Conversation

Admission starts at $5

October 17, 2023, 7pm
172 Classon Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205

Join us at e-flux Screening Room on Tuesday, October 17 at 7pm for a screening of works by Suneil Sanzgiri followed by an in-person conversation with the artist. 

On the occasion of Suneil Sanzgiri’s upcoming solo show Here the Earth Grows Gold at the Brooklyn Museum, join us for a screening of Sanzgiri’s trilogy of films from 2019–2021 collectively known as Barobar Jagtana—a Konkani phrase loosely translating to “continuously surviving”. Across three films, Sanzgiri presents a kaleidoscopic vision of national liberation and solidarity in South Asia, seamlessly blending 3D renderings, drone videography, photogrammetry and lidar scanning, 16 mm film and direct animation, archival footage, and desktop documentary practices to examine overlapping histories of collectivity and dissent. Sanzgiri weaves a robust web of references, from stories of his father Shashi’s childhood in Goa at the culmination of 450 years of Portuguese occupation to the electrifying sights and sounds of the Muslim women-led Shaheen Bagh protest movement of 2019. Throughout his work, Sanzgiri telescopes between past and present, finding links between intimately familial and (inter)national narratives. The films rely on contemporary technologies of neocolonial surveillance and extraction such as Google Street View, 3D renderings, and drone footage, which ultimately led the artist to ask: “What is liberation when so much has already been taken?” When these surveillance strategies appear alongside more intimate gestures—such as screen-sharing moments of the artist Skyping with his father, or direct animation where the 16mm filmstrip is manipulated with hand-drawn pigments or scratching—alternative and even hopeful ways of seeing emerge. The films’ collaged qualities ultimately gesture toward the fragmented, improvisatory, and perpetually ongoing need to strive toward liberation.

In addition to Sanzgiri’s work, he has selected Ruchir Joshi’s Tales From Planet Kolkota (1993) to screen before his films, citing Joshi’s multifaceted essay film—a work that blends fiction, appropriation, and invites many readings on seeing and being seen—in particular as an influence in his work. The screening will be followed by a conversation between Sanzgiri and Lukas Brasiskis.


Suneil Sanzgiri, At Home But Not At Home (2019, 11 minutes)
Sanzgiri’s father was 18 when India ousted the last remaining Portuguese colonizers from his home in Goa in 1961. Combining 16mm with drone footage, desktop screenshots, and Skype interviews with his father, Sanzgiri utilizes various modes of seeing at a distance to question identity, the construction of memory and anti-colonial solidarity across continents.

Suneil Sanzgiri, Letter From Your Far-off Country (2020, 17 minutes)
Shot with 16mm film stock that expired in 2002—the same year as the state-sponsored anti-Muslim genocide in Gujarat—and filmed amid the anti-CAA protests in Delhi, the filmmaker traces lines and lineages of poetry, history, songs, and ruins through a multitude of digital interventions, found footage, and more. A search for solidarity in the sounds and colors of the spontaneous Muslim women led to the Shaheen Bagh movement in Delhi, in the poetry of Agha Shahid Ali, the song of Iqbal Bano, the theater of Safdar Hashmi, and images of B. R. Ambedkar—the radical anti-caste Dalit intellectual and founder of the Indian constitution—all surrounding a letter addressed to the filmmaker’s distant relative Prabhakar Sanzgiri, who wrote biographies of Ambedkar and was a Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader in Maharashtra.

Suneil Sanzgiri, Golden Jubilee (2021, 19 minutes)
What is liberation when so much has already been taken? Who has come for more? Golden Jubilee, the third film in a series of works about memory, diaspora and decoloniality, takes as its starting point scenes of the filmmaker’s father navigating a virtual rendering of their ancestral home in Goa, India, created using the same technologies of surveillance that mining companies use to map locations for iron ore in the region. A tool for extraction and exploitation becomes a method for preservation.

Ruchir Joshi, Tales from Planet Kolkata (1993, 38 minutes)
Part fiction, part spoof, part essay, part documentary, the film weaves together disparate strands: a critique of western media’s construction, from the 1960s to the 1990s, of Kolkata as ‘the black hole’ and ‘the worst place in the world’; an ‘elegy’ to Deepak Majumdar, one of Kolkata’s great intellectual mavericks, a teacher and friend to Joshi and many others, who died while the film was being made; and the images and song of a patua – a traditional Bengali scroll-painter. Starting with a variation on the opening of Apocalypse Now, moving through the performance-interpretations of the scroll-painter, the filmmaker himself, and an African-American video-artist from New York, the film asks questions about one’s sense of place and belonging, about the links between memory and image, and about the permanence and transience of this thing we call ‘culture.’ While referring to the reconstruction of Kolkata in the Hollywood production of City of Joy, (the film based on Dominique Lapierre’s bestseller) or weaving a fantasy about getting Jack Nicholson to act as Majumdar in a film on the latter’s life, the film asks: can ‘the worst place in the world’ be anywhere else but in your eyes and your heart?

For more information, contact

–Two flights of stairs lead up to the building’s front entrance at 172 Classon Avenue.         
–For elevator access, please RSVP to The building has a freight elevator which leads into the e-flux office space. Entrance to the elevator is nearest to 180 Classon Ave (a garage door). We have a ramp for the steps within the space.                  
–e-flux has an ADA-compliant bathroom. There are no steps between the Screening Room and this bathroom.

Film, Surveillance & Privacy, Colonialism & Imperialism
Experimental Film, Video Art, Diaspora, Decolonization, Indian Subcontinent, Storytelling, Memory, Historicity & Historiography

Suneil Sanzgiri (b. 1989, USA) is an artist and filmmaker whose work has been screened extensively at festivals and arts venues around the world. His first institutional solo exhibition Here the Earth Grows Gold opens at the Brooklyn Museum in October 2023. Screenings include International Film Festival Rotterdam, New York Film Festival, Hong Kong International Film Festival, Camden International Film Festival, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Doclisboa, Viennale, REDCAT, Menil Collection, Block Museum, MASS MoCA, moCa Cleveland, Le Cinéma Club, Criterion Collection, and many more. He has won awards at the BlackStar Film Festival, Open City Documentary Festival, Images Festival, Videoex, and more. Fellowships and residencies include SOMA, MacDowell, Pioneer Works, Sentient.Art.Film’s Line of Sight, and Flaherty NYC. He was named one of the 25 New Faces of Independent Film in Filmmaker Magazine’s fall 2021 issue and was included in Art in America’s New Talent issue in 2022.

RSVP for Suneil Sanzgiri: Screening and Conversation

Thank you for your RSVP.

will be in touch.


e-flux announcements are emailed press releases for art exhibitions from all over the world.

Agenda delivers news from galleries, art spaces, and publications, while Criticism publishes reviews of exhibitions and books.

Architecture announcements cover current architecture and design projects, symposia, exhibitions, and publications from all over the world.

Film announcements are newsletters about screenings, film festivals, and exhibitions of moving image.

Education announces academic employment opportunities, calls for applications, symposia, publications, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Sign up to receive information about events organized by e-flux at e-flux Screening Room, Bar Laika, or elsewhere.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.