Amar Kanwar (b. 1964, New Delhi, India) is a filmmaker and artist with a deep social conscience. His work, both activist and poet in nature, compelled to tell stories that reveal the complex and contradictory terrain of political injustice, religious fundamentalism, ecological negligence, indigenous rights, and gender discrimination. Working across photography, installation, video and sound, Kanwar’s most recent artistic practice involves working with particular disenfranchised communities of Odisha, his art serving as testament and memorial to those whose land rights have been ignored.
Kanwar studied at the Department of History, Ramjas College, Delhi University (1982-1985), and at the Mass Communication Research Center, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi (1985–1987).
Amar Kanwar continues to live and work in New Delhi.
‘The Face’ juggles, dissects, and accelerates images of General Than Shwe, the Supreme Head of the Burmese military dictatorship, as he tosses rose petals an extra time for the press photographers at the cremation memorial site of Gandhi in Delhi. Footage for this film was clandestinely shot at the ceremony at Rajghat on the 25th of October 2004. The General had been invited by the Indian government and was on a state visit to India. The film literally unveils ‘the face’ of military representation by zooming in on the features of the General who is known for the distance he keeps from cameras. The manic repetition of the general’s pose in front of the media reveals the tragic ludicrousness of the act as it critiques the support of the Indian Government to the Burmese military.' (Amar Kanwar)
Theme: Social Science and Collective Memory