Tribute to John Berger

John Berger (John Peter Berger) was born on 5 November, 1926, London, England. He died on 2 January, 2017 in France. The British essayist and cultural thinker was a prolific screenwriter, novelist and poet. He is best known for his BBC series Ways of Seeing and his novel G (1972; winner of the Man Booker Prize), which portrayed sexual and interpersonal relationships intricately.

The versatile Berger wrote the text of A Fortunate Man: The Story of a Country Doctor (1967) and A Seventh Man (1975), about Europe’s migrant workers, both of them featuring Jean Mohr’s photographs. He translated writings of Bertolt Brecht from German into English. In 1972 Berger’s Ways of Seeing was produced by the BBC as a series of four 30-minute programmes.

In the Seventies, he wrote three screenplays partnering with Swiss film director Alain Tanner. The best known among them was for the film Jonah Who Will Be 25 in the Year 2000 (1976), which takes place in Geneva. Berger collaborated with Mohr again in 1982 with the book Another Way of Telling, which examines the ambiguous reality presented in photographs. He was honoured with Golden PEN Award in 2009 by English PEN to a writer whose “body of work has had a profound impact on readers.”

Tribute to Chalam

Chalam Bennurkar, an independent documentary maker and film activist, was a college dropout and worked as a signboard painter for some time before he became part of CIEDS Collective and Vimochana in Bangalore. He was a deeply passionate and intense person and straddled the world of politics, literature, theatre and cinema, locally, nationally and internationally. As part of CIEDS Collective, he had initiated Janamadhyam, a screening network and production infrastructure for grassroots action which he continued informally even after he left the Collective through Touring Talkies.

He contributed to the film society movement in Bangalore through the Bangalore Film Society and Odessa in Kerala by creating a space for young film makers to showcase their work. Sakshi, was a first of a kind initiative that he started in 1998 to showcase work on documentaries all over the world and create a platform for Independent Documentary Film Makers in India.

Kutty Japanin Kuzhandaigal (Children of Mini Japan), On Latur, All About My Famila, Bishaar Blues are some of the major works of Chalam Bennurkar. He is a recipient of several national and international awards.