In Order to Join - films and lecturers at the Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach and Filmwerkstatt Düsseldorf

Lecture / Discussion / Tour / Films

Framing the exhibition IN ORDER TO JOIN −
Political in a Historical Moment
Curated by Swapnaa Tamhane and Susanne Titz

Sunday, 16 February, 2014

11:30am Exhibition tour with curators Swapnaa Tamhane and Susanne Titz
12:30pm Break in the Museumscafé
1:00pm Lecture and Discussion with Prof. Dr. Monica Juneja – Writing Parallel Histories?
4:30pm Leave with shuttle bus for Filmwerkstatt in Düsseldorf

6:30pm Fearless: The Hunterwali Story (1993), Dir. Riyad Vinci Wadia, 60 Minutes,
English with German subtitles
8:30pm The World Before Her (2012), written and directed by Nisha Pahuja, 60 Minutes,
English with German subtitles


Monica Juneja, Professor of Global Art History at the University of Heidelberg, will frame the
exhibition “In Order to Join” into a larger narrative of contemporary art as an event not to be
understood as a single episode. Her talk will query the conditions which have made visibility for gender and hitherto marginalized cultural practices possible in contemporary global circuits. What does this mean for the way we think about terms such as “Modernism” and “Conceptualism” in art? Can we rethink the premises of these concepts in the light of new cultural geographies? Juneja will also speak about the discipline of art history, and of ways of writing about regions for long labeled the “non-West” and therefore continuously in a state of being compared.

Monica Juneja is Professor of Global Art History at the Heidelberg Cluster of Excellence Asia and Europe in a Global Context since since January 2009. 
Her areas of research include practices of visual representation, the disciplinary trajectories of art history in South Asia, gender and political iconography in modern France, the interface between Christianisation, religious identities and cultural practices in early modern South Asia.


“Fearless: The Hunterwali Story” is a documentary about Mary Evans (1908-1996), and her
life as India’s most popular stuntwomen. She played the masked and cloaked ‘Fearless Nadia’ in
“Hunterwali” (1935), a Hindi stunt film in which she chased and defeated evil characters. She
starred in 40 films until her career ended in the late 1950s. Evans was born in Perth, Australia, in
1910, and came to India because her father was transferred in the military.
While she began her career as a theatre artist and working in the circus, her fortune changed when
she met the famous Jamshed Wadia, the director of stunt and action films in Bombay. The artist
Pushpamala N., included in “In Order to Join”, has selected this film because it has been a huge
influence on her, and she has quoted the appearance of Nadia in her early photo-romance series,
Phantom Lady.

“The World Before Her”, a documentary written and directed by Nisha Pahuja, considers two
varying positions of the modern Indian woman in the world’s largest democracy in transition.
The documentary contrasts boot camps for Miss India beauty pageant contestants and the Durgha
Vahini, a militant Hindu fundamentalist training camp with first person accounts by the young
women involved. While they share opposite views, they ultimately share a similar desire to shape
the future of India. This documentary is a fascinating portrayal of the contradictions of both skewed
ideas of tradition and religion and what being “modern” is or could be. This documentary has been
selected by Swapnaa Tamhane, co-curator of “In Order to Join”.

Admission for Museum Abteiberg and Filmwerkstatt is 12 Euros, which includes the shuttle bus,
entry into the museum and the films, while the symposia is free.

Please register with Museum Abteiberg for the Shuttle bus leaving from Filmwerkstatt Düsseldorf at 10:30 am to come to Museum Abteiberg.

Registration is not required for the lecture or the films.