Freedom Lecture: Pallavi Paul

Image: still from the film The Blind Rabbit

Programme editor
Sophie Rutenfrans
In collaboration with
The indian video- performance- and installation-artist Pallavi Paul will give the 32nd Freedom Lecture. In her most recent film The Blind Rabbit, Pallavi Paul attempts to describe systematic police violence in Dehli based on individual experiences, often omitted in official history. She does so in an associative edit of texts, images and sounds, making effective use of the scattered fragments of documentation still extant, including hurriedly safeguarded video and audio recordings of eyewitness accounts as well as those of the police and security forces.

Due to COVID-19 and the political situation, police brutality might no longer be considered one of India’s priorities, whilst it is still happening every day. To what extent is police brutality limiting the individual freedom of the people in India? For many, day-to-day crime has a higher priority than police brutality itself. Together with the fear of speaking out against the police, the situation only seems to be getting worse. How can we understand the history of oppression by the police in India, and is change possible?

The Freedom Lecture

Freedom is a shared value that we in the Netherlands often take for granted. Four times a year, De Balie invites someone who knows from personal experience what it means not to be free. We want to share their stories, spread their message, and learn from their struggle. In the series, De Balie has welcomed freedom fighter like Egyptian writer and activist Nawal el Saadawi, Ugandan LGBT activist Frank Mugisha, Russian journalist Yevgenia Albats, internet activist Esra’a Al Shafei from Bahrain and Patrisse Cullors & Janaya Khan from the Black Lives Matter-movement.

The Freedom Lecture is made possible by Stichting Democratie en Media and the International Film Festival Rotterdam


Pallavi Paul Video- performance- and installation-artist
Aletta AndréCorrespondent Zuid-Azië


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