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Research Article

Lines in the Sand(bar): Collective Perspectives and Shifting Temporalities in Char... The No Man's Island

Author:

Amrita Chakraborty

Cornell University, US
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Abstract

The tasks of documenting and narrating stories of climate change and border environments have become increasingly urgent in recent years, and discussions around effective approaches to environmental storytelling have intensified accordingly. The film Char… The No Man’s Island (2012), directed by Sourav Sarangi, is a noteworthy example of a work that seeks to represent one such unstable environment that exists on the border between India and Bangladesh and to explore the daily lives of the beings who inhabit it. Although the documentary has a specific regional focus, its scope is far from limited, as the film examines various dimensions of life in this border environment as well as the historical and political factors that have led to the current realities of the space and the communities established there. In this paper, I examine how Sarangi’s inclusion of a multitude of distinct human and non-human perspectives throughout the film signals a move towards a form of environmental storytelling grounded in the notion of a collective, wherein narrative agency is distributed amongst multiple entities rather than invested in a single individual. Moreover, the paper argues that the usage of these various perspectives also enables Char to depict alternate temporalities and experiences of time which contrast heavily with ideas of linear time and progress and invites audiences to consider the multifaceted temporal and spatial realities of life in a precarious border environment.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.26824/lalr.256
How to Cite: Chakraborty, A., 2021. Lines in the Sand(bar): Collective Perspectives and Shifting Temporalities in Char... The No Man's Island. Latin American Literary Review, 48(96). DOI: http://doi.org/10.26824/lalr.256
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Published on 03 Aug 2021.
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