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Autonomy, Access, Infrastructure and Future — A Discussion with C S Lakshmi on the SPARROW Archive

by Prasad Krishna last modified Dec 05, 2012 10:22 AM
What does it take to build an archive? Why build archives in the first place? What kind of challenges do archives created through independent initiatives face in terms of infrastructure, autonomy, access and futures? On Thursday, November 29, 2012, the Centre for Internet and Society and HasGeek present a Q&A session with Dr. C S Lakshmi, founder of SPARROW in Mumbai.

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Nov 29, 2012
from 09:00 AM to 10:30 AM


The Centre for Internet & Society, Bangalore, No. 194, 2nd 'C' Cross, Domlur, IInd Stage - 560071 (Near Domlur Club and TERI Complex)

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Set up in 1988 as a trust, SPARROW is a repository of narratives, diaries and documentation of women's stories, struggles, movements and trajectories. This session is an attempt to understand the process of building archives and who has access to these archives. How is sensitive information — gender, in this case — interpreted and reproduced from SPARROW archives? What kind of challenges does SPARROW face in terms of infrastructure and sustenance?

C. S. Lakshmi

C. S. Lakshmi (Ambai), born in 1944 in Tamil Nadu, is a distinguished fiction writer in Tamil. Her works are characterized by her passionate espousal of the cause of women, humor, a lucid and profound style, and a touch of realism. She is one of the most important Tamil writers today. She is the only Tamil writer to have been included in the recently published Picador Book of Modern Indian Literature edited by Amit Chaudhuri. Most of her stories are about relationships and they contain brilliant observations about contemporary life. Exploration of space, silence, coming to terms with one's body or sexuality, and the importance of communication are some of the recurring themes in her works.

A Doctorate from Jawaharlal Nehru University in the 1970's, she is presently the Director of Sound & Picture Archives for Research on Women (SPARROW) in Mumbai. She is a recipient of Narayanaswamy Aiyar Prize for her fiction. Among her works are Sirakukal muriyum, Vittin mulaiyil oru camaiyalarai and The Face behind the mask : Women in Tamil literature. Many of her stories have been translated into English. The Library of Congress holds five of her writings in its collection.

This discussion is hosted as part of the Online Open Access Debates week, and HasGeek's IDRC project on "Examination of Open Data Initiatives in India".

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