Posted: 20 July 2022

GSA Lecture Series 2022: The Making of Three Films

28 July
18:30-20:00 SAST
On MS Teams:

Kannan’s work penetrates and embraces wide-ranging social, anthropological, aesthetic and political domains, unfolding and revealing surprisingly deep poetic and compelling narratives in diverse and unexpected contexts that are both instructive and emotive. It is a practice that I have come to see as constituting a form of filmic architectural portraiture, sumptuously celebrating fundamental human values whilst exposing the often complex and challenging conditions so often both overwritten and overlooked in much contemporary cultural production. Quietly and powerfully, the work offers us speculative answers to perpetually unravelling questions about our often contorted and fractured, but curiously exquisite, human condition. - Prof Mark Raymond, Director, GSA

Kannan Arunasalam is a British-Sri Lankan documentary filmmaker. His work has been broadcast on BBC and Al Jazeera English, appeared in Guardian Documentaries, The New Yorker and AOL Originals, and screened at international film festivals and art museums. Kannan studied Psychology at the University of Cambridge and International Human Rights Law at the University of Oxford, focusing on new media and conflict. He has taught at Cornell University’s Department of Asian Studies and continues to produce films in collaboration with its Department of Architecture.

Kannan’s lecture will cover his practice over the last ten years as a documentary filmmaker. Self-taught, he came to filmmaking by accident having worked for several years as a media and human rights lawyer in London. A visit to his hometown of Jaffna compelled him to tell stories about his native Sri Lanka. The lecture will describe his motivation for making his films, the different approaches he has adopted and the political and social contexts from which the work has emerged. He will focus on three films in particular: The Tent’ (solo exhibition at The Tetley, UK, February-May 2019), and his most recent film project, ‘Anatomy of a Protest’ (unreleased).