This conference was part of the golden jubilee celebrations of the Center for the Study of Developing Societies and was organized by The Sarai Programme to commemorate 100 years of Indian cinema. The conference sought to draw on the diverse heritage of Indian cinema to highlight the importance of cinema studies in the wider architecture of disciplinary engagements. This was with a view to bringing cinema into the academy as subject matter that required not only specialist analysis, but also as something which offered fresh perspectives, methods and materials to the human sciences.
The past three years have seen conflicts over the regulation of information, knowledge and cultural materials increase in intensity and scope. These conflicts have widened to include new geographical spaces, particularly China, India, South Africa and Brazil. Moreover, a range of new problems, including the expansion of intellectual property protection to almost all spheres of our social life, has intensified the problem. It is important to recognize that the nature of the conflict gets configured differently as we move from the United States and Europe to social landscapes marked by sharp inequalities in Asia, Latin America and Africa.