Archive Fever: From Celluloid to Digital Body

Sukanya Deb

The silver screen—from the liquidated remains of the celluloid of cinema’s past—beckons us to consider the archival form through a slew of concerns that inform related fields of art and conservation. Celluloid film was the original vessel for photography and cinema; a living, breathing medium—one that deteriorates with every viewing.

Celluloid is almost organic through its wear, similar to an aging body. This decay is familiar to us, in how it mirrors the human condition of an omnipresent interplay between life and death, use and futility. Paradoxically, it is decay that determines how we assign the organic. Melting celluloid into silver was a common enough practice in India, since the 60s and 70s, which is telling in how we have valued our filmic, and ultimately, artistic and cultural heritage—from industry to institution.

Serendipity Recommends

A list of films lovingly compiled by the SAF family for our universe of friends, supporters, and art-lovers. These are the movies we find ourselves returning to, and we hope you enjoy a few of these!


The Projects/Processes series commissions research essays, longform writing, and in-depth criticism that explore the ideas and processes behind select curatorial projects at Serendipity Arts Festival. Get a copy of the 2018 series, published by Harper Design by clicking on the links below.

Missed the Serendipity Arts Festival last year? Catch some highlights here!


Movement | 


The body says what words cannot.

– Martha Graham

When we run out of words to express ourselves, movement comes to our rescue. We consider this time a moment of stillness in the movement of our daily routine – a time to pause and reflect, a time to connect despite physical isolation.

During this time of social distancing, technology has come to play an extremely important role in our daily lives – to stay united, to stay informed, to stay sane. Many performances have been postponed, and will continue to be in the near future. As we navigate these new, uncharted cultural territory together, we will find new ways to support, encourage and work with artists. We have had the privilege to work with many performing artists over the years. Here are some of the videos of their extended practice. We hope you are inspired.

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Connecting Realities – A Symposium on Theatre and its Realities

Play | Rewind: Podcasts by Shubha Mudgal

The immense diversity of India’s music is one of its greatest strengths. Drawing from the musical treasure available to us, Shubha Mudgal’s podcasts give listeners a taste of Indian music in all its variety, diversity and richness.

Curated by Anuja Ghosalkar & Kai Tuchmann

Curated by Kai Tuchmann and Anuja Ghosalkar, Connecting Realities: A Symposium on Theatre and Its Realities was a two and half day symposium on documentary theatre, where performers, scholars of performance, visual artists, lawyers, activists from the human rights field, journalists, and educators engaged with the audience. The symposium aimed to transcend disciplinary boundaries, and examine Indian and Asian performance practices, both traditional and contemporary, that relate to performing reality. 

Catch a glimpse below of the performances, presentations, concerts and lectures that were part of Connecting Realities at Serendipity Arts Festival 2019.




Open Call

We’re excited for the return of Dharti this summer! Calling all artists, critics, and art programmers—

Open Call for Dharti 2020!

For our blog dedicated to exploring emerging voices in arts writings—WAC! Deadline extended; plus the theme is an exciting foray into asking: what constitutes vulgarity in art?

To Die Upon a Kiss

Shakespeare’s Othello, adapted to Kathakali in To Die Upon a Kiss. 

A series of photos from the performance at the Serendipity Arts Festival.