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Living like a Common Man

Screening & discussion with Sanderien Verstappen and Darshan Patel

This event is part of the online Lecture series: Migration, Memory, and the Art of Storytelling on Film hosted by Megha Wadhwa and David H. Slater.

Online event /12 June 2024 (Wed)

11:00 to 13:00 (CEST)

18:00 to 20:00 (JST)

Please register from here:

Sanderien Verstappen, Mario Rutten and Isabelle Makay (The Netherlands) | London (UK) and Gujarat (India) | 2011 | 65 min | English and Gujarati spoken, English subtitles

Young people all over the world dream of going to the West. They hope to earn money and get overseas experience to improve their positions at home. But once they arrive, they end up in low-status jobs and living crammed into small houses with other newly arrived migrants.

This film Living like a Common Man follows the daily life in one such house in East London. The bunker beds are filled with young Indians, all from relatively wealthy families in Gujarat. When they return to visit India, their families have great expectations of their sons and daughters. Will these youngsters fulfil their own and their families' dreams?

Sanderien Verstappen is an assistant professor with tenure track in Social and Cultural Anthropology with a focus on Visual Anthropology at the University of Vienna, and the founding director of the Vienna Visual Anthropology Lab. She is the author of the book New Lives in Anand (University of Washington Press, 2022) which is a multi-sited ethnography based on research in India, the U.K. and the U.S.A.

Darshan Patel is a protagonist of the film Living Like a Common Man. He will join the discussion to share his experiences collaborating with the film crew.

This project is a part of BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research Germany) funded project – Qualification and Skill in the Migration Process of Foreign Workers in Asia and supported by Free University of Berlin, Goethe University Frankfurt and the ICC Collaborative Research Unit “Visual Studies and Displacement in/to Japan”, a Joint Research Unit between Institute of Comparative Culture of Sophia University Japan and Free University of Berlin.


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