A SMALL SAMPLE OF DATABASE :: Complete database can be accessed offline at the Lab through prior request.

Law and the Image
The Media Lab : Jadavpur University


Home > The Media Lab

The Media Lab

The Media Lab, Department of Film Studies, Jadavpur University is a space to host research, documentation and training programmes addressing the needs of a situation where receivers are turning into creators, where audio-visual communication, released from its confinement to cinema and television, has entered the domain of inter-personal exchange and non-formal group acts.

The Lab is thus a space where experiments with curriculum can be launched with the aim of understanding the changing shapes of audio-visual practices. . The activities of the Lab are oriented towards the archiving of the ‘present’ as a moment of transformation of familiar practices, to adopt techniques, forms and methods that will bring to a closer relationship scholarly research and practical work with image and sound. We are thus concerned with the documentation and research of the empirical, analytical and historical material on Indian cinema, as a mode of perpetuation of interest in the films in the form digital data archives, one of which is titled the Law and the Image. The archive essentially deals with probing into how the audio-visual media has influenced the shaping of a legal atmosphere and how official systems of law have tried to understand the media as a vehicle of popular understanding of legality.


The first module of the Law and the Image archive takes the Hindu Marriage Act passed in 1955 by the Govt. of India as the starting point; the debates, arguments and scholarly readings it generated and of course, keeping the Film Studies perspective in mind, the effect these debates had on the cinema of the time, especially on the questions of family, love and marital relations and morality that came to the fore in the heydays of Bengali melodrama that was to follow almost immediately.

The following pages of the database contain items as varied in type from newspaper reports, film clips and scholarly journal articles, in subject from sociology to anthropology touching onto film studies and temporally from 1930's onto the 2000's. Debates into homogenization as a nationalist paradigm, constitutional rights of the individual, position of women in the Hindu society, et al are tagged and browsing by the tags allows a journey through the material which might be removed from actual linear tracking of the resources.

What this database aims to do is provide directions for a series of subsequent researches, which in turn add up as a resource for the database. This is by no means a completed endeavour and ideally grows with usage and contributions.