This archive dedicated to the life and work of noted film historian, archivist, writer and filmmaker, Bhagwan Das Garga, is curated, organised and maintained by Lightcube, a New Delhi-based film collective. The rich variety of material present within the archive has been made available due to the considerable diligence, support and effort of B.D. Garga’s frequent collaborator and wife, Donnabelle Garga. The archive is the latest in a series of activities undertaken by Lightcube to identify the various components – whether from the past or the present – of ‘film culture’ in India.
This includes, among other activities, a series of screenings, festivals and exhibitions organised throughout the year; the running of an online magazine of film criticism alongwith a newspaper of alternative film culture; workshops on image culture that are organised in various schools and colleges across the country, and the collective’s flagship programme, The Dhenuki Cinema Project, which uses film to mobilize societies in the villages and small towns of thc country.
Lightcube, a non-profit cultural onrganisation, is managed by a small, young team of writers, critics, designers, programmers and curators. Its efforts are also independent, and are made possible by funds recirculated from its own revenue from passes, ticket sales, workshop fees, syndicated content and commissioned projects. This is because so far, it has been the collective’s belief that the only actual manner of preserving a certain standard of quality, while also being able to operate with a degree of freedom is if those who are culture’s chief patrons pay for it.
This archive is unique in the Indian context, in that it employs an individual figure – a protagonist central to a substantial number of historical events in the story of film – to examine not merely his life and his career, but also the series of larger contexts, environments and circumstances within which he forged an incredible career.
If you have read a piece here or have admired the website (or the intent behind it) or have learned about a new aspect of film history due to its existence, consider making a donation. This should be well within your means, and out of your monthly budget allocated for indulgence. It should also not dent your expenditure chart significantly. Any amount, therefore, is useful for the subsistence of this archive, and for all of Lightcube’s other activities.
In return, we will invite you for a screening the next time you are in town, send you a digital copy of Umbra, and also, if you acquiesce, acknowledge you through our channels of social media.