Keimena #1: From Gulf to Gulf to Gulf

Monday December 19, 2016, 24:00 on ERT2
From Gulf to Gulf to Gulf (Kutchi Vahan Pani Wala), 2013, India/United Arab Emirates, 83 min.
Directors: CAMP (Shaina Anand and Ashok Sukumaran)

CAMP’s From Gulf to Gulf to Gulf describes a journey on the high seas. A group of sailors from the Kutch district in western India—along with fellow seafarers from southern Iran and the Pakistani provinces of Sindh and Balochistan—transport goods and livestock in wooden vessels across the Persian and Aden gulfs.

The sailors record their lives at sea on mobile phones to create vignettes, sometimes buoyantly set to music and edited in situ. Without narration, the film assembles footage shot over the past decade, documenting a way of life as depicted by those living it. The spectacle of maritime existence is accentuated by the varied, painterly visual textures caused by rapid changes in phone camera quality.

From Gulf to Gulf to Gulf was conceived and edited by artists Shaina Anand and Ashok Sukumaran of CAMP. Based in Mumbai, CAMP is a studio where people, ideas, and energies gather, and this film emerged from four years of dialogue and friendship between the artists and the sailors. Beneath the spectacle of life at sea, the documentary gives a direct account of these sailors’ working lives. It takes in everything from the construction of their distinctive wooden vessels to the global circumstances that they encounter crisscrossing a world comprised of places that are, according to CAMP, “more different than ever before.”

CAMP’s projects explore ideas of ownership and authority outside the traditional boundaries of art. The film’s depiction of working methods, trade routes, and economic conditions also reflects CAMP’s engagement with questions around materials, systems, and tools. From Gulf to Gulf to Gulf is a gracefully simple film beneath whose shimmering surface lies considerable depths. Enjoy the voyage…

—Maximilian Le Cain, filmmaker and critic

Posted in Public TV on 12.19.2016