The Urdu Imaginaire explores the dynamic relationship between two worlds – the literary and the cinematic. Urdu language and its literary performative cultures have been central to the way a variety of modes of entertainment were articulated in India. Bombay cinema generously borrowed from the eclectic cache of stories and images offered by the Urdu public sphere. In this visual ensemble, filmic texts are interspersed with fun-e-khatati (art of calligraphy) to highlight the fluidities and continuities between art forms, narratives and material culture.
Sarah Rahman Niazi is a film historian and PhD candidate at the University of Westminster, London. Her work focuses on language, literature and film practice in India.