THE DOCUMENTER OF INJUSTICE
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, said Bishop Desmond Tutu, “then you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
It’s clear that Stalin, documentary filmmaker and founder of the world’s largest community media structure Video Volunteers, is not neutral. Growing up in Gujarat, Stalin was bitten by the human rights activism bug. Highlighting the faultlines that run through the nation, Stalin attempts to provide solutions through the promotion of participatory media and training for marginalised groups. His organisation, Video Volunteers, is one of the biggest community media structures in the world and runs a highly lauded program, IndiaUnheard, a community of grassroots correspondents who are trained to tell the unique stories of their own communities; people so marginalised or remote from the mainstream that their voices are otherwise left unheard. He has also designed more than twenty campaigns such as “Cricket for Peace”, “Asia Social Forum” or “Making Caste Visible” at the UN World Conference Against Racism.
In 1998 he released Lesser Humans, a poignant investigation into the lives of scavengers whose castebased labour is to manually dispose of human excrements. In 2002, his footage of the Gujarat riots was used in court to prove the involvement of high-ranking officials in the Muslim pogroms.