DSA2023 film screening: Steeped and Stirred
Steeped and Stirred: Directed by Shweta Ghosh, 2015. Producer and Commissioning Editor: Rajiv Mehrotra
Screening: 12:45-14:00, Thursday 29th June
Chai. Chaya. Chaha. Cha. Sa. For a phenomenon that is assumed to be integral to ‘Indian culture’, tea drinking only gained ground over a century ago. A successful advertisement campaign and copious promotion of tea turned it into an essential everyday beverage, followed closely in second place by coffee. ‘Authentic’ methods of preparation, though, were tweaked to suit tastes and tea drinking became as diverse as the culture of the subcontinent; from saccharine-sweet, spiced, ‘cooked’ tea to sumptuous long-leaf and salted, buttered concoctions, the camellia sinensis was savoured in all textures and climates.
Steeped and Stirred explores tea preparation and drinking in diverse contexts, to explore the social, cultural and political history of tea drinking in India. It tries to understand the various ways in which tea unites and divides us by connecting multiple narratives from across the country. Through an audio-visual canvas of the lush tea gardens of West Bengal, the buzzing coffee houses of Kolkata and Thiruvananthapuram, the bustling Irani cafes of Mumbai and Hyderabad and the omnipresent chai tapri, this film captures the essence of tea drinking in India in all its eccentricity.
Shweta Ghosh is a Lecturer in Screen Practices and Industries at the Department of Film, Theatre & Television at the University of Reading. She is a documentary filmmaker and practice-based researcher interested in onscreen representation and the politics of access to film production and creative processes.
The screening will be chaired by Sarah Cardey from the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development.
Places are limited.
Location: Minghella Cinema (Room G14) in the School of Film, Theatre and Television (two minutes walk from the Palmer Building.