Who is dreaming up the global city? Q2P peers through the dream of Mumbai as a future Shanghai and finds…public toilets… not enough of them. As this film observes who has to queue to pee, we begin to understand the imagination of gender that underlies the city’s shape and the constantly shifting boundaries between public and private space. We meet whimsical people with novel ideas of social change, which thrive with mixed results. We learn of small acts of survival that people in the city’s bottom half cobble together. In the Museum of Toilets, at a night concert, in a New Delhi “international toilet”, in a Bombay slum, we hear the silence that surrounds toilets and sense how similar it is to the silence that surrounds inequality. The toilet becomes a riddle with many answers and some of those answers are questions – about gender, about class, about caste and most of all about space, urban development and the twisted myth of the global metropolis.
Paromita Vohra is a filmmaker and writer. Her films as director include Where’s Sandra(2005), Work In Progress (2004) Cosmopolis: Two Tales of A City (2004), (award for mixing fiction and non fiction, IndoBritish Digital Film Festival), Unlimited Girls (2001), (Women’s News Award, Women’s International Film Festival, Seoul), A Short Film About Time(1999), A Woman’s Place (1998) and Annapurna: Goddess of Food (1995) a short fiction about a woman with a broken heart, her therapist and his watch (independently produced). Her films as writer include the feature Khamosh Pani (Best Film, Locarno Film Festival, Best Screenplay, Kara Film Festival); and the documentaries A Few Things I Know About Her (Silver Conch, MIFF and National Award, Best Film), If You Pause: In A Museum of Craft and Skin Deep. She teaches scriptwriting as visiting faculty at the Sophia Polytechnic and is a PUKAR associate.