A documentary film Voice of Siang by filmmaker Joor Baruah was premiered at Guwahati Town Club on Saturday, 16th February. The premiere has been done in a set of two screenings, the first at the Musup/Dere (Adi community house) of Rani village near Pasighat Arunachal Pradesh on Tuesday, 12th February.

The documentary Voice of Siang is about the indigenous Adi people and their unique culture and identity adorned with mythological chants (Abang) of origin (AboTani), their philosophy of revering nature (DonyiPolo) and their democratic traditional courts (Kebang).

Adi women fishing on the Siang river

Informed by encounters with the Adi people from Pasighat by the river Siang and through interactions with individuals like Oshang Ering (Social Activist), Kalim Borang (Writer, Poet, Activist), Tongam Rina (Journalist), Nani Bath (Political Analyst) and Pradip Bhuyan (Environmental Activist), the film explores the impact of the land (territorial interest of China), water (megadams on Tsangpo as well as Siang) and modernity on the Adi way of life.

This 56-minute feature-length documentary film has been commissioned to Joor Baruah as a part of a prestigious fellowship by Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT), Prasar Bharati and Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India where around twenty regional filmmakers are selected to work on a subject.

The Pasighat screening was attended by Adi villagers, gaon buras, film participants and people related to Adi art and culture. Social activist and Adi elder Oshang Ering graced the event. The Guwahati screening was accompanied by talks given by anthropologist, ethnographer and writer Dr. Jeuti Baruah, also former director, Law Research Institute and an expert on customary laws; and entrepreneur, publisher and geopolitical enthusiast Bhaskar Dutta Baruah, also the chief executive of LBS (Lawyers Book Stall) initiatives. The evening was graced by social activist and environmentalist Pradip Bhuyan and internationally renowned writer, poet and activist Tenzin Tsundue.

Filmmaker, Joor Baruah

Joor Baruah shares his time between California and Assam. He has a Masters in filmmaking from University of California, Santa Cruz. His 20 minute thesis film as a part of his masters degree, Adi | At The Confluence has shown in over 40 film festivals worldwide, in 10 countries, in 3 languages, nominated for 18 awards, won 10 Best Documentary awards. Baruah is inspired by the folk songs of his mother Kavita Baruah (Rose), the spirit of his father Late. Upendra Kumar Baruah, who was a part of the civil rights movement in Chicago alongside Martin Luther King and his revolutionary uncle Dr. Bhupen Hazarika.