Porn: Law, Video & Technology
Namita Malhotra’s monograph on Pornography and Pleasure is possibly the first Indian reflection and review of its kind. It draws aside the purdah that pornography has become – the forbidden object as well as the thing that prevents you from looking at it – and fingers its constituent threads and textures. This monograph is not so much about a cultural product called porn as it is a meditation on visuality and seeing, the construction and experience of gazing, technology and bodies in the law, modern myths, the interactions between human and filmic bodies. And technology not necessarily as objects and devices that make pornography possible (but that too), but as history and evolution, process and method, and what this brings to understanding what pornography is.
Click here to download the Monograph.
Namita Malhotra's research project on "Pornography & the Law". is a part of the Researchers @ Work Programme at the Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore. Her monograph is an attempt to unravel the relations between pornography, technology and the law in the shifting context of the contemporary.
The video is an attempt to use the material collected for purposes of provoking a discussion around privacy, pornography, sexuality and technology. It focuses largely on an Indian context, which most viewers would be familiar with. The video is pegged around the ban of Savita Bhabhi – a pornographic comic toon – but uses that to open up a discussion on various incidents and concepts in relation to pornography and privacy across Asia.
The post deals with what has been written about Savita Bhabhi in an attempt to make sense of her peccadiloes and with the seeming futility of Porn studies located in America to our different reality. I take the liberty of exploring my own experiential account of pornography since I feel that in that account (mine and others) when done seriously, certain aspects of pornography emerge that address questions that are about cinema, images, sex, philosophy and how desire works. The title is mischeviously inspired from Dr. Pek Van Andel's recent video of MRI images of people having sex.
In this post, a third in the series documenting her CIS-RAW project, Pleasure and Pornography, Namita Malhotra explores the idea of fetish as examined by Anne McClintock (i) . This detour is an exploration of the notion of fetish, its histories and meanings, and how it might relate to the story of Indian porn.
In the legal discourse, pornography as a category is absent, except as an aggravated form of obscenity. Does this missing descriptive category assist in the rampant circulation of pornography, either online or offline? Rather than ask that question, Namita Malhotra, in this second post documenting her CIS-RAW project, explores certain judgments that indeed deal with pornographic texts and uncovers the squeamishness that ensures that pornography as an object keeps disappearing before the law.
This blog entry is the first in a series by Namita Malhotra on her CIS-RAW project that is about pornography, Internet, sexuality, law, new media and technology. She aims for this to be a multi media and research project/journey which is able to cite and draw on various sources including legal studies, film studies and philosophy, academic and historical work on sexuality, art, film and pornography itself.