Angma Dey Jhala
FSC-Harvard Fellow 2004-05
Angma Dey Jhala is pursuing at once a Masters in Religion at Harvard Divinity School and a doctorate in Modern History at Oxford. She received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University and a Masters in History from Oxford. An avid fiction writer, who has worked with novelists Jamaica Kincaid and Gish Jen, while at the Film Study Center she is collaborating with Liluye Jhala on a digital video, Sailing in the Desert, a lyrical narrative on the wedding night of an Indian Maharani. Based upon late colonial archives and contemporary ethnographic oral histories of royal Indian women, Sailing in the Desert is an adaptation of Angma’s published short story of the same name, and is shot predominantly in Sauvrashtra, India and Oxford, Great Britain. Poignantly evoking the confusion of two cultures, straddling the divide of a colonial consciousness and soon-to-be independent nation in the very intimate exchange of the bedroom, the story subtly describes the tragedy of cultural and political alienation in the context of sexual politics. The young king, as husband, epitomizes the anglicized, romantic and politically disenfranchised ruler, while his wife embodies virginal sexual desire and Hindu tradition.