K.P. Jayasankar is Professor and Dean at the School of Media and Cultural Studies (www. smcs.tiss.edu), Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. He holds an M.A. in German Studies and a Ph.D. in Humanities and Social Sciences (IIT-B).
He is involved in media production, teaching and research. He teaches courses in documentary and video production as well as theoretical approaches to image making practices and has done pioneering and innovative work in critical media education with various groups including activists, school and college students, parents and teachers.
His documentary films (jointly directed with Prof. Anjali Monteiro), have been screened across the world, have won 32 national and international awards. A presiding thematic of much of their work has been a problematising of notions of self and the other, of normality and deviance, of the local and the global, through the exploration of diverse narratives and rituals. These range from the stories and paintings of indigenous peoples to the poetry of prison inmates.Their most recent awards are the Best film award at the International Folk Film Festival, Kathmandu and the Basil Wright Prize for So Heddan So Hoddan (Like Here Like There) at the 13th RAI International Festival of Ethnographic Film 2013. Retrospectives of their films include Vibgyor Film Festival, Kerala, 2006; Bangalore Film Society, 2010; Madurai International Film Festival, 2012 and Parramasala Sydney, 2013. An adaptation of their film Saacha (The Loom) was a part of the art exhibition Project Space: Word. Sound. Power at the Tate Modern, London, in 2013; and at Khoj, New Delhi in 2014. They have served as jury and as festival consultants and directors to several film festivals in India. He has also mentored many student and fellowship documentary film projects as commissioning editor. Dr. Jayasankar is an award winning cameraperson and editor and enjoys web and graphic design.
He writes in the broad areas of censorship, documentary film and media and cultural studies and have contributed to scholarly journals and edited volumes. Their most recent publication is a volume on alternative independent Indian documentary entitled A Fly in the Curry- Independent Documentary Film in India, Sage 2016. They have also supervised several MA, M.Phil. and Ph.D. dissertations.
He was a a DAAD visiting scholar at the University of Heidelberg in 1984, a Howard Thomas Memorial Fellow in Media Studies, at Goldsmith’s College, London, in 1996, an Erasmus Mundus fellow at Lund University, Sweden and a Key Technology Partner Fellow at the University of Technology Sydney in 2013. He has also been been visiting faculty at several leading media and design institutions and lectured at universities in the USA, Australia, Europe, and in Asian countries and has served as a media consultant to IFAD, NDDB and UNDP. He currently holds an Honorary Faculty Associate position at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Technology, Sydney.
They are both actively involved in movements against censorship including Vikalp, which is collective of documentary filmmakers campaigning for freedom of expression and also associated with various media and voluntary organisations.