Films as source of everyday life and energy use: A case of Indian cinema
Abstract Drawing from film studies, this paper introduces a new, experimental method to understand domestic practices and energy use in the home. The paper adopts the methodology of the AHRC CineMuseSpace project and applies it in the context of energy studies. A detailed keyword ontology was developed in order to identify practices, technologies and energy use at home. 19 Indian films, based in chawl housing in Mumbai, were analysed. The keyword ontology was then applied to the film fragments extracted in a database. This allowed us to map the presence and use of domestic technologies in film, and where and how everyday practices were performed. The analysis was followed by site observations, and re-watching the films, building on the embodied knowledge from site. We believe there are three points to demonstrate the usefulness of this method. First, it gave us an understanding of actual behavior in homes revealed by films across the time period of four decades. Second, Indian cinema offered a vast library of demonstrations of the architecture and life of chawls in use. Third, movies are not produced in a social vacuum and reflect the values of the social milieu in which they are made, revealing social structures at home. The novelty of the research lies in its methodological approach to using film data as a reflective tool to understand everyday life and energy use at home, highlighting the importance of arts and humanities research in mediating often highly technical approach of energy studies.