Intra-Chronotopos: Fort William Jute Mill

Categories: Documentary


Intra-Chronotopos is marked by the interrelation of understanding place and time, i.e., a particular place at a particular bracket of time, in the comprehension of everyday life in the jute mill. Chronotopos literally translates into time-place, deriving its roots from the Greek ‘chronos’ meaning time, and ‘topos’ meaning place. Henri Lefebvre employs, and in turn, extends the use of ‘time-place’ in his analysis of rhythm. For Lefebvre, “Everywhere where there is interaction between a place, a time and an expenditure of energy, there is rhythm.” There is a rhythm that is constantly manifested in the time-place that shapes the everyday of the jute mill workers. Ours is an attempt to observe this rhythm; where man and machine and any object, however gigantic or miniscule, become a part of the same organism, tireless in its repetition and distinct in its socio-cultural experience.

The Fort William Jute Mill in Howrah, West Bengal is a hundred and ten years old. Built in the colonial period, the mill has been functional through the time when Howrah was the biggest jute industry in the country to the present when most of the jute industry has succumbed to the rise of synthetic fibers.