Behind the Tin Sheets is a film-based project, based in Bangalore started in 2009, a collaboration between Yashaswini and Ekta. The project was conceptualised around the time when the protests against the metro rail project in Bangalore collided with the construction of the metro rail. We chose to talk to workers from came from faraway villages to build the metro rail in Bangalore. Here today, gone tomorrow, the workers stayed in temporary tin sheet colonies, cordoned off from the city. Workers moved from the colonies to the site and back, under close supervision. We conversed with several migrant workers to make sense of the aggressive transformation of the city. Our conversations with them, led us to imagine the city quite differently from our nostalgic understanding of it. 

We tried to move away from standard representations of the city and the worker in the films that we produced under the project. The project uses video and other related media to engage with the changing landscape of Bangalore. It weaves stories of ghosts, love and labour, nightmares, desires as narrated by migrant workers building the metro rail. Set against the surreal landscape of the ever- transforming metropolis, the first three films under the project, is an attempt to cross the strait between the real and the fictional.

Behind the Tin Sheets is imagined to be an ongoing journey of tracing unknown territories far from home. The project will also observe the growth of future cities, abandoned villages and missing people from the workers’ perspective. What we find along the way, we will find a way to share through different media and art forms.

Currently in production under the project, is the fourth film, birha a solo journey by Ekta, following workers back to their faraway villages in different parts of India. 

The archive of Behind the Tin Sheets project is open for research and production of new works. All works in this project are licensed under Creative Commons 4.0 CC BY-SA.