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The Adivasi

Adivasi means "first inhabitant" and refers to the indigenous people of India and neighboring countries. Their ancestors had to live in the course of Indo-European immigration, which began around 1500 BC. Began and until 500 BC. Lasted to retreat into remote forest and mountain areas. Some of them have been able to maintain their traditional ways of life there to this day.

The immigrants established the caste system over the centuries to secure their supremacy. The Adivasi are outside of this caste system and therefore at the bottom of society. Out of resistance and self-assertion, politically active natives spread the Sanskrit / Hindi expression "Adivasi", which is widely used today.

The Adivasi artist Jamsheed

For many years Jamshed had to paint postcards in the basement of a house in Bombay. The artist received 50 cents a day for this. At some point he decided to go back to his village and live there from the traditional painting of the Adivasi, the indigenous people of India. Today he paints houses. The client determines the story: birth, wedding or other events are recorded. But actually Jamsheed is a freelance writer. First he draws the old stories on goat skins and then tells them to his guests.




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The displaced people from Rourkela

In 1953, the Indian government began planning and building a steel plant in cooperation with the Federal Republic of Germany. Around 5000 German companies including their suppliers were involved in the construction of the iron metallurgical plant. It was the first and most important post-war project with which German industry was able to demonstrate its newly won international competitiveness. It is at the beginning of the German export successes. The steel mill, in which 32,000 people work today, was built on the land of the Adivasi. To this end, 32,000 Adivasi from 32 villages were resettled. They were supposed to get compensation for their land loss, but they never did. Hundreds were deported to the jungle, many of whom died of disease and malnutrition. Others were resettled in ghettos in Rourkela. The land of the Adivasi, which was expropriated but not yet used, was never given back. The German federal government refuses to this day to recognize their co-responsibility for the expropriations and resettlements and to make compensation payments. This is a documentary from a research trip to Rourkela and to resettlement sites, some of which are more than 70 kilometers away in the jungle.