Director: Elahe Massumi
Summary: Shot in New Delhi, A Kiss is not a Kiss is a four channel video installation about child prostitution in a country where it is estimated that 300 thousand children are involved in prostitution - a number that is rising by 8 to 10% per annum, according to recent reports. In cities such as Bombay, Delhi, Madras and Calcutta about 15% of the prostitutes are children and the average age of girls supplied to the brothels in the last two years has decreased from 14 and 16 years to 10 and 14 years. A girl between 10 and 12 years fetches the highest price and it is a girl of that age that appears in Elahe Massumi's most recent video. A Kiss is not a Kiss closes Massumi's trilogy (Obliteration l994 and The Hijras 2000) where the action is anchored in the worlds of patriarchal, economic, sexual and racial oppression. Like Bill Viola, Massumi travels great distances to make her work. In both cases, far-reaching locations become a source of inspiration and often furnish the subject matter of the work. Unlike Viola, who travels to experience sacred locations, Massumi treks to the frontiers of the modern world, to places of savagery and harsh daily realities of survival, directing her attention to places and subjects considered either perilous or undesirable.