January 29, 2017
Dr. Noemie Verdon a Teaching Fellow at the School of Buddhist Studies in Nalanda University organised a screening of the documentary film Biruni, the Quill of the Invaders for the University Community on January 27, 2017. The documentary is based on the extensive research and field work done by Dr. Verdon and made by film-maker Vladimir Loncar.
This video-project crosses three countries, Uzbekistan, Iran and Pakistan, and goes through several centuries to revive the Perso-Muslim scholar Abu Rayhan al-Biruni. It oscillates between past and present, between living traditions and vestiges of a remote world, and spotlights intellectual exchanges vibrant in early medieval Central Asia.
Dr. Verdon, who completed her Ph.D. at the Institute for South-Asian Studies, University of Lausanne, had written her thesis on the Perso-Muslim scholar Abu Rayhan al-Biruni who lived in the 10-11th C.E. Noemie says that her knowledge of Sanskrit and Arabic gives her the tools to study this figure. Out of her five years of research, she spent two in New Delhi. Her sojourn gave her the chance to constitute a network of scholars, to participate in conferences and workshops and to collect a large amount of documents unavailable in Europe. Over time, she understood that the life of Biruni was strongly lacking in scholarly documentation, in spite of his historical value. She decided with Vladimir Loncar to follow in Biruni’s footsteps, so as to not only fill this gap and to throw light on his life, but also to make a film introducing the scholar to a less specialised audience.
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