Director Nitin Bathla and Klearjos Eduardo Papanicolaou India/Switzerland/Germany 2020

70 Min., OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Nitin Bathla and Klearjos Eduardo Papanicolaou


Not Just Roads is an ethnographic documentary film that narrates the story of a massive urban transformation underway in India. Highways are being constructed at an unprecedented rate of 23 kilometers per day under the Indian government's Bharatmala (‘Garland of Limitless Roads’) program. The program aims to open new territories for the emerging Indian middle class. Currently, the territory is inhabited by villages, working class neighbourhoods, and nomadic herders. It is criss-crossed by native trails and vital ecological commons. This film captures the story of one such highway outside Delhi, from the perspective of human and non-human actors. It journeys between working class neighbourhoods undergoing demolition, construction landscapes, protests sites, and the persuasive pitches by the real estate salesmen attempting to sell dreamscapes.

In cooperation with the Georg Simmel Centre for Metropolitan Studies and the Department of Urban and Regional Sociology at the Humboldt University of Berlin as part of the Think & Drink Special Events 2021/22.

The Georg Simmel Centre for Metropolitan Studies and the Department of Urban and Regional Sociology invite you to the Think & Drink Series! The colloquium-style event offers an informal atmosphere for discussion and exchange between all who are interested in urban issues. The impulse for discussion is the weekly guest speaker of German or international urban sociology or a speaker of notoriety in a related field. After the talk– i.e. the “Think” – participants are welcome to continue the discussion with a drink.

Registration for the event via:

Nitin Bathla is an architect, artist, and educator currently pursuing Doctoral Studies at ETH Zurich. His work focuses on labour migration, landecology, and housing in the extended urban region of Delhi. Aside from academic writing, he work on films, community art projects, and social design projects.

Klearjos Eduardo Papanicolaou is a Greek/Mexican filmmaker interested in ethnography as a filmmaking methodology. His films and collaborations include 'The Seven Sisters Indoor Market' (2016), 'The Disappearance of Robin Hood' (2018), and 'Not Just Roads' (2020). He is currently based in Zürich, where he teaches ethnographic filmmaking at the urban scale at the ETHZ.