Film and media circulation between India and cities on the Persian Gulf can be traced back to the 1940s. This article excavates the histories of media goods that made their way to the strictly regimented and highly taxed regimes of India, examining how these mobilities were enacted and what networks were activated in the movement of these goods. The article explores the dhow as an important media infrastructure for the acceleration of media modernity, and it analyzes infrastructure as a poetic object. It takes up and revitalizes infrastructure as aesthetic form, and it subjects visual texts ranging from mainstream commercial movies to independent cinema and photographic projects to closer analysis, through the assembly of infrastructure and aquatic elements. Combining textual analysis with accounts from divergent sources such as customs department personnel, distributors of audio and video, shipping agents, and contemporary periodicals, the article resurrects a history of confluence of media technologies, ocean movement, and coastal media markets. Through tracing such practices and the infrastructural narratives of the dhow, this article argues for a history of film and media in the Indian Ocean littoral that is more than the flow of texts.

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