"Folk Performance” from an Ethnocentric to an Aesthetico-political Understanding


On part of the mutual learning program, this paper would like to familiarize audience with some of the key debates around “folk performance” in India. Most often, such performance is viewed from an ethnocentric perspective which not only denies its political dimensions but also obfuscates its artistic and aesthetic factors. Indeed, folk performances have both an artistic and a political dimension and both go together in its creative process. The aesthetico-political framework attempts to reconcile both these elements together in its understanding of folk performance and its broader connection with culture and society. Thinking through language, landscape, rhythm, body and movement, this paper would like to discuss the aesthetic and the politics of Indian folk performance and its ongoing appropriation in corporate cultural industries and marginalization in academic discourses. The paper suggests that Indian folk performance is not a homogenous category, and therefore, the hierarchies within the folk society also need to be recognized.

                                 Speaker: Dr. Brahma Prakash
School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU
Venue:  Committee Room, Central Library, JNU
Date and Time: 17th April 2014 (Thursday), 4:30 pm