Social Movements, Performance and Democratic Practices (Indo-Canadian Dialogue)



Shastri-Indo Canadian Institute Golden Jubilee Online Conference

Social Movements, Performance and Democratic Practices (Ind0-Canadian Dialogue)

Collaboration between:

School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Department of Theatre, University of Ottawa, Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Warwick

           The last decade has seen the rise of a range of social and political movements across the globe that have challenged the existing boundaries and imaginations of political and legal articulation of rights and justice, and notions of development. At the heart of these developments has been the interlinked phenomenon of populism and performative paradigm of politics that is based on a complex relationship between digital presence and bodies physically assembling in space. Taking forward the earlier collaborative projects between the universities, namely, the Gendered Citizenship: Manifestations and Performance and Cultures of the Left: Manifestations and Performance, the present conference foregrounds theatrical/performance exchanges and the need for cross-cultural dialogue and theorisation in re-examining populism. Opening up a dialogue on the under-explored Indian-Canadian experience, the conference seeks to explore the challenges to the practices of democracy and the potential of performance to offer alternative ways of reorganisation of the world.

The performance studies framework of the conference provides an interdisciplinary exploration of cross-cultural patterns of performance and the performative nature of political dissent, bringing together seemingly diverging experiential realms. It brings together the popular cultural performances and the practices of assembling and choreographing of bodies in the streets as well as in digital space. It also offers a lens to understand what might not otherwise be deemed as public displays, whether it be dissent and protests or ways of care of self and others as vulnerable bodies or not deemed to be able-bodied to articulate politics by the mainstream.  The contemporary context of Covid19 pandemic has further brought into relief the specific challenges to understand the performative paradigm of politics. The conference takes the intense moment of pandemic looking both synchronically and diachronically into the practices of democracy, and what past experiences might have to offer to the languages and gestures of democratic practices in the contemporary. In doing so, the conference will foreground an aesthetic of resistance not only as a reactive practice, but as a way to sustain articulation of rights and the politics of inclusion, equality, care for the commons and social justice.

RSVP for link: parameswaranameet@gmail.com

Conference Schedule (Canadian Standard Time)

Day 1: March 25th, Thursday (CST: 10 am–1 pm; IST: 7:30 pm–10:30 pm; UK time: 2- pm–5pm)

Session I (CST: 10 am- 11:30 am): Key Note

Welcome Address by Dr. Prachi Kaul, Director, SICI

Key Note: De-Centering Leftist Theatre across Cultures: With Brecht from the GDR to India, by

Joerg Esleben, Professor, Associate Professor, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, University of Ottawa

Respondents:

Anuradha Kapur, School of Culture and Creative Expressions, Ambedkar University, New Delhi

Prateek, Dept. of Humanities and Social Sciences, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, Rajasthan

Session II (CST: 11: 30 am – 1 pm): Alternative Routes of Performance Exchanges

Speakers:

Milija Gluhovic, Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Warwick

Sumangala Damodaran, Development Studies, Ambedkar University, New Delhi

Ameet Parameswaran, School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Day 2: March 26th Friday (CST: 10 am–1 pm; IST: 7:30 pm–10:30 pm; UK time: 2- pm–5pm)

Session I (10 am – 11:30 am): Politics & Poetics of Everyday Life: Biography, Gender, Political Engagement

Speakers:

Silvija Jestrovic, Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Warwick

Urmimala Sarkar, School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Session II (11: 30 am – 1 pm):  Theatre/Performance and the Affective Registers of the Political

Speakers:

Yana Meerzon, Department of Theatre, University of Ottawa, Canada

Mallarika Sinha Roy, Centre for Women’s Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Anika Marschall, School for Communication and Culture, Aarhus University

Day 3: March 27th, Saturday (CST: 9:30 am–1 pm; IST: 7:00 pm–10:30 pm; UK time: 1:30 pm–5pm)

Session I (9:30 am- 11:30 am): Theatre/Performance and the Space(s) of Resistance

Speakers:

Dragan Todorovic, Writer and Multimedia artist; Faculty of Creative Writing, University of Kent

Bishnupriya Dutt, Theatre and Performance Studies, School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Anupama Roy, Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Adrian Kear, Performance Arts, Wimbledon College of Arts, UK

Session II (11:30 am – 1 pm):  From Disasters to Pandemics: Aesthetics and Politics of Performance

Nivedita Menon, Centre for Comparative Politics & Political Theory, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Dialogue with Artist: Conversation with Rahul Varma, Playwright, Artistic Director, Teesri Duniya Theatre, Canada, conducted by Yana Meerzon and Ameet Parameswaran

RSVP for link: parameswaranameet@gmail.com

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