CISA Feature Speaker: Dr. Brahma Prakash on "Aesthetics and Its Fragments Segregation as an Organizing Principle in ‘Folk Performance

CISA Feature Speaker: Dr. Brahma Prakash on "Aesthetics and Its Fragments Segregation as an Organizing Principle in ‘Folk Performance' in India"

Monday, October 26, 2020

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM (Pacific Time)

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The talk will discuss some of the key principles in the culture and aesthetic formulations in relation to the ‘folk performances’ in India. In the dominant aesthetic considerations, the strengths of a performance become the reasons of its marginalization and enslavement. Segregation becomes an organizing principle of bodily, spatial, and temporal formation of performance aesthetics in a caste society.  Drawing on my works on Cultural Labour: Conceptualizing the ‘Folk Performance’ in India and ongoing works on marginality and cultural justice, I intend to discuss a new approach that may open up new spaces of creative potentials and offer a new aesthetic-political understanding of the field. For this purpose, I will draw from a range of performance traditions that traverses the field of ritual, theatre, dance, and music such as dugola (singer-duels), bidesia (theatre of migrant labourers) and the performance of arkestra girls in the regions of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. I argue that performance can be creatively powerful but politically problematic, it may carry a radical body in problematic songs and lyrics. 


Dr. Brahma Prakash is an Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU, New Delhi. He earned his BA from JNU, MA from National Central University of Taiwan and PhD from the University of London. He is the author of Cultural Labour: Conceptualizing the ‘Folk Performance’ in India (New Delhi: OUP, 2019) and  Gaddar: Songs and Memoirs of a Maoist Balladeer (Forthcoming, Westland 2021). He specializes in regional performance traditions and non-western Aesthetic theories (focus on Chinese and Japanese aesthetics). Combining art, academic and activism, his works focus on the regional theatre and performance traditions in relation to the questions of marginality, aesthetics and cultural justice. He has been the Dwight Conquergood Award of the Performance Studies International and the Charles Wallace India Trust Fellowship. 





For any questions, please email us at CISA



Download file: BRAHMA-PRAKASH-FLYER-t4-qt0.pdf

Sponsor(s): Center for India and South Asia

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