On Workshops, 3 Posing the Problem, 5 Schedule, 7 Keynote, 12 Plenaries, 14 Parallel Panels, 16 Book Talks, 22 Films, 25 Performances, 28 Exhibitions, 31 Abstracts

, 36 Organisers, Collaborators & Supporters, 60 Acknowledgements, 63




he intimacy, the quality of honesty, and of realization possible was more illuminating and pleasurable – and painful – than a thousand conventional conversations... These were not rehearsals of already written scripts, but loosely organized, intense meetings where nothing precise had to happen. This I guess was almost the opposite of education. There was no information to be conveyed, nothing which had to be put into the participants, only ideas which might be discovered in a collective experiment. “Workshops”– groups of people who met in the hope of discovering something which might be of use – can be a powerful tool for emotional contact and learning, and can be adapted in many ways. Hanif Kureshi, from Dreaming and Scheming: Reflections on Writing and Politics (2002)



On Workshops


How then do we engage the law, without falling into the trap of liberalism? Can we afford to completely disengage with liberal rights? At what cost do we move beyond the legalese of human rights? Does speaking liberal language operate as strategy for people’s movements, or is it co-option of it? And as Wendy Brown enquires: “how might the paradoxical elements of the struggle for rights in an emancipatory context articulate a field of justice beyond “that which we cannot not want”?” one way to articulate a field of justice beyond “that which we cannot not want” is to document practices and performances of protest- as Resistance, Solidarity and Insurgency – in the post colony that are deeply committed to talking ‘Human Rights’ but beyond and without the disciplined captivity of law, modernity and markets. Discussions at this workshop would aim at displacing the centrality of the law in giving meaning to the ideas of justice and its liberal vicissitudes and to chart the limits of the legal archive. The ‘beyond’ metaphor is not a disengagement with the law, but one which allows us to delimit law’s habitus. This workshop chooses to focus on the materiality of subaltern protests by travelling through various forms of re/presentations of peoples, spaces, their resistances and acts of solidarity and insurgency in the post colony that don’t require the law’s scaffolding to erect its articulation of rights. The workshop hopes to draw on the diversity of experiences of its participants to engage in a “counter-topographic” mapping of protest practices by ‘old’ and ‘new’ subalterns, particularly across certain locations in the conventional North, the Antipodes, Latin Americas, Africa and South and South East Asia. Along with being a project in building transnational solidarity through activist scholarship, it will also build an archive of images/ representations of performances of protest to put theory under the scanner of “small voice[s] of history”.



Posing the Problem

uman Rights, liberalism’s most potent aphrodisiac, is an inescapable concern for many of us in the academy, despite our critical consciousness about the cruelly liberal genealogy of its idea and practice. For us human rights remains, to invoke Gayatri Spivak: “that which we cannot not want.” This consciousness has constituted each of us (and our subterranean others) as ‘desiring’ nationalist, heterosexual and entrepreneurial subjects to whom liberalism offers means like the market, secularism, merit, multiculturalism- and of course Human Rights Law- as remedies for inequality, subordination, exclusion and annihilation.

DAY 1 – Wednesday, September 14, 2011 @ Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat
9.30-10.30 am 10.30-11.00 am 11.00am-1.00pm Registration and Breakfast Inauguration and introduction to workshop Opening Plenary: WHAT IS INSURRECTIONARY KNOWLEDGE?

Moderator: Sunalini Kumar, University of Delhi 1.00-2.00pm 2.00 – 4.30pm Session 1A: Lunch Parallel Sessions THEATERS OF RESISTANCE Discussant: Nita Kumar, University of Delhi RACHMI DIYAH LARASATI; ALEJANDRO JAVIER VIVEROS ESPINOSA; TRINA NILEENA BANERJEE; SWATI PAL Session 1B: UNRULY MARGINS Discussant: Rukmini Sen, Ambedkar University MEERA JENSY MOORKOTH; SAPTARSHI MANDAL; JATINDER SINGH; PHILIP VINOD PEACOCK 4.30-5.00pm 5.00-6.30pm Tea / Coffee and Break Documentary Film: MULLAITIVU SAGA: EXPLORING THE TEXTURES OF A PLANNED GENOCIDE directed by S.Someetharan/ followed by Q&A with the director Music: IMPHAL TALKIES - Akhu, Sachin, Riki and Raju Dinner

6.30-8.00pm 8.00-9.00pm




Participants: B.S. Chimni, Jawaharlal Nehru University Vinay Lal, University of California, Los Angeles Saroj Giri, University of Delhi Pankaj Jha, University of Delhi Costas Douzinas, University of London [via video conference] Wendy Brown, University of California, Berkeley [correspondence]

DAY 2 – Thursday, September 15, 2011 @ Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat
8.30am-9.30am 9:30 – 11:00am Breakfast Keynote Lecture: Jasbir Puar, Rutgers University, USA HOMONATIONALISM GONE VIRAL: TRANSMISSION, AFFECT, ASSEMBLAGE Respondent: Ashley Tellis, Jesus & Mary College, University of Delhi 11:15am–1:45pm Session 2A: Parallel Sessions THE (IN)JUSTICE OF RIGHTS Discussant: Rohee Dasgupta, Jindal School of International Affairs M. MOHSIN ALAM; DIANNE OTTO; DIANA SANKEY; VANJA HAMZIC Session 2B: JUSTICE IN THE PERFORMATIVE Discussant: Shohini Ghosh, Jamia Millia Islamia University BISHAKHA DATTA; LAWRENCE LIANG; ANANDA BREED; NAMITA MALHOTRA 1.45-2.45pm 2:45–5:15pm Session 2C: Lunch Parallel Sessions THE POLITICS OF POLITICS Discussant: Ajay Gudavarthi, Jawaharlal Nehru University JARED LIST; KANCHANA MAHADEVAN; ASHLEY TELLIS; PRAEM HIDAM Session 2D: INVERTING VULNERABILITIES Discussant: Sarada Balagopalan, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies LISA KELLY; RAHUL RAO; RENU ADDLAKHA; SUROOPA MUKHERJEE 5.15-6.00pm – 6.00-7.00pm – 7.00-8.00pm – 8.00-9.30pm Tea/ Coffee and Break Contemporary Dance: ‘LANGKASUKA: POLITICS OF MEMORY’ by Zubin Mohamad Music: THE FORGOTTEN TRADITION: ITPA’S SONGS OF PROTEST by Sumangala Damodaran Dinner

DAY 3 – Friday, September 16, 2011 @ Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat and Alliance Française de Delhi
8.30-9.30am 9.30–11.00am Breakfast BOOK TALKS (presented in collaboration with Oxford University Press India) Rahul Rao, School of Africal and Oriental Studies, University of London THIRD WORLD PROTEST: BETWEEN HOME AND THE WORLD (OUP, 2010) Anupama Roy, Jawaharlal Nehru University MAPPING CITIZENSHIP IN INDIA (OUP, 2011) Rajshree Chandra, Janaki Devi Memorial College, University of Delhi KNOWLEDGE AS PROPERTY: ISSUES IN THE MORAL GROUNDING AS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS (OUP, 2010) Discussant: Madhulika Banerjee, University of Delhi 11:15am–1:45pm Session 3A: Parallel Sessions VOCABULARIES OF REVOLUTION Discussant: Bimol Akoijam, Jawaharlal Nehru University UDAY CHANDRA; SAMRAT SENGUPTA; JHUMA SEN; RITA SINHA Session 3B: BODIES IN PROTEST Discussant: Lakshmi Arya, Jindal Global Law School SHREEMA NINGOMBAM; PREETHY ATHREYA; LIPIKA KAMRA; IHEDIWA CHIMEE 1.45-2.30pm 2.30-3.30pm 4.00pm 6.30-9.00pm Lunch Music: Adi Dharm Samajh Leave for Delhi Film Screenings at Alliance Française de Delhi Film: ‘ARRIVAL’ directed by Mani Kaul (In memoriam) Film: ‘STHANIYA SAMBAAD’ directed by Arjun Gourisaria and Moinak Biswas/ Introduced by: Brinda Bose, University of Delhi/ Q&A with director moderated by: Prasanta Chakravarty, University of Delhi 9.00-10.00pm 10.00pm Dinner Back to JGU campus




DAY 4 – Saturday, September 17, 2011 @ Instituto Cervantes, New Delhi
9.00am 11:00am–1:30pm Session 4A: Leave for Delhi Parallel Sessions DISSIDENT LOCATIONS/ POSITIONS, Discussant: TBA* GABRIELA GONZALEZ; AVIVA STAHL; SIDDHARTH NARRAIN; SHILPA PHADKE Session 4B: VIOLENCE IN/OF THE CITY Discussant: Janaki Nair, Jawaharlal Nehru University GARGA CHATTERJEE; SUNALINI KUMAR; LUIS ESLAVA; CAIO SIMÕES DE ARAÚJO 1.30-2.30pm 2.30-3.30 pm 3.30–5.00pm Lunch Poetry Reading: REVOLUTIONARY POETICS - Ashley Tellis, Amartya Kanjilal, Akshi Singh, Shad Naved, M.R. Adithyan, Sonya Gupta, William Stafford Closing Plenary: POSTCOLONIAL PEREGRINATIONS: REFLECTIONS ON SUBALTERN STUDIES IN SOUTH ASIA AND LATIN AMERICA

Participants: Ileana Rodriguez, Ohio State University Shail Mayaram, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies Moderator: Nivedita Menon, Jawaharlal Nehru University 5.00-5.30pm 5.30-6.00pm 6.30-8.30pm Tea/ Coffee Closing Comments by Conveners Poetry: ‘A FEAST OF FLESH’ by N.D. Rajkumar Third Theater: ‘SOAKED, STRETCHED AND SUBMERGED: A CHOREOPOEM’ performed by Surjit Nongmeikapam, Gautam Bajoria and Parnab Mukherjee 8.30-9.30pm Closing Dinner

@JGLS: September 14-17, 2011 FAULTLINES, FREAKS AND FRENEMIES: PROTEST ART BETWEEN IDENTITY AND ALTERITY Curated by: V.K. Sularia / Visual Ark @Instituto Cervantes: September 17-October 16, 2011 UNFRAMED: A MINOR MEMORABILIA COLLECTION FROM THE DAMNED Curated by: Parnab Mukherjee
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Thursday, September 15, 2011 9:30 – 11:00am/ JGLS



Jasbir Puar, Department of Women’s & Gender Studies, Rutgers
University Homonationalism as a concept and a term has emerged in relevance to numerous debates about sexual rights in various locations in North America, Europe, and the Israel-Palestine conflict. While homonationalism itself may well become reified as another identity formation, in this paper I connect the original intentions behind its theorization and trace its paths of transmission through various forms of technological innovation. With a focus on both the work of Palestinian Queers for BDS and the Dan Savage’s It Gets Better project, I argue that these paths belie and undermine any stable identity formation and rearticulate homonationalism not as an accusation, a problematic subject positioning, or something to oppose, but rather an assemblage of affect, bodily forces, and discourses. Respondent: Ashley Tellis, Jesus & Mary College, University of Delhi



Wednesday, September 14, 2011 11.00am – 1.00pm/ JGLS

This conversation will engage with questions regarding the role of critical theory within neo-liberal spaces of higher education, and what it means to engage with a theory of revolution under conditions within the academy where particular kinds of predatory knowledge and breeds of aggressive expertise are deeply entrenched. Can academic boycotts be a method of revolutionary practice within the university space? How do we imagine and practice a radical pedagogy of critical theory?



B.S. Chimni, Jawaharlal Nehru University Vinay Lal, University of California, Los Angeles Saroj Giri, University of Delhi Pankaj Jha, University of Delhi Costas Douzinas, University of London [via video conference] Wendy Brown, University of California, Berkeley [correspondence] Moderator: Sunalini Kumar, University of Delhi

Saturday, September 17, 2011 3.30 – 5.00pm/ Instituto Cervantes, New Delhi

Where is the here and now and where will be the then and there of “subaltern studies”? Where will a critical stocktaking of the future of “subaltern studies” in South Asia and Latin America take us? What are the ‘new’ directions in which “subaltern studies” scholarship has moved transnationally? Has “subaltern studies” outlived its relevance? That is, has its very success in reworking the idea of subjectivity made it redundant because an un-problematized notion of the subject no longer exists against which the subaltern can be counter-posed? How else to explain the end of Subaltern Studies Volumes from the original collective?

Ileana Rodriguez, Ohio State University Shail Mayaram, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies Moderator: Nivedita Menon, Jawaharlal Nehru University
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Wednesday, September 14, 2011 2.00 – 4.30pm/ JGLS

Thursday, September 15, 2011 11:15am – 1:45pm/ JGLS

Session 1A:


Session 2A:

THE (IN)JUSTICE OF RIGHTS Discussant: Rohee Dasgupta

Parallel Panels

This panel explores theatre and theatricality as cultural resistance. Examples span the globe, from “agents of pain and shame” on the Indian stage, to cultural practices in micro-peripheral islands within the territories of the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, to a reading of the performance of “sabotage” in the figure of the Indian Ladino in Latin America, to the revolutionary genealogies and current political deployments of agit prop theater. RACHMI DIYAH LARASATI: Dancing Women and New Borders: A Response to the Global Network of Anti-Terrorism in Southeast Asia ALEJANDRO JAVIER VIVEROS ESPINOSA: Sabotage and the Indian “ladino”: Towards a Judicial Reflective Modulation of Colonial Latin America TRINA NILEENA BANERJEE: Antigone’s Claim? Political Extremity and Performance of Pain by Women on the Indian Stage SWATI PAL: From Russia With Love: Agit Prop in and as Theater

If universalism and particularism are both vulnerable to charges of essentialism, what kinds of critical engagement with the language of rights can lead to emancipatory goals? This panel draws upon fieldwork and political commitments to feminism, LGBT, food sovereignty and cultural rights, their links to protest practices and instances of engagement with rights and justice, and beyond the language of law. M. MOHSIN ALAM: ‘Religion’ versus ‘Rights’: Why We are wrong about ‘Defamation of Religions’ DIANNE OTTO: Pursuing Gender Pluralism through International Human Rights Law: Promise and Limits DIANA SANKEY: Challenging liberal rights: the work of the Food Sovereignty Movement VANJA HAMZIC: Unlearning Human Rights and False Grand Dichotomies: Indonesian Archipelagic Selves beyond Sexual/Gender Universality

Session 2B:


Session 1B:

UNRULY MARGINS Discussant: Rukmini Sen

This panel uses the analytic tools of “performance” and “performativity” to analyze art, rituals or ordinary life, with topics ranging from the performance of power by gacaca courts in Rwanda, to the cinematic imaginations of Constitutionalism, to the Pink Panty campaign and the possibilities of protest in the age of digitized citizenship. BISHAKHA DATTA: 3P: Perform, Protest, Play LAWRENCE LIANG: Awara’s Constitutional Amendment: Love and Justice in Cinematic Courtrooms ANANDA BREED: Juridical Performatives: Public versus Hidden Transcripts NAMITA MALHOTRA: Performing Citizenship in the Information State: Downloading the State

While oppression based on caste, class, tribe, and disability are not new, these are among the more recent categories to be translated into the formal language of “rights”. The papers in this panel describe how ongoing attempts to contain claims and deprivations within the four corners of the law are frustrated by the unruly margins of experience. MEERA JENSY MOORKOTH: Registers of Property and Spaces of Resistance: Adivasi Politics in Kerala SAPTARSHI MANDAL: Legal Discourse and the Normalization of Manual Scavenging in India JATINDER SINGH: Excavating the Political Economy of SC/ST (PoA) Act, 1989: Dissenting voices and narratives from the field PHILIP VINOD PEACOCK: Convert, Contest, Protest: The Contours and Politics of Dalit Conversion Movements



2:45 – 5:15pm/ JGLS

Friday, September 16, 2011 11:15am – 1:45pm/ JGLS

Session 2C:

THE POLITICS OF POLITICS/ Discussant: Ajay Gudavarthi

What is “politics”? This panel examines particular conceptions of “politics” (politics as power, solidarity, morality, democracy, or enmity) as well as possible conceptual opposites (politics against law, theory, or the dissident body). In order to re-evaluate the possibilities of politics, panelists draw from a variety of theoretical sources (Kant, Foucault, Chatterjee Butler, Ake, Spivak), as well as events (e.g., the death of Ramachandra Siras), and cinematic texts from Hollywood and Bollywood. JARED LIST: Voices from the Periphery: Democracy and Abuse in the Global Context KANCHANA MAHADEVAN: The Enlightenment to Resistance: From Foucault to Chatterjee ASHLEY TELLIS: Re-configuring languages of Protest: Re-writing Human Rights through Culture PRAEM HIDAM: Love of life and Dangers of Law in Sharmila’s Fasting

Session 3A:


In India the discourse of “revolution” has typically been cast by all sides in the frames of public spectacle and public disorder, of violence and counter-violence. This panel re-situates three revolutionary movements— modern Maoist-adivasi encounter, and the Naxalbari and JP movements of the 1970s— in the less familiar frames of everyday life, intimate memoirs, and poetry, casting each in unfamiliar light particular idioms and comparative insight. UDAY CHANDRA: Remaking Leviathan: Rulers, Civilizers, and Rebels in Historical and Contemporary Jharkhand SAMRAT SENGUPTA: What is an outside? What is a revolution without outside? What is an outside without revolution? JHUMA SEN: Law, Violence and Mass Movements: Re-presenting Resistance in Chhattisgarh

Session 2D:

INVERTING VULNERABILITIES Discussant: Sarada Balagopalan

RITA SINHA: Bihar 1974: The Poetry of Revolution: a very personal testament

Session 3B:

Recent headlines concerning children in disaster-stricken Haiti, human trafficking, homophobia in Uganda, and the Anniversary of the Bhopal tragedy, each mobilize familiar narratives about vulnerability and victimhood. The scholars on this panel go beyond media accounts, drawing upon fieldwork to de-familarize each of these narratives and restoring to them some of their complexity. LISA KELLY: A Child of the Nation RAHUL RAO: The Location of Homophobia RENU ADDLAKHA: Disability Discourse Beyond the Law: Is it a Possibility? SUROOPA MUKHERJEE: Literatures that Emerge from Within Social Movements: The Case of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy

BODIES IN PROTEST Discussant: Lakshmi Arya

Tactics of resistance mobilize the body in various states of dress, undress, and undoing. This panel brings into conversation various case studies of the uses of the gendered body in protest: the use of the garment called the Phanek, uses of nudity in India and Nigeria, the liminality of the dancer’s body and the limit case of suicide terrorism. SHREEMA NINGOMBAM: The Politics of Phanek in Protest- An Interpretation of Its Symbolic Meaning PREETHY ATHREYA: A Body? Free from Protest. LIPIKA KAMRA: Embodied Resistance: Theorizing Female Suicide Bombers IHEDIWA CHIMEE: “Our bodies have won the victory”: Interrogating Nudity and Human Rights Protests in Nigeria



Saturday, September 17, 2011 11:00am – 1:30pm/ Instituto Cervantes, New Delhi

Session 4A:


Dissidents find themselves in unexpected locations and subject positions; people in various locations sometimes find themselves in the unexpected position of being dissidents. This panel will describe disparate locations of dissidence, ranging from the tactical spaces occupied by human rights organizations during the War on Terror, to mechanisms of social vigilance and justice that were instituted in the military dictatorships in Chile, Argentina and Uruguay, to the dilemmas of “loitering” bodies in gendered public space in Mumbai. GABRIELA GONZALEZ: The Enemy Within: Othering and Surveilling during authoritarian regimes in the Southern Cone AVIVA STAHL: Between a Rock and Hard Place: Cageprisoners and the Double-Edged Nature of Human Rights Discourse SIDDHARTH NARRAIN: Sedition Laws and Strategies of Resistance SHILPA PHADKE: Loitering Bodies: Some Dilemmas in Gendered Public Space

Session 4B:

VIOLENCE IN/OF THE CITY Discussant: Janaki Nair

The City has emerged as a major site for investigation of contemporary concepts of sovereignty, protest and citizenship. This panel brings into conversation scholars who are mapping the dilemmas and discontinuities of development in urban settings throughout the Global South, from Delhi to Luanda, from Kolkata to Bogota. GARGA CHATTERJEE: Necropolitics and the Stubborn: Stories of Death and Dying, Between Homestead and the Divine SUNALINI KUMAR: Chronicle of a Death Untold: The Lethal Geographies of Delhi’s Periphery LUIS ESLAVA: “I feel like a dog with the tail between its legs”: The Limits of Protest and the Pedagogy of Deception CAIO SIMÕES DE ARAÚJO: Broken houses, Insurgent voices: the ‘right to the city’, human rights and the ‘politics of the governed’ in Luanda, Angola



Friday, September 16, 2011 9.30 – 11.00am/ JGLS

Rahul Rao, School of Africal and Oriental Studies, University of

emerged at the commencement of the Indian Republic in the context of the partition, show that the question of legal membership remained a vexed one. Both the contest over citizenship and its resolution were embedded in processes of state-formation and institutional ordering, as seen in the ways in which institutions perceived, interpreted, and eventually resolved their respective powers of decision-making over citizenship matters.

If boundaries protect us from threats, how should we think about the boundaries of states in a world where threats to human rights emanate from both outside the state and the state itself? Arguing that attitudes towards boundaries are premised on assumptions about the locus of threats to vital interests, Rahul Rao digs beneath two major normative orientations towards boundaries-cosmopolitanism and nationalismwhich structure thinking on questions of public policy and identity. Insofar as the Third World is concerned, hegemonic versions of both orientations are underpinned by simplistic imageries of threat. In the cosmopolitan gaze, political and economic crises in the Third World are attributed mainly to factors internal to the Third World state with the international playing the role of heroic saviour. In Third World nationalist imagery, the international is portrayed as a realm of neoimperialist predation from which the domestic has to be secured. Both images capture widely held intuitions about the sources of threats to human rights, but each by itself provides a resolutely partial inventory of these threats. By juxtaposing critical accounts of both discourses, Rao argues that protest sensibilities in the current conjuncture must be critical of hegemonic variants of both cosmopolitanism and nationalism.

Rajshree Chandra, Janaki Devi Memorial College, University of Delhi
The book is an inquiry into the nature and scope of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) using three different approaches: the philosophical, the empirical, and the theoretical. It studies the different justifications usually put forward in favor of protecting rights in intellectual property and shows how such rights come into conflict with other rights in society. The author contends that rights can and should be ‘structured in a lexical order of priority where rights which are linked to survival strategies ought to be to have enough legal teeth to trump rights which are more in the nature of economic entitlements, like IPRs are’. Discussant: Madhulika Banerjee, University of Delhi

in collaboration with Oxford University Press

Book Talks

Anupama Roy, Jawaharlal Nehru University
This study contributes to the ongoing debate on the theory of citizenship. It traces the Citizenship Act of India, 1955-from its inception, through various amendments (1986, 2003, and 2005), its connection with other significant laws such as the Abducted Persons Recovery and Rehabilitation Act (1949) and the Illegal Migrants Determination by Tribunals Act (1983), and relevant judgments-to see how citizenship unfolded among differentially located individuals, communities, and groups. The book identifies the amendments in the Citizenship Act as transitions which are, however, not the manifestations of an irreversible, continuous historical process of progression, but moments which are enframed by major historical choices and decisions. The liminal categories of citizenship, which
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Wednesday, September 14, 2011 5.00 – 6.30pm/ JGLS

Directed by: S. Someetharan ‘Mullaitivu Saga’ an episode of planned massacre of the suppressed people in the name of Final War, while most of the international human rights machinery remained a silent witness. Incidentally the injustice is recounted through Mullaitivu Koothu played for the last time in this very same historic land. Followed by Q&A with the filmmaker Friday, September 16, 2011

In honour of Mani Kaul

ARRIVAL (19 mins. approx)
Directed by: Mani Kaul To the city come men, women, fruits, flowers, vegetables, goats and sheep all ready for consumption. It is the process of consumption/ exploitation that forms the core of the film. In a collage of images held together by an engaging soundtrack we are shown the brutality and dehumanisation of city life.

Directed by: Arjun Gourisaria and Moinak Biswas Situated on the southern fringes of Calcutta, the bustling, sunny Deshbandhu colony, a settlement of refugees from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), has a lot going on. In the evening market, two thieves swoop on Ananya’s long plait and chop it away. Atin, the dreamy poet and Ananya’s secret admirer, is worried not to find her anywhere the next day. He seems oblivious of the fact that his home is facing demolition. Meanwhile, their friends make preparations for the coming spring festival. The two poachers of Ananya’s plait want to sell it to raise money for a computer course. They are desperate to pursue higher education - by any means.
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6.00 – 9.00pm/ Alliance Française de Delhi

Five boys on a roadside perch make desultory observations on the goings on, losing no chance to confuse Atin. Two old men, original immigrants, sit at the local grocery philosophizing on commodities, life and desire. As Atin, along with his only friend Dipankar, sets out in search of Ananya, and the two thieves embark on an increasingly absurd journey to try and sell the plait, the story travels from the colony of the day to the neon districts of the night, and then to the ghostly New Town under construction, tracing out the map of a city through realism and delirium. Somewhere along the path, Dipankar tells Atin about Ananya’s family buying an apartment in the new building that is about to raze their colony tenements to the ground. By daybreak, they are on the eastern fringes of the new Calcutta. Draped in the midnight fog stands Mr. Paul, the visionary land shark, whose demolition team is warming up for action at Deshbandhu colony. As his house gets destroyed in the small hours of the morning, Atin comes and greets Mr. Paul. Introduced by: Brinda Bose, University of Delhi Q&A with filmmaker moderated by: Prasanta Chakravarty, University of Delhi



Wednesday, September 14, 2011 6.30 – 8.00pm/ JGLS Music: IMPHAL TALKIES Imphal Talkies is a Delhi based music band from Imphal, Manipur. The band mostly performs protest songs against AFSPA, and atrocities towards minorities. The band has released its debut album ‘Tidim Road’ in early 2009. They sing both in English and Manipuri. The band has four members Akhu, Sachin, Riki and Raju.

sung in the reverence of lord Valmiki but not without the subversion of the dominant religious narratives.

Friday, September 17, 2011 / Instituto Cervantes in Delhi 2.30– 3.30pm


Poetry: REVOLUTIONARY POETICS by Ashley Tellis, Amartya Kanjilal, Akshi Singh, Shad Naved, M.R. Adithyan, Sonya Gupta, William Stafford
Readings of poems in Spanish and in translation from a wide variety of mainly Latin American poets on the theme of revolution and going beyond the pieties of human rights which literature, in being singular and unverifiable and always reaching for the ever-receding horizon of the politics of the impossible, institutes a critique of anyway. Among the poets whose works will be featured in the readings are Jose Marti, Pablo Neruda, Nicolas Guillen, Ernesto Cardenal, Alfonsina Storni, Gabriela Mistral, Teresa Calderon, Rosario Castellanos, Sandra maria Esteves 6.30 – 8.30pm Poetry: ‘A FEAST OF FLESH’ by N.D. Rajkumar N.D. Rajkumar, born into a traditional shaman community in a border town between Kerala and Tamil Nadu, cracks open a world that offers the modern reader stunning glimpses into a magicdrenched, living dalit history. The English translation of his book of poems ‘Give Us This Day A Feast of Flesh’ has been published by Navayana. Rajkumar work introduced by: S. Anand, Navayana Publishers.

Thursday, September 15, 2011 6.00 – 8.00pm/ JGLS

This is a contemporary dance performance about Langkasuka, the first Malay Hindu-Buddhist Kingdom in Malay Peninsula, Malaysia, 2nd Century-10th Century. The dance choreographies use modern compositions using traditional vocabularies from folk, classical and tribal dance, theatre and rituals.

Sumangala will be performing along with Tapan Mullick on the cello, Harpreet Singh on the guitar.

Third Theater: ‘SOAKED, STRETCHED AND SUBMERGED: A CHOREO-POEM’ performed by Surjit Nongmeikapam, Gautam Bajoria and Parnab Mukherjee
From one genocide to another..we map an every-widening nature of new cartographies of pain. And learn to move from one displacement to another.In my world…fear stalks…but there is also hope. Not the self-help books branding of hope…. not even the typical adrenalin pumping hope(or hopelessness) of the MTV Roadies. But a simple yet complex hope. And in that complexity of the simplicity, there is a sense of trying to understand the profundities of life. The performance of the consciousness. Life and it’s co-ordinates vary from terrorism to inclusiveness. There is also the industry of silence, Basically, wanting to remain silent, the selling of strategic silences and of course the carefully manufactured silence couched in an instant knee-jerk reactions that betrays the hidden agenda.

Friday, September 16, 2011 2.30 – 3.30pm/ JGLS

Adi-Dharm Samaj is a political, cultural and religious movement of Valmikis, one of the most oppressed among Dalit castes in north India, with its base in the north Indian states of Punjab, Haryana and to some extent in Himachal Pradesh. Adi Dharm Samaj came into existence in 1994 as a breakaway faction of the Bharatiya Valmiki Dharm Samaj. Popular songs and ballads written by local lyricists which explicitly counter the upper-caste narration of the mythical events and popular figures are sung during the Satsangs by the Adi Dharm followers. These songs are primarily divided into two categories- the Bhakti (religious) songs and the Krantikari (revolutionary) songs. The later consist of the Valmiki experience of caste oppression while the former are generally


@JGLS: September 14-17, 2011

Curated by: V.K. Sularia/ Visual Ark Lines can be drawn with brute simplicity or delicate complexity, with contour, shade or texture. Some lines are invidious: they cut into surfaces and define identities with violence and fixity. The right-wing legal philosopher Carl Schmitt defined “politics” as a line drawn between “friends and enemies” so that identity could only be secured in opposition to “the other, the stranger” that is “existentially something different and alien.” In the extreme case (under the direction of Schmitt’s Nazi colleagues) these lines formed the basis for extermination. Overcoming this notion of a politics of antagonism, the artists in this exhibition attempt to re-draw the possibilities of politics represented by an alliterative triad—FAULT-LINES, FREAKS, AND FRENEMIES. Confronting these three figures as sites of both instability and potential, the painters, illustrators, installation artists, cartoonists, cartographers, and photographers gathered here combine graphic narratives, vernacular techniques, modern technologies, and quotidian materials to reveal politics and identity as not merely enmity but also as solidarity, alterity, intimacy, and in-distinction. • FAULT-LINES: Just as a geological fault-line is the surface trace of a deeper source of instability and displacement, whose potential energy can create a cataclysmic earthquake; fault-lines of identity also reveal tectonic changes in the possibilities of politics. Included in the exhibition are novel re-mappings of territories and populations. • FREAKS: At the margins of maps, where territories became unknown, it used to be marked “here be monsters.” Much later, as medical and legal knowledge conquered even monstrosity, the “freak” became a subject of surveillance and spectacle of extreme deviance. This exhibition re-imagines the marginalizing discourse of freakery as a positive opportunity to re-think possible relationships between nature and the social, so that we may make political interventions in the social construction and reconstitution of nature in caste, religion, and sexuality. • FRENEMIES: The colloquial figure of the “frenemy” subverts the Schmittian distinction between friend and enemy, so that we can re-imagine the ambivalence of political life through other possible relations: the loyal opposition, the intimate enemy, the resident alien, the double-agent, the evil twin, the better angel, the
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despised minority, the scapegoat, the protestor, or the whistle-blower. Contributing Artists and Series: Anirban Ghosh (“Swamped”); Anja Kovacs, Ram Bhat, Sumandro Chattapadhyay (“Maps for Change”); Damerla-Sularia (“Docu-Dharma Epic Shlepic”); Denise Beaudet (“Portraits”); Durgabai Vyam, Subhas Vyam, Srividya Natarajan and S. Anand (“Bhimayana: Experiences of Untouchability”); Aparajita Nainan and Srividya Natarajan (“A Gardener in the Wasteland; Jotiba Phule’s Fight for Liberty); Sajad Malik (“Kashmir in Black and White”); Nina Paley (“Mimi and Eunice”); Parthiv Shah (Photographic Works); Rohan Kothari and Preksha Malik (“Dammed”); Vishwajyoti Ghosh (“Not a Dog Barked”).

It is always easier one to pinpoint the fact that EVERY major military disaster in the world has been perpetrated by any one nation state. No, I don’t believe that. MANY yes. But EVERY is and should a definite and emphatic no. And, yes, I still resist that nation state as much as possible. Let’s now look at the anatomy of the proposed answer which we shall attempt to formulate. Various geo-political groupings have all been habitual colonizers from large nation states to the current trend of nation state blessed corporations. Colonising minds, languages, landscapes, our visions of utopia and most importantly the issue of identity. Join the diverse dots and you see Congo, Chile, Nicaragua, Cuba, Iraq, Afganistan, the silence over Palestine, Balochistan, aspirations of the Kurds, Kashmiris, Manipuris, Nagas, Brus, Chakmas…all those countless ones...to whom we have unleashed our brand of colonialism-in different shapes and forms. And that forest of woes has now many more landmines. The corporate sharks are not just the new coloniser-they are at times the new de-facto nation state or the emerging definition of sovereignty. The world is their work-in-progress…in that neatly divided zones of comfort and assault... the countries are encouraged to become shareholders (in this globalised capital market of development junkies... and each one of them compile their list of names that have to eliminated either for talking too much and consequently being too uncomfortable). From one genocide to another…we map an every-widening nature of new cartographies of pain. And learn to move from one displacement to another. In my world…fear stalks…but there is also hope. Not the self-help books branding of hope… not even the typical adrenalin pumping hope (or hopelessness) of the MTV Roadies. But a simple yet complex hope. And in that complexity of the simplicity, there is a sense of trying to understand the profundities of life. The performance of the consciousness. Life and its co-ordinates vary from terrorism to inclusiveness. There is also the industry of silence, Basically, wanting to remain silent, the selling of strategic silences and of course the carefully manufactured silence couched in an instant of knee-jerk reactions that betrays the hidden agenda. Yet, we want to hear the voice of multiple talking heads inside our heads. Those sound bytes inside the mind that challenge all that is the glorious theoretical-inane. These installations on view weave a quilt of these ramblings. Why? Because we have to understand that the world still needs a single rallying point against organized colonialism. There will be multiple points of attack from the neo-colonisers constantly confusing the resistance cadets and throwing up mixed signals. So that the movement people can be used to break up movements. Old ploy. We used to call it divide and rule.

@Instituto Cervantes: September 17-October 16, 2011

Visual installation response to Pablo Neruda’s Book of Questions and Jorge Luis Borges’ The Gold of the Tigers Curated by: Parnab Mukherjee Swaraj is when we learn to rule ourselves. It is therefore, in the palm of our hands. Do not conside this Swaraj to be just a dream. There is no idea of sitting still. The Swaraj which I wish to picture is that, after we have once realized it, we will endeavour to the end of our life-time to persuade others to act likewise. This Swaraj needs to be experienced, by each one of himself. One drowning man will never save another. Slave ourselves, it might be mere pretension to think, of saving others. Now as you have seen it is not necessary for us to have as our goal the expulsion of the English. If the English become Indianised, we can accommodate them. Mahatma Gandhi in Hind Swaraj So what would be the metaphor that the protest workshop would ‘protest’? Lady Macbeth washing her imaginary blood repeatedly. And as if on cue, Neruda and Borges are asking a battery of questions. Let us look at the claustrophobia/free-spiritedness of those/these times...the rare unbridled courage and also the art of escapism...an ode to both the best and worst of times…as well as a grit that should set us free. Which also brings us to a question that would always haunt globalisation: Are we creating more ghettos in our search for digital inclusivity? One of the replies to this would be a hypothetical reading of a world without any mention of ghetto in it’s map (as we are fed with the notion of being a world citizen). The most obvious reply would be subscribing to a globalization bashing story that I largely agree to but don’t follow it as my principal mantra... (hang on...let me also clarify...I am all for the monologue of the anti-displacement brigade…but also stridently against the meaning of being a liberal as defined by the hep Che-on-my-Tshirt- brigade).



Now it would be: infiltrate, divide, de-centralise, then sub-divide the decentralisation and then of course rule without any accountability. A singular negotiating point of dissent is more centralized than a million fronts all jostling to free us from the colonisers only to re-colonise us again. Maybe that negotiation point (however dystopian it might sound) is still...the Gandhian idea of tactical passive resistance and creative dissent. And that is exactly why this piece begins with an extract from the seminal text Hind Swaraj. The one that many of us keep going back to understand non-violence of the non-violence and the inner texture of a weave called freedom. We posed the artistes with a battery of a dozen questions. Of which the first ten of them are from Neruda’s Book of Questions. The remaining two questions were from Borges’ The Gold of the Tigers. Participating artistes: Noni Borpujari, Sivaprasad Marar, Five Issues, Pradeep Chandrasiri, R. Ojha, Dhrupadi Ghosh, Baishampayan Saha, Jonathan Tooze, Ruth Dillon, Madhurima Ganguly and Koumudi Patil



Alejandro Javier Viveros Espinosa, University of Chile

Sabotage and the Indian “ladino”: Towards a Judicial Reflective Modulation of Colonial Latin America
The concept of sabotage is an interpretive approximation based on the Latin American philosophy and the studies of the Latin American colonial culture resistance expressions, particularly from language and translation experiences in a judicial reflective modulation of colonial Latin America (XVI – XVII centuries). The philosophical framework of sabotage’s conceptualization can be used to establish a new theoretical perspective for cultural studies and its possibilities, especially if it can be combined with the critical approach and critical historiography provided by postcolonial theory in the context of Latin American political philosophy. The word sabotage comes etymologically from the French language. Sabotage originates back to sabot, a wooden shoe (clog). The wooden shoe (sabots) became a symbol since it was thrown into an industrial machine in order to break it. The workers feared the automated machines would render the human workers obsolete. The words “sabotage”, “to sabotage” and “saboteur” are frequently used in politics (policy), syndicalism, the social fights and the military intelligence. We may say that “sabotage” is a strategy and an instrument of cultural resistance. The sabotage’s capacity of comprehension and positioning is played within a philosophical perspective from Latin America that does not close its space of reflection to the current non-Eurocentric thinking, leaving its unidirectionality (teleology). The emphasis on the problem of the “coloniality of the being” as well as its philosophical influences (Enrique Dussel, Anibal Quijano, Bolívar Echeverría), like a platform for the constitution of Latin-American philosophy, that subsequently, develops a strong critique to the Eurocentrism from its ontological and political-philosophical foundations. The recognition of the philosophical character in the indigenous knowledge through nahuatl (Miguel León-Portilla), quechuan (Josef Estermann) and aymaran thinking (Rodolfo Kusch), determines an assertive and useful reflection. This recognition contemplates the incorporation of the Eurocentric philosophical thinking and the indigenous knowledge, visualizing in this combination an open interaction between two kinds of communication systems, on the Eurocentric hand, an alphabetic and logocentric perspective, on the indigenous hand, a poetical and oral tradition of knowledge and language. The rescue of the diversity is detectable through the interpretation of questions established from its historical-cultural conditions in the coloniality’s horizon that gather and recapture the mixtures. The recognition and the rescue from the diversity of the philosophical non-eurocentric comprehension is finally a critique to the eurocentrism that works in an historical current context, considering the possibility to apply in the historicity of colonial Latin American. We try to expose, specifically, a representation of the cultural resistance called sabotage in the figure of the Indian “ladino” or translator. We will use as examples of saboteurs the cases of Hernando Alvarado Tezozomoc and Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala. We may look under their cultural determinant dimension as cultural mediators and interpreters, particularly in the case of his participation into the Spanish Crown’s law system for colonial Latin America and their historical and narrative work (chronicles). This is useful and allows us to consider the translation not only in contexts of domination, but in the manipulation of the dominance 36

conditions in unleashing actions, conversions and subversions, fingerprints and vestiges. What results here is a central matter that answers to the image of the saboteur (the “Ladino”) while translator, writer and petitioner in historical and judicial terms in the colonial era. Then, we are able to declare the linguistic and cultural mediation as fundamental instance of contact and friction into the Spanish judicial imposition. The transmission, the performance of translation’s act, works as an instrument for the resistance of the Indians, a kind of “inside resistance”.

Ananda Breed, University of East London

Juridical Performatives: Public versus Hidden Transcripts
In 1994 – between 500,000 to one million Rwandans, primarily Tutsi – were killed in a three-month period. The international community did little to stop the genocide. In fact, the UN peacekeeping mission was reduced from several thousand to a couple hundred troops during the height of the genocide and the French government was implicated in assisting the Hutu hardliners. Then, in July 1994, the Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) invaded from Uganda, ended the genocide and established the Government of National Unity. Post-genocide, the Tutsi-dominated RPF government is constructing a new Rwandan identity devoid of the former ethnic labels – Hutu, Tutsi, Twa – which I refer to as Rwandanicity -producing a post-genocide subject before (and within) the law. The main focus of this paper is to address how the ‘traditional’ gacaca courts were used to try the perpetrators of the genocide – but beyond the exposed objectives of reconciliation and justice – how gacaca works as a performative to inculcate the post-genocide subject –to analyze what is being performed – for what audiences. The reconstruction of Rwanda is much like a performance, in which concepts of unity and reconciliation are staged and the subject of the new nation is inculcated. Ngugi Wa Thiong’o in his book Penpoints, Gunpoints and Dreams analogizes the nation to a stage, directed by a political dictator, with entrances and exits at the borders. Applying this metaphor, the whole of Rwanda might be conceptualized as a performance space. National narratives are curated; in the context of post-genocide Rwanda, the state carefully selects what is or is not allowed on the national stage both literally and metaphorically, conceptualizing the geographic and political boundaries of Rwanda. Borrowing from James Scott, I will use the concepts of ‘public’ and ‘hidden’ transcripts to differentiate between state-controlled versus individual narratives in post-genocide Rwanda. I will give a basic overview of gacaca followed by varied examples of how gacaca has been used as a national performance to stage the power of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), the collective guilt of the Hutu population, and to memorialize and commemorate the genocide through a weekly ritual of testimony, justice, and reconciliation from its inception in 2005 to its culmination in 2010 – excavating memories of the genocide as a traumatic point of departure from which history is rewritten and Rwandanicity is enacted, iterated, and performed. I close with an example of how the arts might be used to reveal varied ‘hidden transcripts’ counter to imposed ‘public transcripts’.


Ashley Tellis, University of Delhi

Re-configuring languages of protest: Re-writing Human Rights through Culture
Departing from critiques of human rights as Eurocentric and limited by the frame of the liberal state which do not take us very far, the question I ask is: what can be done to re-think human rights and make it engage with the subjectivities Judith Butler refers to as barely legible or illegible to the law and the state. Gayatri Spivak calls for a ‘wild anthropology among the vulnerable archaic’, but what does that actually involve? Looking at four sites or categories of minoritarian identity in India, the homosexual, the Dalit, the 37

Northeasterner and the Muslim, through four figures from contemporary times—Ramachandra Siras, Baby Kamble, Irom Sharmila and Anjum Zamarud Habib, I will attempt in this paper to explore the possibilities of this ‘wild anthropology’ not through the ‘vulnerable archaic’ (by which Spivak means tribals in Bengal) but through figures who engage with the literary and the cultural, conventionally seen as non-anthropological arenas and often enough as having little or nothing to do with the political. What does such an exploration do to the field of human rights, to the liberal state and, most importantly, to the futures of what constitutes the political?

Muslim organization run partially by former War on Terror detainees. It seeks to use the controversy around Cageprisoners to consider the limits that the human rights discourse places on organizations engaged in the dayto-day work of making rights claims, especially when they are speaking in the voice of the racial Other.

Bishakha Datta, Journalist and Film maker

3P: Perform, Protest, Play
This presentation looks at the blurring boundaries between protest, performance and play in these two campaigns through the lenses of visual culture and theatre. What are the performative elements in these protests? What does ‘performance’ bring to a protest? What does ‘performance’ take away from protests? Do these performances perpetuate dominant norms of gender and sexuality, or subvert and challenge these? And what does all this add up to?

Aviva Stahl, London School of Economics

Between a Rock and Hard Place: Cageprisoners and the Double-Edged Nature of Human Rights Discourse
Throughout the past year, acrimonious public criticism of the Muslim NGO Cageprisoners has generated important questions about the double-edged nature of the human rights discourse. Firstly, the former head of Amnesty International’s gender unit, Gita Saghal, was suspended from her position after criticizing the organization’s high-profile association with Moazzam Begg, who she referred to as “Britain’s most famous supporter of the Taliban”. Secondly, a commentator in The Telegraph lambasted Cageprisoners for a satirical blog post published on its website entitled “BREAKING NEWS: BARACK OBAMA IS DEAD”. The post sought to highlight the hypocrisy of assassinating Bin Laden without trial, at a time when the United States regularly kills civilians in its drone attacks on Pakistan. These two incidents highlight the risks of engaging with a liberal human rights discourse. They provide a springboard from which to ask a timely question - have activists who are fighting for justice for the detainees of the War on Terror, entrapped themselves in the tyrannical language of human rights? Many of these activists derive their guiding vision for justice from Islam, and secular human rights are thereby “that which [they] cannot not want”. However, they have relied primarily on the legalese of human rights law – for example, by calling for the implementation of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions in Guantanamo – to frame their claims to justice. War on Terror detainees are being kidnapped, tortured, and held indefinitely without due process; the most logical way to enunciate a response to these injustices is to demand that their basic human rights are protected. However, by defending detainees on the basis of universal human rights, activists fail to displace the assumption that it is terrorists who are perpetrating the greatest injustices. Human rights are often articulated in the context of individual violations, so Moazzam Begg becomes an easy target for Saghal, but not the U.S.’s decision to fund Islamic fundamentalist groups. Nor does the discourse accommodate questions such as, “Why does this particular claim for this particular right resonate at this particular moment?” and “Why do some people seem less deserving of rights than others?” By relying on the language of rights to make their claims, Cageprisoners’ staff opened the door to attacks from the media and other activists. It is hardly surprisingly that within the liberalist framework, the violated [female] bodies of “the other’s others” could be symbolically mobilized by Saghal. Yet again, demands for women’s rights gain an instrumental purpose, and render invisible a different political agenda: framing Muslim men (Begg, Osama Bin Laden, and others) as inherently violent and undeserving of human rights protection – and therefore, even maybe subhuman. The “questionable” allegiance of Muslim men to the human rights endeavor also makes them susceptible to attacks as human rights defenders; ergo, Cageprisoners is attacked for its blog post, while academics like Noam Chomsky receive no critique for publishing articles with similar content. The discourse of human rights entraps Cageprisoners: human rights are integral to the fight to defend detainees, but they also invite attacks on male Muslim activists because the ultimate source of injustice remains unnamed. This paper will explore the challenges that Cageprisoners faces in using the human rights discourse, as a 38

Caio Simões De Araújo, Central European University

Broken houses, Insurgent voices: the ‘right to the city’, human rights and the ‘politics of the governed’ in Luanda, Angola
In this paper, I will address the right to housing as a human right in the case of the African continent, drawing mostly on the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and legal instruments of international law ratified by African states or African international organizations. I will later analyze this legal and political regime in relation to a broader notion of the ‘right to the city’, a concept that has recently been appropriated by subaltern struggles all over the world and has become a central element in contemporary urban politics, both in the West and in the Global South. In a second moment, I intend to look at the legal nature of the ‘right to the city’ from an anthropological standpoint, recognizing, from a ‘legal pluralist’ perspective, that legal norms, meanings and understandings are not only generated in the field of formal State legality, but also in many other legal orders and social authorities operating in society. In fact, the ‘right to the city’ entails and recognizes a whole ‘underworld’ of social and political struggles being carried out from the margins of modernity – from what Chatterjee (2006) has referred to as the ‘political society’ of those who do not have access to the legitimized, formalized or legalized forms of mobilization common to abstracts notions of citizenry, polity and civil society. From this perspective, a more critical problem to be explored is: to what extent the ‘right to the city’ and the plural and radical version of human rights that underlies it are being negotiated and constructed not only in the field of official legal authority, but primordially in informal or insurgent (Holston, 2010) spheres of legality ‘from below’? In this paper, I suggest that a more productive account of the articulation between ‘law’, ‘human rights’ and the ‘right to the city’ should look for other codes, spaces of authority and jurisdictions rather than relying only on the legal system of the State – it should look, in other words, to the spaces inhabited by and embedded in the ‘politics of the governed’ (Chatterjee, 2006). The case upon which this research will focus, Luanda, the capital city of Angola, is an excellent example of why we need to look beyond the official courts, beyond the law, as an academic approach and a social urge. This research will explore precisely how, in a context where the relationships between the State and its citizens have been characterized by exclusionary practices of a spatial nature (displacement, dispossession, neglect of the right to land and habitation, etc.), the ‘right to the city’ can and should be pursued from the outside of official legality – from beyond the law. I will focus mostly on the work of different ‘mediators’ of social struggles and processes of governmentality currently being performed in the space of the city: a local NGO – SOS-Habitat – dealing with forced evictions and practices of popular protest, and the many private and local newspapers that flourish around 39

the city and often contest official discourses about urban development and attribution of rights. I will be mostly interested in analysing the way these actors engage with issues of human rights and the ‘right to the city’ in a counter-hegemonic way, as well as in understanding the way they relate to practices of social struggles and subaltern legal politics as performed beyond the space of official legality – beyond the law.

advocates. I urge an approach of ‘critical engagement’, which requires strong links with protest movements in order to maintain a vision of justice beyond the law while pursuing the radical moments of opportunity the law presents, even if it is by accident.

Gabriela Gonzalez, State University of New York Diana Sankey, Kent Law School

Challenging liberal rights: the work of the Food Sovereignty Movement
Despite the work of resistance scholars, international law and legal discourse has largely remained blind to social movement resistance. However, such discourse and praxis provides crucial counters to the conceptual boundaries promoted by liberal rights and arenas for grassroots resistance in the twenty-first century. While rights are often portrayed within international law as a liberating and empowering discourse, there is a need to recognize the fundamental relationship between human rights and power. The institutionalization of rights means that human rights discourse often plays a key role in upholding rather than contesting the status quo. This paper argues that there is a need to look beyond conventional understandings of rights to understand at how social movements contest such understandings and provide alternative conceptualizations of rights and harms. The paper focuses on the work of the Food Sovereignty Movement, a transnational social movement that resists and challenges dominant ideologies surrounding food production. The Movement identifies itself as a peasant movement, which it defines in a broad way as applying to small-scale farmers, landless persons, indigenous peoples and other rural peoples, including marginalized rural peoples in the global North. The concept of food sovereignty was coined by the Movement as a way of drawing on the power of rights language, but at the same time fundamentally contesting current concepts of human rights and particularly the right to food. The concept emphasizes community autonomy rather than a conventional state-centric and individualistic view of rights and rejects the association of food with property and the liberal emphasis on property rights. This alternative approach has significant implications in promoting an empowering vision of rights, which is potentially more relevant to grassroots communities. The growth of the Movement, and the increasing attention given in international discourse to the concept of food sovereignty, highlights the potential power of social movements to influence human rights “from below”. While this paper does not advocate a total rejection of law, there is a need to be aware of the restricting influence of the current legal framework and the danger of attempting to bring concepts such as food sovereignty within human rights law. Nevertheless, it is clear that, given the complicities and limitations of liberal rights and their inadequacy in representing the demands and concerns of third world peoples or marginalized peoples in the global North, there is an increasing need to look beyond conventional law and dominant understandings of rights towards alternative visions of rights and harms which social movements, such as the Food Sovereignty Movement promote.

The Enemy Within: Othering and Surveilling during authoritarian regimes in the Southern Cone
This article examines the complex process of social classification and labeling as it operates both through discourse and through linguistics and practices. Particularly, it focuses on the genesis and evolution of the words “subversive” and “seditious” to classify certain sectors of society and justify their persecution in the context of the military dictatorships of three Latin American countries (Chile, Argentina and Uruguay). A “culture of fear” impregnated deep into the social fabric of the countries of the region as a consequence of many years of violation and subjugation of the most basic human rights on the part of the authoritarian regimes. By drawing on rich empirical data, this paper seeks to understand the manifold relations of power that shape the social body, and their embedment in a specific system of truth. It analyses both mechanisms of symbolic and physical violence during this period. The first section of the paper focuses primarily on recovering the official voice expressed in propaganda and military speeches and the mechanisms by which the idea of “the subversive” emerged and progressively gained power to include vaster sectors of the population. The second section of the paper deepens further into the mechanism under study by reconstructing the counter-narratives of individuals who were persecuted, imprisoned or exiled. These voices are recovered by the usage of primary sources of information collected during the year 2008. This section also focuses on discipline and punishment within the penitentiary system, and the strategies of adaptation and resistance that were deployed by its victims.

Garga Chatterjee, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Necropolitics And The Stubborn - Stories Of Death And Dying, Between Homestead And The Divine
Cities often derive their vitality from their interstices. The interplay of living forces in these interstitial commons has long assisted the urbanity of the underclass to survive and thrive. With growth oriented developmentalism striking deep roots in Indian cities, the character of these commons is changing, shrinking up these interstices, directly assaulting those who thrive in this twilight zone. This assault has led to both resistance as survival and survival as resistance. Both, and assault and the resistances have a complex relationship with law, in its enforcement, non-enforcement and evasion. This paper is an attempt to detail and understand the forces of resistance at play in the new city, in this case Kolkata - a megalopolis in Eastern India. The set of stories represents aspects of the city which are in interaction but they also derive the color and form of resistance as much from the nature of the assault as from the ecology of the interstice of the city’s underbelly - often in spectacular contrast to, but in close encounter with, the sunlit city. I detail a heroic struggle of a man for keep his homestead, who in many ways represents the city that needs to be demolished to make way for the new city. The new city, represented by a coalition of builders of a tall-towered gated community in the heart of the city, is also critically observed - in its culture of ‘taste’ and response to resistance. The story of his stubbornness, of solidarity and his tragic end looks at the course of the impasse and its tragic resolution, with particular reference to legal and extra-legal battles. A cluster of brief stories is discussed, regarding the changing demography of divinities in the new city - stories of dying gods and resisting goddesses. This story looks closely at the changing self-identity of the perfumed city with reference to 41

Dianne Otto, Melbourne Law School

Pursuing Gender Pluralism through International Human Rights Law - Promise and Limits
International human rights law constructs the universal subject, the bearer of human rights, thereby determining who is fully human and thus able to claim rights. How is it possible, then, to engage this body of law to move beyond its own (liberal) disciplinary confines and pursue emancipatory goals? I will examine this question by drawing on the mixed experiences of feminists, who have largely focussed on ‘women’s’ rights, and the challenges and opportunities presented to asymmetry and gender dualism by other feminists and queer human rights 40

the liminal divine affiliations that need to be severed at the altar of new urbanity and robust opposition to such displacement of the sacral. This is the story of a goddess’ abode and her survival - in the margin of the city.

Ihediwa Chimee, University of Nigeria

“Our bodies have won the victory”: Interrogating Nudity and Human Rights Protests in Nigeria
Women have been at the forefront of activism in Nigeria, since the colonial period. As a group often defined as the “weaker” sex, they have been exploited over time by both the political leadership and men at large. As a result of the wrongly conceived notion of womanhood as a specie without alternatives, the colonial authorities in Southeastern Nigeria attempted to conduct a census using their warrant chiefs in which women would be counted for taxation. The Igbo women in 1929 staged a protest that turned violent, against the warrant chiefs in the region and their colonial overlords. The protest yielded far-reaching political and administrative reforms in the area. These protesting women adopted varied tactics including nudity. In the Western region of Nigeria, Yoruba women had also protested nude in the early 1930s, in their struggle against the Alake of Abeokuta’s attempted imposition of taxation on women. This nude protest yielded the abdication of the Alake (Paramount ruler), and the scrapping of the planned taxation. The paper intends to interrogate female nudity as a specie of human rights protest for political change, using Nigeria as an analytical springboard.

invoked as the first extraordinary law to get rid of untouchability. This Act was later amended, in the year 1976, to become the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955, in order to get rid of the continued violent discrimination against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The need was felt, in year 1989, to enact another law, as earlier special laws, provisions under the Constitution and normal criminal jurisprudence [IPC & CrPC] were unable to deal with offences against the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Therefore, the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 [SC/ST (PoA) Act, 1989] was enacted to fulfill these constitutional obligations. This specific act incorporated provisions for more stringent punishments as compared to earlier acts and broadened the horizon of conduct to be considered as atrocities. As is very well known, these legal provisions have largely failed to meet the abstract notions of the social justice of the Indian state. In this scenario, this paper tries to understand the ways in which the givenness of this particular act is subverted and questioned by the politics of contemporary moment. This paper is based on ethnographic studies among four organizations working on issues of equality and social justice in Punjab: Krantikari Pendu Mazdoor Union, Khet Mazdoor Sabha, Dalit Daasta Virodhi Manch and AadhDharm Samaj. The first two of these consider class as their primary focus while the latter two take up caste as a central category for the struggle to attain social justice. One of the important issues the paper tries to explore is how important do these organizations consider this Act in the given conceptual framework of social justice and how often they invoke this act in their struggles; how the meanings of law are decoded by these organizations differently; How the same Act when invoked differently by different subjects/ collectives comes to be experienced differently; how the contemporary movements redefine the very meaning of Atrocities Act. Thus the paper intends to move beyond the usual critique of procedural lapses on the part of the police and judiciary in the implementation of this Act and tries to provide a substantive critique by asking questions which go beyond mere legality.

Jared List, Ohio State University

Voices from the Periphery: Democracy and Abuse in the Global Context
Within the context of liberalism, democracy has been championed as a means toward freedom and equal rights. However, in particular cases, the concept of democracy has been misappropriated to transgress the rule of law or perpetuate inequalities. In this paper, I analyze democracy’s performance from a theoretical and geopolitical framework that, based on the center/periphery model, emerges from spaces traditionally deemed ‘peripheries.’ Comparative in nature, I use the works of Rajagopalan Radhakrishnan, Claude Ake and Norbert Lechner to demonstrate how the concept of democracy has 1) been politicized to further the agenda and interests of particular nations and ruling classes as shown in the case of the United States’ foreign policy, 2) failed to represent the will of the people in particular cases on the African continent and 3) interpellated the citizen in an evolving relationship that has diminished citizens’ agency in the national imaginary. Radhakrishnan explores the state of exceptionalism that has transgressed the rule of law, jeopardizing certain rights and privileges intraand internationally. For Ake, African ruling elite sees Western-style democracy not as a mode of agency for all citizens but rather a means to seek power and control. Finally, Lechner questions democracy’s mantra ‘freedom to choose’ as he examines normalizing social, political and cultural discourses that constitute these ‘choices.’ Understanding how democracy operates, or performs, helps understand its protean nature, in the Derridian sense, a sign whose relationship between the signifier and signified is constantly slipping. However, in the three texts, these performances of democracy illustrate the abusive/elusive nature of democracy.

Jhuma Sen, Human Rights Lawyer & Researcher

Law, Violence and Mass Movements: Re-presenting Resistance in Chhattisgarh
The paper connects violence and mass movements in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh, rich in natural resources and home to a large number of tribal population or adivasis, in the backdrop of the complex Maoist Movement against the dual objective of first, resisting dispossession, displacement, landlessness and loss of livelihood of tribals that come with the enthusiastic acceptance by the state of neoliberal policies and the second, being their political objective to violently overthrow the Indian state and establish a rule by proletariats. This paper locates the imaginaries of resistance and attempts to answer questions like—to what degree a violent mass movement like the Maoist movement connects to the concept of social movements and how far the Maoist movement shapes the resistance of the tribal movement. The first part of the paper frames violence in the sociology of resistance. The overarching theme of the second part of the paper is to locate the Maoist movement in the schema of social movements and find to what degree it has shaped resistance by adivasis and vice versa. At the heart of what is loosely referred to as ‘Maoist violence’ or mere ‘violence’ is the notion of collective political violence. While political violence has received a lot of attention in terrorism studies, it has been relatively neglected by the social movement praxis. This paper hopes to engage with that neglected schema of political violence in social movements through the Maoist Violence/Adivasi Resistance debate. The paper will argue that the socio-political causes of the use of violence in the Maoist movement lend it the definition of a mass movement. Significantly, the paper will also articulate the ongoing unresolved debate about the ‘popular’ nature of the ‘people’s war’ perpetuated by the Maoists since the argument on the efficacy or inefficacy of the mass movement stands on the relationship between the people and the movement to begin with. My methodological scope is limited by the absence of an empirical study and I have engaged in a literature review to frame the theoretical underpinnings of the subject. While Upendra Baxi, Balagopal and Randhir Singh offer an insight into the theoretical understanding of violence, dissent and development, Deepak Gupta, Alpa Shah, 43

Jatinder Singh, Panjab University

Excavating the Political Economy of SC/ST (PoA) Act, 1989: Dissenting voices and narratives from the field
To eradicate caste-based oppression, the Indian Constitution makers laid certain limitations upon the rights and enlisted provisions [like Article 22 (7)] for enacting special laws. The Untouchability (Offences) Act, 1955 was 42

Chakraborty and Kujur’s scholarship throws substantial light on understanding the ramifications of the Maoist movement in India. Fact-finding reports by Independent Citizen’s Collective, Human Rights Watch and Asian Human Rights Commission fill in the empirical hole substantially.

Lipika Kamra, University of Delhi

Embodied Resistance: Theorizing Female Suicide Bombers
A female suicide bomber brings to mind courage and sacrifice but also gloom and despair. A woman who blows herself up in a political cause becomes much more a topic of discussion than a man performing the same act. This is so because female suicide bombers, whether in Palestine, Turkey, Sri Lanka or Chechnya, challenge the commonplace notion of femininity. The usual social stereotype of women as gentle, tolerant, and inherently peaceful regards them as nurturing mothers and caregivers, nurses, sex workers, or comfort women. Yet women now appear increasingly in national armies as well as in rebel and terrorist groups. Given these contemporary circumstances, I wish to ask two basic questions in my paper. Firstly, can the intention of women to blow up themselves to harm the enemy be regarded as emancipatory, i.e., in pursuit of parity with men? Secondly, can female suicide bombers be seen as resisting or challenging traditional gender hierarchies and roles? I make my argument by examining the reasons why militant organizations employ women to carry out suicide attacks and what motivates the women who are involved. I argue that although these women are not able to break out of the patriarchies within which they are operating, their act constitutes “embodied resistance”. Drawing on Michel Foucault and Judith Butler, I theorize this kind of resistance against patriarchal norms and hierarchies inside or endogenous to patriarchal structures of domination. At the same time, I argue that we should not understand such resistance as wholly emancipatory: any empowerment experienced by female suicide bombers and their sympathizers is laden with ambivalence.

Kanchana Mahadevan, University of Mumbai

Kantian Enlightenment and Its Critics: Rethinking Chatterjee and Foucault
This paper endeavors to map the travel of the critique of the Enlightenment from Michel Foucault to Partha Chatterjee and their reflections on modernity through their readings of Immanuel Kant’s essay What is Enlightenment? The paper revolves around their critiques of modernity and examines their accounts of resistance. The paper will begin by discussing Chatterjee’s claim that the Indian context reveals the modern Enlightenment project of rationality and the correlate of individual freedom to be neither universal nor immutable, his views on liberalism and its European as well as non-Western connections. He argues how the modernizing world of Europe spawned a series of dichotomies and suggests how these binaries can be contested. The paper will proceed with discussing Foucault’s similar critique of modern reason, and his diversion from adopting Kant’s universal reason to its genealogy to delineate the emergence of the subject of reason. He terms these outcomes as “governmentality”. Foucault identifies Kant’s account of Enlightenment and points out his distinction between private and personal use of reason. Foucault recommendation and his beliefs in Stoics conclude Foucault’s arguments. The paper is concluded with drawing comparisons between Chatterjee and Foucault, their similar tactic in treating the events as continuous and constant and analyzing their breaks and fissures, and their different approach towards effective histories of the present, which is reflected in their versions of resistance. The comparison reveals that the critique of Enlightenment reason is not homogeneous. Besides text interpretation, critique and analysis, the similarities and differences in Chattrejee’s and Foucault’s genealogies and resistance will be historicized through a reading of three cinematic texts: Shatranj ke Khiladi, Lagaan, and Inglorious Basterds. While Shatranj ke Khiladi and Inglorious Basterds reveal the limits of Foucault’s self-fashioning as an alternative to the totalizing logic of the Enlightenment, Lagaan on the other hand opens up the possibility of opposing colonization by combining collective struggle, as proposed by Chatterjee.

Lisa Kelly, Harvard Law School

A Child of the Nation
On January 12, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, killing tens to hundreds of thousands of people, and leaving many more injured and homeless. International aid agencies and various state and United Nations officials quickly converged on the former French colony. Early media reports emphasized the fragility of the Haitian government. Amidst this devastation, one figure emerged as the central object of humanitarian and legal concern – the Haitian child. In particular, the potentially mobile Haitian child, the child who might be internationally adopted or trafficked, became a site of struggle and desire. Global media coverage of the arrest and prosecution of American Christian missionaries for attempting to “traffic” Haitian children to the Dominican Republic produced an international spectacle. Why was ‘the child’ (as opposed to the woman, man, family, or community) figured as the object of concern? And, why did the cross-border circulation of Haitian children arouse such anxiety and desire? I argue that ‘the child’ performed important work in global narratives that cast the Haitian earthquake and its aftermath in sentimental and humanitarian terms, rather than economic or political ones. The suffering child was seamlessly abstracted from her family, community, and the broader political economy. Sentimental concern became the conduit for adoptive parents, child protection groups, U.N. officials and the Haitian government to access and thereby protect ‘the child.’ Moving beyond and within the law, as this conference urges us to do, this paper will consider the role that international law has played in creating and changing dominant global understandings of childhood. Whereas change is often figured in progressive terms, this paper will examine some of the costs of contemporary efforts to alter regional and local understandings of childhood. I draw on the example of the Haitian earthquake in part because it marked the convergence of two robust international law regimes – those governing inter-country adoption and child trafficking. As Canada, the United States and France moved to fast-track approved adoptions from Haiti, some international and Haitian government

Lawrence Liang, Alternative Law Forum

Awara’s Constitutional Amendment: Love and Justice in Cinematic Courtrooms
This paper forms a part of a larger argument that looks at Hindi cinema as the archive of the juridical unconscious in India. In this paper I examine key courtroom dramas in the fifties where questions of love and recognition are central themes. Using Raj Kapoor’s Awara as the iconic film of this period I ask the question in what manner can one speak of Awara as amending the constitution of India. By amendment I do not mean it in the narrow legal sense of formal constitutional amendments, but in a philosophical sense following Emerson, of what does it mean to give my consent to be governed, or to give my consent to a vision of a shared form of life. Awara and the career of the director Raj Kapoor and the writer K.A.Abbas, both of whom were heavily invested in the Nehruvian project of the nation, I argue that Awara offers us a way of reading ‘conversations of justice’ that take place between law and cinema.



officials seized on child trafficking as a central threat to Haitian children. I will consider the role of international law in changing the meaning(s) of childhood and in doing so foregrounding certain threats to its construction, while obfuscating others.

Kerala (a southern Indian state) to see how these practices pose a challenge to the legally guaranteed models of ownership and property. For this the paper will mainly focus on two distinct lands-related practices which pose a challenge to the dominant theoretical notions- namely Kavu and Teyyam. I will try to see how resistance is being reproduced through these sacred spaces. The instances where adivasi notions of property and ownership become an issue can be seen as reflecting this very problem of the conflict arising due to the application of the property-ownership model to the heterogeneous mass of land relations. Therefore in order to examine the nature of this problem, this paper will develop an understanding about what is the property ownership model of thinking about land relations: its conditions of emergence and its conditions of coherence (i.e. what is the grid and context within which such a model was developed and what are the conditions under which this model makes sense) and use this to analyze adivasi resistance. Secondly, this paper will analyse the classificatory model that is used to find structures of property and see how notions of property can exist within other classificatory systems. But practices like Kavu (sacred groves) and Teyyam (deities and ancestors) show that notions of property where the subjectivity of the owner exceeded humanity were prevalent. An understanding of how notions of property and territory were embedded in spaces that were classified outside the economic registers will help us understand practices of resistance. To this end this paper will look into such sacred spaces as spaces of resistance. This paper will try to show how these practices provide us with new conceptual categories to understand resistance and human rights.

Luis Eslava, Melbourne Law School

“I feel like a dog with the tail between its legs”: The limits of protest and the pedagogy of deception
The decentralization of development is a common theme in contemporary international and national development policies. It is seen as the preferred vehicle to address the perceived incapacity of Third World nation-states to uniformly develop their territory and population. Due to their smaller size and the closer proximity between local inhabitants, authorities and service providers, the local, the municipal and the city have emerged in this discussion as virtuous spaces where both development and global integration can be achieved. As some authors have argued: ‘today municipalization means civilization’. However, moving the development project from the international and the national to the local is a deliberate strategy with political, administrative, financial and cultural implications. Today, Third World subjects find themselves performing their daily lives in territories that are increasingly fragmented by sub-national jurisdictional frontiers and regulated by numerous levels of governance and cross-enforcing legal and administrative regimes. In this presentation, I will narrate some key moments in the everyday life of a group of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) who have radically challenged, although ineffectively, the successful use of the decentralized development model in Bogotá, Colombia’s capital city. I will argue that the daily chores and discourses of these subjects, and especially their protests against the order imposed on their lives by the local administration, the national government and international institutions, contain important traces of the transformation of the concepts of sovereignty, state and citizenship in today’s normative and multi-scalar global ordering. In particular, I pay special attention to how the limitations of these subjects’ protest have become a lesson about the hard face of law: not justice or rights but ruling and commanding. In a world in which state power is brought increasingly closer to its subjects but without the means to satisfy the minimal requirements for bare life, law becomes the language of administrative domestication and bureaucratic herding for those sitting at the periphery of the development discourse and its declared boundaries. Governmentality through law is in these terrains not an expression of effective ruling ‘at a distance’. It is instead the outcome of a systematic administration of failure through materially concrete techniques of state mimicry, the spatialization of subjects and the increasing disaggregation of spheres and grades of authority.

M. Mohsin Alam, Yale Law School

‘Religion’ versus ‘Rights’: Why We are wrong about ‘Defamation of Religions’
Since 1999, ‘Muslim’ countries have consistently pushed what have come to be known as the ‘Defamation of Religion’ resolutions in United Nations and human rights organizations. These resolutions aim to limit freedom of expression in order to protect religion, primarily Islam, against what its supporters see as a campaign of stereotyping and negative representation of religion on the part of the media in the West. The proliferation of these resolutions has resulted in a considerable opposition, especially in the West. The liberal scholarship has viewed these resolutions as being against freedom of expression and religious freedom. This paper is an exercise in generating an inclusive audience. The liberal human rights critique against the resolutions has intensified what I have called a dichotomy between Islam and human rights. A major chunk of this anti-DoR rhetoric tends to either articulate its opposition in terms of creating a binary between religion (Islam) and human rights (the West), or it ends up reemphasising this binary. By framing this as only a crisis of human rights, the overwhelming liberal critique has excluded the immigrants who have been at its receiving end, by failing to problematize the political and historical context which creates support for these resolutions. The others of the international human rights discourse have been rendered voiceless. I will argue that this reveals the essential weakness of this literature- that it fails to be convincing for a whole range of opinion which supports the resolutions resulting in polarizing of the debate, and it is unable to rescue itself from the depiction of the conflict as a religion-rights dichotomy. In this paper, I have taken a position against DoR, but I have not relied on the predominant discourse against it, which has been based on human rights. Rather, I argue that DoR is a deeply flawed because it is misplaced. One, the way DoR is conceived is intimately connected with the growing rejection of Muslim identity in Europe; and two, this rejection of Muslim identity is not a result of the religion-rights binary, but rather the result of an ethical and political crisis of multiculturalism within Europe. I claim that this crisis follows from the construction of the cultural other as a threat to the coherence of European society. Thus, I claim that not only are the supporters of the DoR resolutions wrong in pushing for them, but that the critics of the resolutions have also failed in being fair to the broader problem which has resulted in the resolutions. Once these two claims 47

Meera Jensy Moorkoth, Centre for the Study of Culture & Society

Registers of property and spaces of resistance: Adivasi Politics in Kerala
This paper tries to bring together two major aspects of the contemporary adivasi politics- resistance and land. Firstly, the word “resistance” has become central to understanding the political and cultural practices of the marginalized communities all over South Asia. The major tribal movements for land have been seen in the light of how they pose a challenge to the dominant models of power and dominance. They are seen as modes through which resistance and protest is politically manifested. Secondly, in India, land is the fulcrum around which the adivasi movements are organized. One of the contested areas of law with regard to human rights is that of property rights where various claims are made on land based on various sources of authenticity. In this paper I will use alternative notions of property as a site of resistance. That is to say, a massively legally normative property ownership model is contested not just through the political act of protesting but also through practices which run as a counter-thesis to that model. This paper is an attempt to look at the locally and culturally specific practices of the adivasi communities in 46

are recognized, it would appear that DoR is seeking to bark up the wrong tree. The concept seeks to address an essentially political problem through juridical means, which threatens to mystify this crisis and make it far more difficult to find a solution to it. I see the religion-rights dichotomy in the DoR rhetoric to be precisely a result of this mystification, thus making DoR an unfounded and misplaced language for understanding issues of tolerance and respect for diversity. This is reflected in “We” in the title of this paper. ‘We’ in much of the western academic literature tends to be the West, and ‘We’ for the supporters of the resolutions tends to be the besieged Muslim world. I hope to present as new ‘We’- a more collective conception of how all of us may be wrong, and how all of us can conceive of solutions to this issue together.

to the one who does not see, and the inaudible to the one who does not hear. What is significant for this politics is the way in which the ordained “sight” and “speech”, or in other words, the political discourse of visibility and speech comes to define what is and in fact what should be the visible and the audible. So in this sense, this paper examines the relations of the events of fasting, force-feeding and confinement to lawfulness, legality and law in order to understand the counter intuitive politics which is at work in Sharmila’s offensive, often rebarbative yet refractory act of protest, fasting and persistence. I would divide the paper into two sections. In the first section, I would discuss a moment of definition; one in which Irom Sharmila is alleged to be committing a “crime with an intention to kill herself”. This moment is particularly significant because when she is defined as the habitual offender, her offence does not lead to a normal procedure of punishment. On the contrary, it leads to a series of interventions in order to save her life. These efforts are of two disparate sets. While one set of interventions postulates that saving her life is to discipline her not to live as the condemned, the other set comes from the idea that saving her life is a way to restore innocence which is lost in the act of condemning. The only commonality of the two sets of interventions is that both sets of interventions originate from law-lawfulness-legality spectrum. Section II looks into the dangers of law by examining how we have to see the manner in which the legality, lawfulness and law as a form of danger coded in the juridical enterprise of permission and prohibition. It explores a specific segment in the construction of a ‘habitual offender’ in order to show that this construction also operates within a discourse of danger of being lawful and therefore of being legal. Dangers of law in this light is constructed not the issue of how to control dangers through law but rather that law is in itself a danger that operates in revealing the danger to be controlled through law.

Namita Malhotra, Alternative Law Forum

Performing Citizenship in the Information State: Downloading the State
The building of infrastructure of communication and information by the State has been predicated on a broadcast model in the context of television and radio in postcolonial India. The advent of video and digital technologies has progressively altered even the common perception of a one-way street delivery of information of State to citizen. In the information age there is a re-enactment of the role of the citizen who is the one located at the margins, in the rural areas, far away from sites of power. Instead the citizen is at the center with the right to demand services of the State, and on whom falls the onus of reaching the State. Paradoxically this reversal of the performance of communication between citizen and State may not alter the distance between the two, as erected through procedures of law and administration. In this presentation, the attempt is to understand what this shift in the performance of citizenship implies, whether it has indeed taken place, how it is performed especially through new rights of citizenship (information, education etc.) granted by the technologically enabled State and whether the tendencies of such technology to also support peer-to-peer communication impacts on either the broadcast or service model of the State.

Preethi Athreya, Contemporary Dancer

A Body? Free from Protest.
I was born in Madras and continue to live in Chennai – an urban Indian metropolis with its mix of rampant commodification and its paradoxical resistance to change. Nowhere do I find this more evident than in the public ownership of the body. From posters, billboards and hoardings to the more subtle dictates of beauty, humility and propriety, there is a palpable sense of looking for the perfect body in tailor-made attitudes. And yet, the constant proximity of bodies brings with it the need to negate one’s own body, to ignore the discomfort of an invasive kind of proximity. My work is an attempt to reclaim the body from numerous kinds of anesthetization that it is constantly subjected to. I believe that all art is political. The bigger battles, though, of culture and identity cannot be fought through art. And neither do those reasons exhaust the need for artistic expression. Within the place of committed arts practice, performance can be a place of play – playing out modes, playing with modes, leaving actions hanging unfinished. Dance is not a universal language. Like theatre and music, dance brings with it languages that are particular to specific individual cultures and histories. Recent sociological and psychological theory has stressed that a person’s identity is in fact something multiple and potentially fluid, constructed through experience and linguistically coded. In developing their identities, people draw on culturally available resources in their immediate social networks and in society as a whole. I grew up and continue to live in Chennai, home to a re-invention of classical dance and music alongside the National movement. About ten years into my career as a classical dancer, I was confronted by the great gap between life and art. An increasing resonance with rational thought and the feminist rhetoric of my context made it impossible for me to continue with the aesthetic I was trained to follow as a dancer thus far. I began making solo work, seeking to redefine my particular relationship with dance. Much of my preoccupation has been with creating a personal movement language that reflects my relationship with the context I live in, knowing that each of us enters the space with our own systems of concepts and assumptions, not equivalent to 49

Philip Vinod Peacock, Bishop’s College

Convert, Contest, Protest: The Contours and Politics of Dalit Conversion Movements
This paper will argue that Dalit conversion and particularly Dalit conversion to Christianity between the middle of the 19th century to the end of the first quarter of the 20th century has served as a collective assertion against the caste system and as a means of alternative identity formation outside of its ascription. It will argue that in converting, Dalits are able to latch on to an alternate symbolic world which lies beyond the excluding hierarchy of the caste system as well as the deemed polluted existence of the Dalit symbolic world, thereby emerging as a legitimate subaltern mechanism of dissent. It will further show how conversion has served to re-configure the symbolic world of Dalit communities by dismantling and delegitimizing the dominant metanarrative of the nationalistic project while at the same time erupting a counter narrative which lends itself to a sense of dignity and self-assertiveness of Dalit communities.

Praem Hidam, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Love of life and Dangers of law in Sharmila’s Fasting
This paper concerns refusal and the politics of unlawfulness. My purpose of looking into the specific events of fasting, force-feeding and confinement of a woman who has been on fasting for about ten years now, is to think of a counter-intuitive politics. This is a politics that calls for insurrection to the metaphorical relation of the visible 48

each other. But in sharing our predispositions and confronting our worldviews, perhaps we will be encouraged to question the manner in which perception itself happens. In turn, there may be newer and fresher dimensions to what we give and receive.

Rahul Rao, School of Oriental & African Studies

The location of homophobia
Controversies over queer belonging in postcolonial societies have tended to feature a discursive battle in which homophobic conservatives insist that queers are culturally inauthentic, and queer activists respond that it is institutional homophobia that has been imported via colonial discourses of law, medicine and literature. Whilst advancing diametrically opposed political positions, both sides in this dispute tend to participate in a politics of nativism, in which that which is foreign has no place in the postcolonial community, and more broadly in a politics of essences, in which homosexuality is located or fixed in particular places, so that particular attitudes towards sexuality come to be marked as defining the essence of what it means to belong to those places. I argue that a politics of essences is both analytically disingenuous and normatively dangerous, and suggest, in line with recent work in geographical theory, a move towards a politics of encounters in which places have no unchanging essence and ‘do not exist outside the processes, flows, and relations that create, sustain, or undermine them’ (David Harvey). I attempt to operationalize an understanding of the institutionalization of homophobia in Uganda in relation to two moments of encounter between Uganda and the West, in the late 19th and early 21st centuries. In doing so, I encounter a number of problems that I have yet to fully think through. This presentation will reflect on a work in progress and, in particular, on field research conducted in Uganda over 2010-11.

Rachmi Diyah Larasati, University of Minnesota

Dancing Women and New Borders: A Response to the Global Network of Anti-Terrorism in Southeast Asia.
I aim to re-articulate the study of citizenship and the transmission of dance amongst the women of the Sama and Bajau communities in Southeast Asia during the implementation of the Global Anti-Terrorism Network. This is an inquiry into how internationalized regimes of aesthetics strategically mediate the further displacement and marginalization of women within these communities. I examine how the use of legal language concerning female citizenship forcefully disrupts the possibility of women negotiating connectivity on their own, and their transmission of bodily knowledge through so-called “traditional” female practices (i.e.: dancing) within an already established local, patriarchal space. I further investigate how the fragility of the language of exclusion and inclusion that is embedded within nationalized, globally connected cultural policies, such as the Global Anti-Terrorism Network, only re-affirms the fragmentation of this transmission by viewing it as aesthetic leisure rather than recognizing the possible resistance projects of female dancing bodies that cross borders in Asia. Additionally, these cultural policies fail to resolve both pre-existing tensions of marginality and the violence that results from their implementation. My previous research has focused on the politics of cultural aesthetics during the Suharto regime in Indonesia, and how nationalized dance forms crossed borders and were reconfigured in various modes of consumption, innovation, and potential critique. The core findings from this research are grounded in an analysis of the ways in which narratives of female aesthetic production reveal the complex relationship between dance practice and its significance in the mediation of the continuing presence of “colonial” nostalgia in a post-colonial state. The proposed paper expands on the concept of dance practice as an archive of embodied memory and experience that becomes reconfigured – and maybe fundamentally repurposed – when dancing bodies cross national borders. Using the powerful narratives of reconfiguration in the movement between the Global North and Global South that I have studied as a point of departure, my current research will focus on how these experiences manifest in different directional and cultural/economic paradigms of mobility, and how the embodiment of technique can be a form of strategic cultural transmission. In this context, I will examine the mapping and theorization of Diaspora, and the politics of memory, genealogy, migration and “the performance of culture,” focusing on those who carry inherited practices across – and through – the fluid borders formed by the dominant presence of oceans in Southeast Asia. To begin with, I will examine the cases of Sama, Bajau, and Orang Laut, three marginalized ethnic groups based in small islands within the territories of the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, whose cultural genealogies have been fragmented by the formation of larger nation states. This fragmentation has been exacerbated by post-9/11 policies of increased vigilance toward intra- and international borders among Southeast Asian islands with Islamic populations. In these “peripheral” areas, the possession of inherited cultural practices, and the potential to move between islands, and thus often nations, through skilled navigation of local waters, has enabled certain groups to find common artistic ground, as well as a sense of home and possible refuge from the political pressures of marginality in their countries of origin. The ability to move in this manner has functioned to maintain the strength of local cultural history and identity in the face of faroff, yet dominant, state narratives. Artistic practice thus mediates politically subversive, inter-island “family gatherings” and indirectly functions as a methodology of resistance to dominant discourses of Diaspora and immigration.

Renu Addlakha, Centre for Women’s Development Studies

Disability Discourse Beyond the Law: Is it a Possibility?
Disability as we understand it today is a relatively new concept in the social sciences. Like other subaltern studies (race, women and LGBTI Studies), it crystallised largely through activist politics in the 1980s in the Western hemisphere. Political activism around disability focussed on law as a primary pathway towards recognition and the empowerment of disabled people. One of the important achievements was the passage of disability specific legislations in different countries beginning with the Americans with Destabilise Act (1990), the Disability Discrimination Act (1995) in the United Kingdom and the Persons with Disabilities Act (1995) in India. Concomitant with advocacy (particularly self-advocacy by disabled persons themselves), the United Nations has also played a critical role in placing disability on the agenda of its member-states from the 1970s through a range of recommendations, declarations, programmes of action, etc. The culmination of this effort has been the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) adopted by the General Assembly in 2006 which India has signed and ratified. Presently, there is a massive legal exercise underway to redraft various disability legislations in the country such as the Persons with Disabilities Act 1995 and the Mental Health Act 1987 to make them compliant with the UNCRPD. In the light of these developments, the question that I would pose is: Are there other paradigms for guaranteeing the human rights of disabled people that are not embedded in law and solely targeted towards legal redressal? This becomes particularly piquant in a historical context where disability has been dominated by religious and medical discourses.

Rita Sinha, University of Delhi

Bihar 1974: The Poetry of Revolution: a very personal testament
This paper seeks to present the emotive power of poetry in times of protest, its ability to reach out to an audience ranging from the political and intellectual elite to the semi-literate peasants and workers. Political testaments and ideologies are framed in prose, at best with oratorical flourishes, which have resonance with other thinkers. However, in the heat of the revolutionary moment, the streets echo with the evocative 51


slogans and verses that emerge in response to the immediate, heady surge. By its very nature, a large proportion of such poetry remains in the oral tradition, usually circulated through pamphlets, sung at meeting grounds. The compositions of recognized poets attain the dignity and gravitas of publication. Through the prism of personal experience, the narrative of such poetry is located in the JP movement in Bihar of 1974. This paper does not attempt to decode JP’s call for “total revolution”, its impact on the political spectrum, or the overwhelming response of students to the banner of revolution. Instead, it offers a glimpse of the poetry that lived on long after the movement was over. Personal narratives in the time of protest, and the potent voice of the poet, blend in this paper to write an epitaph to a movement that touched lives, in ways unforeseen.

social relations. It needs to be recognized that the relationship between the law and the manual scavengers has a long history of confrontation, control and coercion. In this paper, I propose to examine this history by looking at three sites of interaction between manual scavenging and the legal discourse. First, the paper critically examines the discourse of essential services through which the colonial state sought to normalize manual scavenging. Second, I discuss how in the post-colonial period, the discourses of customary rights and legislative abolition have dominated the debates on manual scavenging which while attempting to ‘liberate’ the Dalits, have also normalized and naturalized the caste-based division of labour. And finally, I look at the struggle of the Safai Karamchari Andolan (SKA), an abolitionist group that has been working to emancipate those engaged in manual scavenging. I look at the struggle of the SKA both inside the courtroom, which it launched by filing a Public Interest Litigation at the Supreme Court of India in 2003, and outside it.

Samrat Sengupta, Kharagpur College

Shreema Ningombam, Nambol L. Sanoi College

What is an outside? What is a revolution without outside? What is an outside without revolution?
While going through the canon of western theory I noticed two dominant forms of theorization –one which focuses upon the necessity of interrogating the western/European/white/male/Anglo-centric knowledge system that performs a kind of epistemic violence on several ‘subjugated knowledges’ and therefore talks about the necessity for decolonization; the other focusing how these very resistances towards colonial pedagogy and knowledge system are themselves informed by it. In the second sense then the political project of decolonization becomes impossible. It is in this second sense also that the question of resistance becomes problematic—if resistance is to be performed against a structure then it has to be located outside the structure. The question that then arises is, if the structure is the apparatus – the discursive field, then how is one who is a part of it to go against it? Can one then go outside the structure starting from within it? In this context I would like to focus on the phenomenon of looking back towards the past revolution (revolution being a form of resistance to the existing order of things). I intend to do this with the help of a few memoirs of former activists of the Naxalbari movement. My essay will not be a simple criticism of the Naxalbari movement concerning why it failed or whether it failed at all. Rather, it would re-narrativize the Naxalbari movement by privatizing what once was intensely political. In brief, resistances are thought of in terms of transcendence of the existing order. But by following some commentators on the Naxalbari movement like Rabindra Ray and Mallharika Sinha Roy, I would attempt to show how the very ideas of justice, injustice and desire for resistance are existentially located in the immediate and existing state of belonging. Instead of actually being negated, emotions like anger, pain, fellow feeling, hatred etc. continuously affect public action and political existence and are also affected by those. I would also try to examine if the study and understanding of these negations can help us look into the ‘outside’ of the structures of existence, which nonetheless is immanent in these structures. So resistances would be studied as immanent within the structure but at the same time as having the ability to transcend it.

The Politics of Phanek in Protest- An Interpretation of Its Symbolic Meaning
Politics for women begin on her body, attire and gesture. The body has been a site of politics. Historically, a woman’s body has been a fertile terrain for imagining, reasserting, and contesting the porous boundaries of the moral world. They demonstrate imaginatively how the body surfaces are powerfully mobilized in the making and unmaking of moral worlds. Clothing is a kind of symbol in the performances through which history is conceived, constructed and challenged. The values and norms of society or community are carried by women, inscribed on their bodies and in the attire they wear, be it the phanek, mangal sutra or bangles or nose rings or earrings or toe rings or the veil. These artefacts are the markers of their morality, chastity and their (un)lease on sexuality. Various forms of transgression associated with women’s attire are drawn up into relations of power and inequality. The marriageable bodily state of the woman and its moral values are associated with clothes. With respect to the semiotic value of clothes, the dress is closely linked with structure and agency in culture. Clothes seem to have a semiotic value in expressing both the potency and fragility of social statuses and socio-political relations. Clothes are critical in the representation and reproduction of society. They form a critical link between social groups through social space and time. Dress and hygiene are vehicles of cultural, moral, and political values. The body cannot escape being a vehicle of history and a metaphor of being in time. This theoretical framework would help in identifying the symbolic meaning of, and in trying to know if, the phanek is actually used as a means of resistance. The Phanek is not simply a woman’s dress in Manipur. It has a significant symbolic meaning in different spheres of society. What is the politics behind the phanek as a symbol of resistance in Manipur? I have taken up 3 moments of the phanek to analyze if it is being worn, or displayed or disrobed in the political domain, and whether it is Actually being used as symbol of resistance in the public sphere? The three moments of the phanek in resistance: Phanek used as means to enhance bandh and blockade in protest; phanek imposed on school girls from standard IX as a symbol of asserting the Meitei culture; and the nude protest of women in front of Kangla as an symbolic assertion of their power to disrobe themselves as a mark of resistance against the brutal rape and murder of a Manorama. Each moment reflects a political act that revolves around phanek and its symbolic capital. Phanek has been used as a symbol of repulsion, then as defiance and as symbol of resistance, which are embodied in each of the three moments.

Saptarshi Mandal, Multiple Action Research Group

Legal Discourse and the Normalization of Manual Scavenging in India
Recent efforts to end the practice of engaging the Dalits to clean human excreta with their hands have centered on the legislative abolition of the practice and its enforcement by the courts. While there is widespread acknowledgment that the legislative abolition of the practice has had very little impact, there is an uncritical view of the law itself as a mode of emancipation for those engaged in manual scavenging. Such an uncritical, sanitized view of law however, presupposes the law as an autonomous institution, divorced from the existing 52


Siddharth Narrain, Alternative Law Forum

Sedition Laws and Strategies of Resistance
The civil rights landscape in India has recently seen an intense interest in a 141 year-old law that purports to punish those who are not considered loyal enough, or show “disaffection” towards the state. The law of sedition has its roots in common law, and was introduced in 1870 by the British to help put down resistances linked to the First War of Indian Independence in 1857. What makes this law especially ironic, is that it has been used against some of the most prominent figures in the Indian independence movement including Tilak and Gandhi. In the Constitutional Assembly debates, the term sedition was dropped from the exceptions to Article 19(1)(a) which guarantees the freedom of speech and expression, after a number of strong interventions from members who wanted the Indian state to learn from their experience. Supreme Court lawyer and legal commentator Rajeev Dhavan has commented on how sedition provisions are a prime example of the manner in which the imperial powers of a foreign government are transformed into the normal powers of an independent regime. While the term sedition does not find a place in the Constitution, it remains a part of the criminal law of the land, and continues to be used to harass, and arrest a wide range of persons ranging from political opponents, to students, journalists, human rights activists, and artists. The arrest of Dr. Binayak Sen on charges that included those of sedition, has resulted in a renewed debate on the validity of this law. The ongoing debate on sedition laws in the country has highlighted that wide gap between the law as declared by the Supreme Court (that sedition can only be constituted when there is incitement to violence) and the interpretation of the law by trial courts and the police. In a recent meeting held by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) in New Delhi, accounts by activists from states across the country strongly suggest that the sedition law is used to clamp down on dissent regardless of whether there is incitement to violence or actual violence. Examples that have been highlighted by the media corroborate this account. For instance, in 2008, the resident editor of the Times of India, Ahmedabad, was charged with sedition because he wrote about the links between the city’s police commissioner and the underworld. This paper will attempt to nudge our attention towards this larger phenomenon through an exploration of the debate on the sedition laws, and explore what this gap between the law and the manner in which it is used means for strategies of resistance and for our collective democratic future.

This paper asks: What does it mean to stake an equal claim for all to loiter in public space? How does one engage with the threat posed by one group of such loiterers to another potential group? How does one understand claim staking in a context where city public spaces are surveillanced and policed? What are the claims of different kinds of bodies and how can we arrive at an idea of justice that at least attempts to address the claims of as many different groups as possible?

Sunalini Kumar, University of Delhi

Chronicle of a Death Untold: The Lethal Geographies of Delhi’s Periphery
The city must continually act as a magnet, attracting and retaining the surplus of the countryside, becoming a lodestone for the aspirations of national, and increasingly international populations, even as it must struggle to contain itself within a recognisable centrifugal scheme, a given identity, a finite residential, cultural and commercial axis. It must dream extravagantly, produce wastefully, consume excessively, and yet it must prevent its own dissolution through excess. This ambivalence at the heart of urbanisation may well be one whose resolution is impossible to achieve within the contemporary developmental paradigm; with the result that conflict over urban space (space in the broadest possible sense – material and otherwise) is an inevitable, not unfortunate or accidental, part of all urban development. I explore these issues as they reveal themselves in and around contemporary Delhi, looking particularly at the margins of the city where I believe the contradictions of the contemporary urban habitat become dramatic, and conflict assumes an entirely different valence compared to the more settled centre of the city. The National Capital Region (NCR) – an official term that denotes Delhi and its surroundings – includes vastly diverse urban landscapes; as noted by urban theorists, most big cities in the world are now better understood not as finite spaces, but as potentially limitless metropolitan regions. Delhi is no exception. Further, it is in this hinterland that violence remains an ever-present possibility – from industrial action gone awry to destruction of public property and individual or group crimes against capital. Of course, the north Indian hinterland has established cultures of violence that seem to have little to do with the State, or with industrial capitalism – caste or patriarchal violence for instance. My intuition is however that older forms of violence ‘hook’ into newer forms and create an entirely new scenario that needs studying. I would like to understand the contours of conflict as manifested especially in seemingly sporadic acts of violence, assuming a priori that such acts may constitute a form of protest, and taking their public-ness seriously. I believe public acts of violence (some organised; others more desperate or even utterly random) in the context of the contemporary city can be routes for marginal actors and subalterns to forcefully enter the realm of the political, even when such events appear to have no formal relationship to organised political structures. To that extent, such acts must be seen not just as the staking of a claim to highly contested and precious urban space (which they very often undoubtedly are) but also as reconceptualising concepts like ‘the public’, human rights and citizenship itself in a way that normative political theory normally doesn’t allow us to see.

Shilpa Phadke, Tata Institute of Social Sciences

Loitering Bodies: Some Dilemmas in Gendered Public Space
In a previous co-authored essay, I (and my colleagues) suggested that the celebration of loitering was an important way of claiming city public spaces in defiance of laws against loitering after sunset and before sunrise. We argued that the only way in which women might find unconditional access to public space was if everyone, including those who were not necessarily friendly to women also had unconditional access. Subsequently, in conversations with feminist activists who work particularly with young women we’ve been challenged several times on the ground that everyone loitering includes even those ‘others’ (often young men) who intimidate young women and inhibit their access, thus in fact restricting the access of young women. In this paper I attempt to think through questions of justice in access to public space. It is unnecessary to point out that men have more access than women; the rich have more access than the poor. Further the very aspiration of becoming a ‘global’ city is based on the exclusion of those who do not fit in. Young women in developmental terms are good citizen subjects and young men, particularly lower class young men are often seen as lost causes. I will attempt to both respond to the very real questions raised by feminist activists in relation to loitering as well as locate them in a context where public spaces are shrinking for everyone. 54

Suroopa Mukherjee, University of Delhi

Literatures that Emerge from Within Social Movements and Re/presentations of Resistance: The Case of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy
Bhopal Gas Tragedy has generated an entire body of “literatures” that can be categorized as popular, academic and official. However, if used separately, they fail to define the event. The Author uses the term “literatures” as an elusive category that brings within its folds different discourses. She looks at some of the significant mainstream literatures that are pro-establishment and media driven, subaltern literatures produced by NonGovernmental Organizations, but is primarily interested in the third neglected category of oral, homespun, 55

emotive and empowering literatures belonging to the impacted community that hardly gets written about. It is important to understand how these separate categories co-exist. On the face of it, these disparate discourses are a necessary part of the dynamic field, and create the framework, within which the State versus People gets worked out officially. Subaltern literature gets sidelined through middle-class interventions, and what gets showcased is the ideological point of view that endorses well-defined notions of development and corporatization. It is in this context of representation that literatures emerge from “within” social movements as tools of resistance against monolithic powers. Such literatures being mostly oral in nature are politically significant, since most of the survivors, especially women, are not as literate or educated. Using historical time-lines to show changing material conditions to bring about changes in the nature of representations is important. But, the only way to increase the visibility in the global arena is by bringing in the outsider’s perspective on social movements. An important issue that will be addressed is how learning happens in social movements, using two theoretical modules – “cognitive praxis” and “contentious performances” – to talk about how people’s knowledge gets played out in performative and verbal/gestural art forms. We will see how a needs-based fight for material benefits changes to a rights-based struggle for a life of dignity, and how people’s knowledge becomes an important tool. These movements introduce social and political beliefs, drawn from specific cultural contexts, into technological and specialized knowledge. Media is brought to capture these images and spread them to a larger audience. Pertinently, writers and artists come to these events to show their solidarity. Bhopal has always been a nonviolent movement, using peaceful methods of protest. It has generated literatures in the form of street plays, etc. The Author takes up a few such representations that are both visual and performative. By tracing innovative actions from the initial stage of planning to its final execution, she will show how it becomes a text that is conceptualized and scripted by grassroots activists, who get to be empowered by telling their stories in their own words

social and individual action. In culling out each of these aspects, the paper will look at the use of the agit prop, both by theatre companies as well as by the people at a particular moment in history. So from the practice of the agit prop by the Blue Blouse workers in Russia the paper will look at its use in the Philippines, South Korea, Czechoslovakia, United States, Africa, Australia, India and lately, Egypt.

Trina Nileena Banerjee, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences

Antigone’s Claim? : Political Extremity and Performance of Pain by Women on the Indian Stage
This paper will attempt to analyse the social conventions that surround performances of pain and shame (especially by women’s bodies on the contemporary Indian stage) in order to explore the fraught borders between the real and the theatrical, the felt and the perceived, the instrumental and the ethical. It will seek to explore how notions of ‘acceptable’ theatricality are determined within a dominantly secular liberal society and how these may be challenged at moments by an ‘actor’ who is also an ‘agent of pain and shame’. It seeks to explore also how newer modes of political action maybe forged through the performance of pain, whether in theatre or outside it. Nandikar’s production of Antigone was first staged in Bengali in Kolkata on the 25th of March, 1975. Keya Chakraborty played the lead role while Ajitesh Bandyopadhyay played the part of Creon. The adaptation and direction was by Rudraprasad Sengupta who names both Sophocles and Jean Anouilh as his sources. Performed during the national Emergency, Antigone’s repeated and resounding ‘no’ to Creon, in this adaptation by Nandikar, appears to be an absolute refusal, one that does not contain a possible ‘yes’ within its folds. It is a ‘no’ without a pragmatic directionality or a definite telos that can viably be translated into concrete eventualities. In the extreme political conditions of the Emergency, Antigone is the exception of the exception – the sheer liminality – that exposes the limits of the state’s reason and like every aporia worth its name, she is not teleologically calculable. Her action is performative in essence; like a ‘curse’ or a ritual chant, its content does not inhere solely in what it ‘states’. But in being performed, her action brings into being something that is in the nature of an unorganized surplus that cannot possibly be subsumed within the logic of the state, even though and especially because, it achieves nothing instrumentally. Read this way, in Antigone’s claim, and in the actress Keya Chakraborty’s assertion of the importance of saying a repeated and resounding ‘no’ in the face of the most depressing knowledge one’s ineffectuality in the realpolitik, we are perhaps looking at a significant reformulation of what conventionally counts as political ‘action’ itself. This paper seeks to elaborate on why this is so

Swati Pal, University of Delhi

From Russia With Love: Agit Prop in and as Theatre
For as long as the concept of revolution is alive in the history of mankind, we can never be far away from the agit prop (agitational propaganda), in theatre and even otherwise. For the agit prop in essence breeds on protest, on revolution, on the hope that the masses can be indoctrinated/educated so that they transform from passive spectators to active participants engaging in the struggle for change. Following Phillip B. Zarilli’s lead, I refer to such theatre not in the narrow sense of drama whose subject matter deals with the staging of a social crisis or a revolution, but rather to the entire spectrum of publicly enacted events such as rallies, meetings, marches, protests and the like that often take place during, and/or are inspired by periods of social and political crisis and/or revolution (Goodman and Gay, 2000). In this paper I will briefly trace the origin of the modern day understanding of the agit prop to the Bolshevik Revolution and observe how the Blue Blouse movement made use of the agit prop methodology in its performances. What I am interested in exploring is the modus operandi of the agit prop i.e. the means by which it reaches out to audiences. While in theatre the script and its language(s), its symbols and symbolism, the historical context embedded within it, are of primary importance given that agit prop theatre is a response to historical changes in political events, it is the other ‘paraphernalia’ of the agit prop that draws immediate attention. It is these props that the paper will focus upon. These props of the agit prop, especially in theatre, are involved in a psychological conditioning of the spectators, pre- and post-performance. In its use of leaflets, handouts, fanzines, of unconventional ‘stage’ spaces and ‘sets’ among other communicative devices, the agit prop, more than any other performative genre, recognizes the strength of the performative arts and the immense ability of the human mind to respond to stimuli. Agit prop in theatre and in other forms proves how aesthetic and dramaturgic materials play important roles in mediating 56

Uday Chandra, Yale University

Remaking Leviathan: Rulers, Civilizers, and Rebels in Historical and Contemporary Jharkhand
As state, media, activist, and academic discourses speak in one voice over “Maoists,” what I want to ask in this paper is who is a Maoist and what it means to resist the state in the heart of India. Based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork and archival research on Jharkhand, I argue that rebellion must be understood as emerging from the interstices between the state, civilizers such as missionaries and NGOs, and rural adivasi elites. Furthermore, I point to clear parallels between contemporary repertoires and strategies of subaltern resistance in Jharkhand and those associated with Birsa Munda’s revolt (1895-1901) against colonial authority over a century ago. As such, I conclude, we ought to view both sets of adivasi rebels as engaged in local and regional contests over land, forest and water resources (jal, jangal, jameen), and hence, as attempting to negotiate sovereignty within the structures of the Indian state as well as their respective communities. 57

Vanja Hamzic, Kings’ College

Unlearning Human Rights and False Grand Dichotomies: Indonesian Archipelagic Selves beyond Sexual/Gender Universality
This study presents a critical genealogical analysis of the narratives and politics of representation of various human subjectivities in Indonesia who transgress the dominant universalising sexual and gender norms. It traces both macro- and micro-streams of regulation, including those reliant on a liberal legalistic discourse of human rights, whose extremities produce the stringent ‘heteronormative’ versus ‘homonormative’ poles – the two mutually reinforcing otherworlds bereft of the intrinsic complexity of sexual/gender experience across the country’s archipelagic selves. This tacit othering, inapt to account for numerous local identitary frictions, transitions and re-appropriations owed, inter alia, to distinct non-sexual and non-gender communitarian dynamics, continues to usher in an alien dichotomy of personhood, whose referential, idealised ‘self’ and juxtaposed ‘other’ are both violently simplified and tainted with heightened ideological overtones. Against a backdrop of these impoverished binaries, this study confronts the multiple difficulties that a researcher of such phenomena inevitably encounters, ranging from the perils of internationalised taxonomies (pertinent to sexuality/gender studies and their varying theoretical streams), such as ‘LGBT’, to the paradigmatic strategy of silent disidentification (the refusal to self-identify with certain or any groups founded on sexual/ gender difference), employed by the local subjectivities as a peculiar form of resistance. It is posited that these complexities are perhaps best captured and exposed if numerous globalised a priori binaries (‘hetero’/‘homo’, ‘male’/‘female’, ‘East’/‘West’, etc., including the moralistic liberal discourse on ‘regress’/‘progress’) and legalistic ‘panaceas’ (e.g., liberal discourse on human rights) are gradually unlearnt and disestablished in favour of localespecific inquiries into collective and individual selves and their counter-hegemonic social stratagems. The Indonesian narratives of ‘polyversal’ (Eisenstein) personhood offer one such opportunity.



The Collaborative Research Programme in Law, Postcoloniality and Culture (CRPLPC) at Jindal Global Law School opens up a space hitherto not available within law schools in India that will accommodate non-law scholars concerned with the working of the law in a postcolonial context to dialogue without the constraints of disciplinary boundaries. It will be a space that will bring together, among others, Feminists, Marxists, Theologists, Queer Theorists, Dalit Scholars, Crip Theorists to dialogue, debate and disturb the assumptions that underlie an uncritical reading of the life and times of law, society, culture and the market in postcolonial societies. CRPLPC will be a forum-based initiative that will operate as an intellectual clearing house engaged in convening workshops/ conferences, reading groups, building a network of academics, activists, writers, film-makers, musicians and performers, of research centers on critical theory and postcolonial studies around the world, and remain committed to publishing sophisticated theoretical scholarship at the interstices of law, culture studies, postcolonial theory and critical theory.

ORGANIZING COMMITTEE Ruchira Goel, Assistant Professor, Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat, India rgoel@jgu.edu.in Arpita Gupta, Research Associate, Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat, India agupta@jgu.edu.in Chakravarti Patil, Formerly Senior Research Associate, Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat India chakravarti.patil@gmail.com

Organisers, Collaborators & Supporters

Instituto Cervantes in New Delhi The Instituto Cervantes is a public institution founded in 1991 by the Government of Spain, with the aim of promoting Spanish language teaching, and fostering knowledge of Spanish and Hispanic American culture. Currently, the Institute has 78 centers located in 44 countries. Its main headquarters are in Madrid and in Alcalá de Henares, the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes. The work of the Instituto Cervantes is guided by representatives of the scholarly, cultural and literary communities of Spain and Hispanic America. In New Delhi, the Institute collaborates with museums, galleries, theaters, publishers, and other Indian cultural institutions, as well as institutions from Spain and Latin America. Alliance Française de Delhi Alliance Française relies on a large network of more than a thousand associations, established in 136 countries and delivering courses to a total of 46000 students. Alliance Française de Delhi is an Indo-French cultural centre which specializes in French language teaching, organizing and curating cultural events.

Inaugurated in June 2009, BIARI is a major faculty development initiative at Brown University, USA that convenes high-level academic Institutes on Brown’s campus each summer. Organized by discipline and designed and run by recognized scholars, each Institute addresses the canonical and cutting-edge questions of the field, and contributes to building the next generation of transnational academic community. The objective of the BIARI program is to provide a platform for promising young faculty from the global south and emerging economies to engage in a high level and sustained intellectual and policy dialogue with leading scholars in their fields and each other. Institutes foster scholarly networks among young faculty, while providing them with an opportunity to develop their scholarship agendas.

Mohan Law House Social & Legal Studies: An International Journal Oxford University Press India Atlantic Publishers and Distributors, New Delhi

Oishik Sircar, Assistant Professor, Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat, India osircar@jgu.edu.in Vik Kanwar, Assistant Professor, Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat, India vkanwar@jgu.edu.in Rajshree Chandra, Associate Professor, Janki Devi Memorial College, Delhi University, India rajshreechandra@yahoo.in Navprit Kaur, Research Associate, Institute for Development and Communication, Chandigarh, India navspreet@gmail.com



The Protest Workshop is an experiment that strives to be inclusive, interdisciplinary, rigorous, provocative and political – and we would like to believe that more than an event it will serve as the inauguration of conversations that will continue to trouble the ostensible neatness of academic research with the committed objective of enabling multilogues that’ll help us critique and comprehend, with theoretical sophistication, the curious mutations of protest in our times. Though thanks are due to a multitude of people, for the moment we would like to thank the following: BIARI for reposing faith in the project and extending generous funding to bring together people from all over the world and India PROF. C. RAJ KUMAR, Vice Chancellor of the O.P. Jindal Global University and Dean of the Jindal Global Law School without whose support, encouragement and cooperation we could have never pulled this off INSTITUTO CERVANTES and ALLIANCE FRANçAISE DE DELHI for coming together in the spirit of collaboration to host Protest Workshop events in Delhi THE ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF AND FACULTY at O.P. Jindal Global University who provided exemplary organizational support and ideas STUDENT VOLUNTEERS from Jindal Global Law School who have been the foot soldiers leading many organizational and creative tasks from the front ALL PARTICIPANTS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD AND INDIA who have remained committed to the idea of the Protest Workshop and travelled long distances to be part of it SOCIAL & LEGAL STUDIES: AN INTERDISCIPLINARY JOURNAL, MOHAN LAW HOUSE, OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS AND ATLANTIC PUBLISHERS & DISTRIBUTORS, without whose additional financial support we would not have been able to carry off this elaborate event in its entirety




We believe that to say ‘thank you’ might be too pretentiously formal, especially when our attempt has beento convene an intellectual space where solidarity precedes pleasantries. But we will say ‘thank you’ just to honour the inherent fidelity of the phrase, and its ability to convey a lot of gratitude in just two words.


The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
Gil Scott-Heron (April 1, 1949 – May 27, 2011)

…The revolution will not be televised. The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox In 4 parts without commercial interruptions…

…The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal. The revolution will not get rid of the nubs. The revolution will not make you look five pounds thinner, because the revolution will not be televised, Brother…

…The revolution will not be right back after a message about a white tornado, white lightning, or white people. You will not have to worry about a dove in your bedroom, a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl. The revolution will not go better with Coke. The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath. The revolution will put you in the driver's seat…

Jindal Global Law School September 14 – 17, 2011
Sonipat & New Delhi

…The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised, will not be televised, will not be televised. The revolution will be no re-run brothers; The revolution will be live.

Politics Practices Performances of Protest


THE FACE OF PROTEST: Our Logo Concept and Design: Anirban Ghosh, National Institute of Design The face evokes a sense of rigidity, seriousness and alertness. It is not ‘cartoony’. It is looking to its left and not making direct eye contact with the viewer. It also creates an anxiety that it might look at you any moment – hence, not keeping any room for voyeuristic pleasure. This face is resting on its edge where it is vulnerable. But the same form with an edgy bottom gives it sharpness thatprotests oppression. Thanks to SOFT SKULL PRESS for allowing us to freely use artistic works from their book Reproduce & Revolt/Reproduce Y Rebélate, edited by Josh MacPhee & Favianna Rodriguez

Brochure designed & printed by : Media Graphic Prints; 09818662888

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