In `Performance and the Political', Ameet Parameswaran demonstrates how cultural
performances can stage the political in ways that add to the more visible and traditional
practices of popular politics. Through the lens of Performance Studies, the book explores
Kerala's transformation into a neoliberal region.
Influenced by contemporary theories of `affect', Parameswaran highlights bodily sensory
locations and actions, and embodiment in general, as important but neglected sites of
enormous political significance. His first two chapters focus on two sensory locations
central to the experience of any performance-vision and voice. The third emphasises
gesture, while the last two chapters focus on two aspects that push at the boundaries of
being-human-the machinic and the animal.
By closely analysing how these `affects' and embodiments are used in performances,
Parameswaran discusses the cultural politics of staging both the revolutionary and the
terrorist during the Emergency of 1975-77 and after; the relationship between
authoritarianism and democracy; and the emergence of a neoliberal consumption regime
following widespread migration to the Gulf. In the process, he analyses diverse
performance forms, like theatre, cinema, kathaprasangam, mimics parade and popular poetry
Deeply theoretical and original, this book will interest students and scholars of
Performance Studies, Cultural Studies, Theatre Studies and Film Studies.
1. Vision : Seeing and Acting in Times of Terror
2. Voice : The Auratic and the Passion of Democracy
3. Gesture : Ethics, Collective and the Ordinary
4. Machinic Sounding the Consumption Regime
5. Animal : Zoosis and Becoming-With in Neoliberalism