Politicizing Creative Economy: Activism and a Hunger Called Theater

Politicizing Creative Economy: Activism and a Hunger Called Theater

by Dia Da Costa


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Scholars increasingly view the arts, creativity, and the creative economy as engines for regenerating global citizenship, renewing decayed local economies, and nurturing a new type of all-inclusive politics. Dia Da Costa delves into the global development, nationalist and leftist/progressive histories shaping these ideas with a critical ethnography of two activist performance groups in India: the Communist-affiliated Jana Natya Manch, and Budhan Theatre, a community-based group of the indigenous Chhara people.
As Da Costa shows, commodification, heritage, and management discussions inevitably creep into performance. Yet the ability of performance to undermine such subtle invasions make activist theater a crucial site for considering what counts as creativity in the cultural politics of creative economy. Da Costa explores the precarious lives, livelihoods, and ideologies at the intersection of heritage projects, planning discourse, and activist performance. By analyzing the creators, performers, and activists involved—individuals at the margins of creative economy as well as society—Da Costa builds a provocative argument. Their creative economy practices may survive, challenge, and even reinforce the economies of death, displacement, and divisiveness used by the urban poor to survive.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780252082108
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Publication date: 12/15/2016
Series: Dissident Feminisms Series
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Dia Da Costa is an associate professor of educational policy studies at the University of Alberta and the author of Development Dramas: Reimagining Rural Political Action in Eastern India .

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

Part I Politicizing Creative Economy

1 When Victims Become Entrepreneurs: From Sentimental Nationalism to Sentimental Capitalism 35

2 Ordinary Violence and Creative Economy 59

Part II Janam's Ideology for Life

3 An Ideology for Life? 85

4 Virtually Speechless 111

5 Laughing at the Enemy 138

Part III Budhan Theatre's Creative Economy

6 A Hunger Called Theater 165

7 The Good Women of Chharanagar 190

8 Another Creative Economy? 210

Conclusion 237

Notes 247

Works Cited 253

Index 273

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