Theatres of Resistance: Reclaiming Narratives of Agency in Post-Colonial India and Palestine
Within the current international system, post-colonial states construct narratives by imagining their histories and conceptualize what it means to be a state and who belongs within it. They have the political and institutional authority in the post-colonial condition of state-building to create policies which further define what belonging means. Theatre, as an art form, allows communities who live within these states to challenge these narratives, to reclaim narratives of belonging and history in the face of exclusionary nationalism, and to democratize who speaks for the state, giving agency to the most disenfranchised and oppressed. The post-colonial conditions of India and Palestine make them worthy of a comparative study in this regard. With the history of the repressive British Mandate in Palestine and British colonial rule in India, both India and Palestine share a colonial history which was then replicated by the newly formed states of India and Israel after the 1947 partition of the subcontinent and the 1948 establishment of the state of Israel by the British. During the period of post-colonial state-building, Palestinians were effectively rendered stateless and refugees within their own homeland by the cultural and religious nationalism of Zionism, while Muslims and indigenous communities who belong to the Denotified Tribes in India were marginalized by the cultural and religious nationalism of Hindutva. These nationalist ideologies replicated the oppression propagated by colonial forces and continue to impose colonial oppression after the end of a formal colonial period. Furthermore, in both India and Palestine, the post-colonial states have disenfranchised the working class, stripping them of agency to define narratives of the state. Theatre in post-colonial India and Palestine is an effective tool of resistance in opposition to these cultural and religious nationalisms, rooted in a historical tradition of a theatre of resistance in both regions by providing a platform for uplifting the narratives of those that the post-colonial state does not include in its conceptualization of belonging. It brings community members together in large numbers to construct a collective identity in opposition to the state’s attempts at homogenization.
Culture & Politics, School of Foreign Service
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
IN SEARCH OF IDENTITY: THE PLACE OF SPACE, (PROTO)RACE AND IDEOLOGY IN COLONIAL AND POST-COLONIAL HONDURAS Lara, Jose Isaac (Georgetown University, 2012)The objective of this study is to identify and explain the different processes and discursive practices that constructed the national character and identity of the Honduran people. Through a diachronic analysis of Honduras ...