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Mapping The Local Paradigm Of Feminist Theatre In Globalized India 

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The structure of contexts cannot and should not be derived entirely from the logic and morphology of texts. Text production and context production have different logics and meta – pragmatic features. Contexts are produced in the complex imbrication of discursive and non discursive practices, and so the sense in which contexts imply other contexts, so that each context implies a global network of contexts, is different from the sense in which texts imply other texts, and eventually all texts. Inter-textual relations, about which we know a fair moment, are not likely to work in the same way as inter-contextual relations (Adorno, 2005, 65). Last and most daunting, is the prospect that we shall have to find ways to connect theories of inter-textuality to the theories of inter-contextuality. A strong theory of globalization from a sociocultural point of view is likely to require something we certainly do not have; a theory of inter-contextual relations that incorporates our existing sense of intertexts.

The relationship between neighborhood as context and the context of neighborhoods, mediated by the actions of local historical subjects, acquires new complexities in the sort of the world in which we now live. In this new sort of world, the production of neighborhoods increasingly occurs under conditions where the system of nation – states is the normative hinge for the production of both local and trans-local activities (Appadurai, 2010, 200). This situation, in which the power relations that affect the production of locality are fundamentally trans-local, is the central concern of the next section. What has been discussed thus far as a set of structural problems (locality and neighborhoods, texts and context, ethno-scape and life-worlds) needs now to be explicitly historicized. I have indicated already that the relationship of locality (and neighborhoods) to contexts is historical and dialectical, and that the context – generative dimensions of places (in their capacity as ethnoscapes) is distinct from their context – providing features (in their capacity as neighborhoods) (Appadurai, 2010, 98).

How do these claims help to understand what happens to the production of locality in the contemporary world? Contemporary understandings of globalization (Balibar and Wallerstein, 1991, 92) (Featherstone, 1990, 55) (King, 1991, 4) (Robertson, 1992, 67) (Rosenau, 1990, 77) seem to indicate a shift from an emphasis on the global journeys of capitalist modes of thought and organization to somehow different emphasis on the spread of the nation from, especially as dictated by the concurrent spread of colonialism and print capitalism. If one problem now appears to be the dominant concern of the human sciences, it is that of nationalism and the nation state (Anderson, 1991, 5).

While only time will tell whether our current preoccupations with the nation state are justified, the beginnings of an anthropological engagement with this issue are evident in the increasing contribution of anthropologists to the problematics of the nation – state (Borneman, 1992, 77). Some of this work explicitly considers the global context of national cultural formations (Hannerz, 1992, 182). Yet a framework for relating the global, the national and the local yet has to emerge. In this section, I hope to extend my thoughts about local subjects and localized contexts to sketch the outlines of an argument about the special problems that beset the production of locality in a world that has become deterritorialized (Deleuze and Guattari. 1987, 66), diasporic, and transnational. This is a world where electronic media are transforming the relationships between information and mediation, and where nation – states are struggling to retain control over their populations in the face of a host of subnational, and transnational movements and organizations.

A full consideration of the challenges to the production of locality in such a world would require extended treatment beyond the scope of this chapter. But some elements of an approach to this problem can be outlined. Put simply, the task of producing locality (as a structure of feeling, a property of social life, and an ideology of situated community) is increasingly a struggle. There are many dimensions to this struggle and I will focus on three:

1) the steady increase in the efforts of the modern nation – state to define all neighborhoods under the sign of its forms of allegiance and affiliation.

2) the growing disjuncture between territory, subjectivity and collective social movement and

3) the steady erosion, principally due to the force and form of electronic mediation, of the relationships between spatial and virtual neighborhoods (Appadurai, 2010, 65).

To make things yet more complex, these three dimensions are themselves interactive. The nation – state relies for its legitimacy on the intensity of its meaningful presence in a continuous body of bounded territory. It works by policing its borders, producing its people (Balibar, 1991, 100), constructing its citizens, defining its capitals, monuments, cities, waters, and soils, and by constructing its locales of memory and commemoration. The nation – state conducts throughout its territories the bizarrely contradictory project of creating a flat, contiguous, and homogenous space of nation-ness and simultaneously, a set of places and spaces, calculated to create the internal distinctions and divisions necessary for state surveillance, discipline and mobilization.

These latter are also the spaces and places that create and perpetuate the distinctions between a viewer and a performer, a text and a performance. Through apparatuses as diverse as local performance histories, the nation state creates a vast network of formal and informal techniques for the nationalization of all space considered to be under it sovereign authority. States vary, of course, in their ability to penetrate the nooks and crannies of everyday life. Subversion, evasion, and resistance, sometimes scatological (Mbembe, 1992, 35), sometimes ironic (Comaroff and Comaroff, 1992, 321) sometimes covert (Scott, 1990, 111), sometimes spontaneous and sometimes planned, are very widespread.

Indeed, the failures of nation – states to contain and define the lives of their citizens are writ large in the growth of shadow economies, private and quasi – private armies and constabularies, secessionary nationalisms, and a variety of non governmental organizations that provide alternatives to the national control of the means of subsistence and justice. Domestic groups have always encouraged women to focus on the articulate anger and dissatisfaction and evolved through discussing new interpretations of their experience that questioned and rejected earlier modes of processing and making sense of what they had observed or felt.

But these sessions were less a spontaneous outburst and more a reading against the grain, which was often so risky, socially and psychically, for the individual that they needed the combined resources of a group to make the feminist interpretation possible. Not least among the achievements of consciousness raising was the solidarity it generated among women who were closely involved in it, as well as the new self confidence and sense of power it produced, be it in the minimal amounts. A study on feminist consciousness is not possible without feminist self identification hence political beliefs about gender relations, and sensitivity towards sexism are used to develop women’s self identification as a feminist. According to Gurin, ‘there are four stages of feminist identity,

a). passive

b). acceptance

c). revelation, emanation and

d). synthesis’.

Gurin also states that, ‘the findings emphasize the importance of not replying simply on self identification in research on feminist consciousness. A view on feminist consciousness that goes beyond a dichotomous approach is recommended, as is further work on assessments of the phenomenology of consciousness’ (Gurin, 1985, 143 – 163). I believe that there are powerful alliances feminist of all classes the world can make and equally powerful alliances feminists can make with other oppressed group if the challenges are to be accepted. But since the kind of feminist criticism that naturalizes the experiences and issues of feminism in this way is so easily widely circulated among the third world scholars, while the more historically aware work done by feminist scholars is marginalized, the subsuming of a critical method into a celebration of female nature is so disturbing. It is hence a need to explore, why it is that, if simply the theories of women’s writing that are developed since last decade in

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